A good leader is a person that understands what it’s like at different levels within a business, an organization, or even in a walk of life. They know full well the struggles that others go through, they understand the turmoil and the hardships as well as the triumphs and the small victories. Leaders don’t often rush for the podium, but they don’t shirk the responsibility they feel either. Good leaders know to set the example, not the rule, and they know that as high as they rise, they are still in service to the people that put them there.

So what qualities does a good leader need to have?

They can’t be your friend first, they need to be the boss.

A lot of us have had jobs where the boss wants to be liked by the people, right? They want their employees to think they’re the fun one, the boss they can count on to have a good day and take care of things that the employees feel are out of whack or to mop up when there’s a mess, literally or figuratively. That’s not a leader.

Leaders aren’t meant to be your friends first, but it’s possible to make them your friends if you understand that their duties as your boss have to come first. A good leader will be tough, they’ll be stern when they need to be, and they won’t allow others to pull the friendship card on them when things get rough.

A leader needs to realize that they are responsible for their people at all times.

Obviously when people are off on their own time a leader won’t be responsible for them unless that leader happens to overlook other facets of a person’s life, but on the clock a leader will take the responsibility for everything an employee does. While it is important for a subordinate to take responsibility for their own actions a leader must be there to either stand by their employee or at least mediate if ever a problem arises. Tossing your people to the wolves or under the bus, so to speak, is not the action of a good leader.

A good leader will be there for their people no matter what, even if it means they must be the hardcase.

A good leader is humble and leads by example.

Leaders must show people the way, and in doing so must manage their own feelings and emotions at times so as to best lead their people wherever they need to go. Vain, narcissistic leaders are horrible as they exist to heap glory on their own name and will gladly claim any that stand with them while vilifying any that stand against them or openly criticize them. A good leader accepts the barbs of those that don’t agree with them and moves on.

So after reading this, what kind of leader do you want to be?

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