6 Essential Skills You Need To Be A Great Leader
We applied our Clever logic to the question of ‘What makes a good leader?’ and came up with these SIX skills all Clever Leaders must have.
What Is A ‘Leader’?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a leader is:
A person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
From this definition, we can see that to be a Clever Leader you need to be leading people. This brings us to our first simple conclusion that the essential ingredient of being a leader is having followers.
Clever Conclusion 1
A Clever Leader must have followers.
Whether it is leaders who create followers or followers who create leaders we can leave to further debate and will continue our investigation into the relationship between leaders and followers.
Some ‘leaders’ gain their followers through threats and fear. For example:
- “If you don’t do what I say you will lose your job”
- “Your pay review is coming up”
- “Business is not looking good…”
The problem here is that people who lead by fear or threats are not true leaders. This is because their followers are not following them personally. They are following them through fear of negative action. A leader who forces people to follow them is not a real leader - they are a bully.
From this, we can see that a Clever Leaders followers should be willing and not forced.
Clever Conclusion 2
People follow a Clever Leader because they want to.
This leads to the next logical question of ‘why’ do people want to follow a Clever Leader?
We have to turn to motivation here and although there are many different motivators, many followers hope to get something in return for their efforts. This could be something as simple as a ‘well done!’ from the leader but there are many others. For example, doing what the leader says will:
- Get the followers out of a difficult situation - "The ship is sinking, follow me I know a way out"
- Increase income - "Once we reach our goals we will all share in the increased profits"
- Job security - "With this new system in operation, we will be the industry leader".
Followers may also gain personally through:
- New job opportunities
- Personal development.
This means that a Clever Leader must look after and support their followers so that they can reach their full potential.
Clever Conclusion 3
A Clever Leader looks after their followers.
Now we have a Clever Leader who has willing followers and supports and encourages them but if the leader doesn't have a direction to go in, they will not have followers as by definition; if you are not going anywhere then no one has anything to follow. This means that a Clever Leader must be going somewhere.
This brings us to our fourth conclusion:
Clever Conclusion 4
A Clever Leader knows where they are going.
This conclusion still leaves a small problem. We could have a very nice person, who helps and supports the people around them, has great ideas for the future, but does not tell anyone about them. This means that a Clever Leader must also be able to communicate their aim to others.
Clever Conclusion 5
A Clever Leader is a good communicator.
Being able to give a simple direction is not good enough for a Clever Leader. This is because many of their followers may start to follow them but give up when things get difficult. This quickly leads us to our final conclusion that a Clever Leader must be good at motivating their followers so that they do not lose heart and keep trying their best.
Clever Conclusion 6
A Clever Leader motivates others.
We can now summarize our answer…What makes a good leader?
A Clever leader is someone who has willing followers. They do not use fear or threats to gain or keep their followers. They support their followers and help them to achieve their full potential. The Clever Leader has a clear vision of the future and where they are going. They are able to communicate their ideas clearly and motivate their followers to achieve their combined goals in the most effective way possible.
Years of debate and research summed up in six Clever observations using our ‘Clever logic’.
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