Six Ways to make your mark as a great leader

Six ways to make your mark as a great leader


Leadership skills matter throughout life. Whether you are the captain of your school soccer team, or the president of a country, being a good leader is the first step to success.

There’s been an eternal debate on whether leaders are born or made. While there’s no denying that some people are born to be leaders, there’s also no denying that people can acquire the skills and talent eventually to become a leader.

As they say “leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. Great leaders inspire greatness in others”.

Most successful businesses are led by great leaders, because “they know the way, they go the way and they show the way”.

They bring out the best in the people around them and make sure they progress together. You can often hear them say “you can do what I cannot do, I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things”.

So what are the qualities of a good leader? They are good communicators, resourceful, delegators, role models, open to feedback, exude confidence, so on and so forth. So what really differentiates a leader from a great leader?

Dynamic personality, consistency and a notable finesse in everything they do and a few more. And if you are the leader of your business or community, here are the six qualities that you need to be recognised as a great leader.

1. Be honest.

Great leaders are not only honest but they also make it a point to blend it into the work culture. Great leaders always have high ethics and honesty tops their list of important values. They create an environment for staff, which calls for honesty without the fear of being reprimanded. They also lead from the front and set great examples for others to follow suit.

2. Be inspirational.

The more you inspire, the more people will inspire you. Great Leaders don’t force people, they just inspire people and invite them to the journey. The path shown is so inspirational that others will not only follow them, but will learn to raise above the circumstances and achieve success. Great leaders naturally make their teams feel invested in the accomplishments of the company.

3. Stay committed.

Lead by example, show your commitment through thick and thin. Great leaders are highly committed to their work and that is the key to success in business. They work hard towards their goals even through challenges and keep motivating themselves and others in different ways. This attribute is usually contagious and spreads to the team, making them highly committed towards their tasks.

4. Be flexible and open minded.

The time is always right to do what is right. A great leader is one who knows that “change is the only constant thing in life and business”. A great leader is always open to change and seizes it as an opportunity to better the way things are done. They are not afraid to fail, but more importantly they are not afraid to try. They have an open mind, are flexible and welcome new initiatives.

5. Keep learning.

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions. That’s not what great leaders are about. They are constantly looking at turning opportunities into initiatives. They are keen to learn new things, new ways and new perspectives. They remain curious and learn not only what they do, but also do what they already know.

6. Have a laugh, what’s life if there is no fun in it.

Great leaders have a great sense of humour. They are not always serious or strict. They also don’t end up angry and fuming when there is a problem.

They are firm believers of staying positive because positive energy is directly linked to increased productivity. The work environment must be happy and positive even when there is trouble and this is possible only when the leader is positive and calm.

What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try, experiment, iterate, fail, try again, change the world, be a great leader.

Mr Bharatam is the founder and chief mentor at Kuza Biashara, a capacity building organisation coaching youth, SME owners in Kenya. He also chairs Entrepreneurs’ Organisation for Africa.

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