Jane Carvell from ActionCOACH Bristol on what it takes to be a great leader

Here at ActionCOACH Bristol, the topic of the month has been questioning what it takes to be a great leader. When you think of leadership, you might picture a person forced to make difficult decisions, or having to be the bad guy. But there’s more to it than that…

Great leaders will lead from the heart as much as they will from the head. So for starters, try to think about how you can listen with your heart. Two way communication is essential in your organisation. The best leaders will actively encourage an open flow of ideas and make all employees feel heard at any level.

Have you ever worked for someone that doesn’t care about the impression they make? Someone that never tries to inspire their team? Or takes an inactive, hands-off approach to management? They turn up late, don’t answer communications and don’t follow the rules. If you lead like this, you risk alienating your team and creating a growing feeling of discontent. Repairing this damage can be extremely difficult.

The language of business often highlights a fear of weakness. Or a fear of making a mistake. On some occasions, I have been shocked to find that some so-called ‘leaders’ found that admitting they were wrong was showing weakness. In reality, there is nothing weak about accepting your faults, particularly in a working environment. If you’re wrong about something, just say so. This will establish trust and level the playing field in a place where it matters the most: being honest, open and transparent.

What are the key responsibilities of a leader? To inspire, guide, direct, teach and ultimately help their team. If you are a business owner you should be nurturing your team members into future leaders. That is a careful task, one that takes patience and the ability to share the limelight. A great leader knows how and, most importantly, when to step back and let others in the team shine.

So while leadership is about making difficult decisions, but it’s also about being compassionate, understanding, empathetic and trusting. It’s a difficult job to balance this mindset, which is precisely why we aren’t all leaders.

If you want to talk about new ways to lead, motivate and inspire your team then get in touch today. Visit ActionCOACH Bristol online at bristol.actioncoach.co.uk or call 01275 370 864.