I was recently asked by a potential coaching client to share my views on what makes a good leader. Now, this was a very interesting question for three reasons:
- I have so many views on what makes a good leader.
- I didn't like the feeling of being judged.
- The wrong answer might loose me a coaching client.
So, I put a lot of thought into the question and came up with the following answer... 'A good leader is someone who enables those around them to succeed'.
Whilst I was happy with the answer at the time, in hindsight I think it was pretty lame, and have since changed it to... 'A good leader is someone who demonstrates a genuine interest in the success and well-being of the people in his or her care'.
Why the change?
- Having good intentions is one thing. Demonstrating them is something else.
- Genuine interest far outweighs "I'm doing it because it's my job'.
- Success and well-being are two different things. Success sometimes comes at a cost.
- As a leader you are responsible for the people in your care.
The 2020 Good Boss Bad Boss Survey
In the 2020 Good Boss Bad Boss Survey 186 respondents shared their views on the attributes of a good and bad boss. Here's a snapshot of the findings:
Attributes of a Good Boss
Respondents were asked to think about the best boss they ever worked for, and the three attributes they possessed that made them such a good boss.
One of the things that became ardently clear from this question is that whilst having a clear vision is important, there is a very real appreciation for leaders who demonstrate a genuine interest in the success and well being of the people in his or her care.
Attributes of a Bad Boss
Respondents were asked to think about the worst boss they ever worked for, and the three attributes they possessed that made them such a bad boss.
A lack of empathy, self-awareness, honesty and integrity are attributes that respondents found to be quite off-putting in a leader. Respondents also cited that they didn't appreciate self-serving behaviours; where the focus is on 'the leader' as apposed to 'the person in his or her care'.
How well do you know yourself? How well do you know your people? What have you done to demonstrate a genuine interest in the success and well being of the people in your care?
Knowing the answer to these 3 questions is a good first step to becoming a better leader.