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What Makes a Great Leader

I was recently asked to share my leadership statement. In my experience, my leadership style has been shaped by the great leaders I had the privilege to work with.

Great leaders are people who are able to bring out the best qualities in the people around them. They create opportunities for others to experiment and discover their own greatness. They recognize potential and take every opportunity to leverage that potential and showcase their team’s strengths. Leading is trusting that the team has the skill set, abilities and knowledge that will produce the best work. Leaders have a vision of the completed project, the big picture, and they communicate this vision to their team. When the big picture is a few steps removed from the current state, and the team members can’t see the end results, they trust the leader and the leader trusts in her team – everyone trusts the process. A leader paves the way, showing not only the path but highlighting the milestones. A leader communicates every step of the way and allows the team members to learn the path for themselves.

Leaders create an environment that is safe for experimentation. They know that results can be surprising and they lean into unexpected outcomes. They accept that things may turn out differently than expected, but the lessons learned in the experimentation phase are more important than the results of the task.

Finally, great leaders are great listeners. When everyone feels seen and heard, the team can achieve trust and harmony. When there is trust and harmony, there is success!