Good Leadership: What can we learn from GOOD leaders?

by Marteka Swaby February 09, 2017




What is good leadership? 


It is often when something is wrong in our lives that we gain awareness of what could be missing.  

Recently, like many of us I have been pondering the dilemma we are currently in with some of world leaders and wondering what are the ingredients of good leadership?  


The reality is I am unable to control certain things, such as our world leaders, but I can control how I approach leadership to promote transparency, confidence and build higher order values into both my personal life and at work in my role as a leader. 


So, what are the ingredients of good leadership and how can we learn from good leaders? 


Good Leaders 


We have two ears and one mouth! This is natures design signalling that we should listen twice as much as we talk. Good leaders always listen and observe.  

When I go through old school reports they all say the same thing! Listen more and talk less!!! In fact I have been motivated to learn another language so I could speak more!!  


For those who love to speak it can be very difficult to sit back and listen. How often do you sit back, listen and observe instead of rushing into do things? In observation we are able to notice behaviour patterns, attitudes, energy levels.  


Flexible observation skills are indispensable for good leadership. I have noticed that good leaders are not always talking and sharing their views. In fact they hold back, listen and observe the bigger picture.  


I am not saying that details are not helpful, but it is important not to get swamped in detail. It is better to focus on what you need to know so you can stay on track of the bigger picture. 


Discipline & Determination 


Many criticise Trump for his recent victory, who would have thought a businessman like Trump would become the president of the United States? He is certainly not the most gifted or skilled man for the job. 


I think his victory speaks volumes for how instrumental discipline and determination are for success. They go hand in hand and can even get those with less or no skill a winning seat! 

Those that consistently perform the best are usually the ones who have prepared the most. How prepared are you? How often do you stay late or put the extra work in?  


Being prepared allows you to siege opportunities and playing the long game can give you incredible advances, that can lead to you to even greater results than skill ever will. 


Strengths v’s Weaknesses 


Its fascinating how we are attracted to what is familiar.  

It is so easy to hire people that are like minded and more than often I have worked in teams, where everyone is similar to the boss. They may even look, speak and act the same.  


However, in a work environment this can also be a stumbling block, not just from a diversity perspective, but also to avoid extremes and managing unrealistic expectations. A balanced team will have diversity and unity preventing the extremes from creating tension.  


Giving criticism is best delivered tactfully in a helpful way that helps to support people. As a leader you also need to keep your expectations in check. Set the standard high, but if people fail to meet this then dont berate them. Instead encourage them in their strengths and help build on their weaknesses.  


When change is needed support is more effective than criticism. Set clear objectives around the improvements you expect to see with clear timeframes, so you are both clear about the direction of travel.  


Powerful Motivation 


Praise and presence are both powerful motivational tools and often gets the best out of people. Dont be afraid to say well done, they are two words that go a long way to give your team encouragement. 


Be around, spend time talking to your team, not just about business, but take an interest in how they are and what they do outside of work.  


Encourage someone today in conversation, even if it is not work related. You will be amazed at how people respond to encouragement. It goes a long way to building relationships. 


If you would like to learn more about how to improve relationships, reduce your stress and increase your happiness.  


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Marteka Swaby
Marteka Swaby