What Makes a Good Leader

By March 12, 2017 Leadership

Every business requires a good leader. Regardless of whether the business has just one or two employees or several hundred, a strong leader is needed at the helm to steer the business in the right direction.

Some people find it difficult to gauge what makes a good leader. This is generally because a leader should have a wide range of different skills. Here we shall focus on some of the most important ones of all. If you look at some of the most successful businesses in land based industries, you will see leaders displaying many of these traits.

The ability to manage people

Employing people to work in a business is the easy part. The more complex part is in having the skills to effectively manage them. Delegation is a significant part of this process, but this is very different to telling people what to do. Encouragement, feedback and support should also be provided, rather than simply giving a job to someone else to offload it.

The ability to plan ahead

A good leader sees much further ahead along the road than everyone else. They focus on what is happening today and tomorrow, but they also focus on what could be happening next week or next month and beyond. Thus they are able to plan ahead in order to achieve the best performance for the business.

The ability to gauge how well progress is being made

Planning ahead is worthwhile, but it is also important to monitor progress as and when it is made. A good leader will have expectations of where the business will be in, perhaps, a month from now. They will gauge whether or not they are making the desired progress. If not, they may adjust the course of action they are taking so as to steer back towards the desired outcome. As you can imagine this is an essential skill and requires a consistent and sometimes changing vision of what can and should be achieved.

The ability to provide employees with feedback on their performance

This applies regardless of whether the employee’s performance is good or bad. Regular feedback means each employee knows whether their performance is up to standard. As such it is possible to provide guidance to improve their future performance or to ensure it continues in the same direction.

As you can see, a good leader has many more than just one or two key skills. Some people seem to be born leaders, while others take time to learn what skills are required to help lead a business to success. It is possible to learn about leadership by working your way up in a business as well, by learning what needs to be done at each level.

While all the skills mentioned above are essential to leading land based and agricultural businesses, they are universal to all other businesses as well. Good leadership skills can be transferred between businesses of all kinds. This illustrates just how important they really are.

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