There’s an old saying that can help us to understand exactly what it means to be a real leader of others and it goes like this; ‘You’re not a leader until someone follows you’.

Wise words indeed especially when you perhaps examine your own experiences and how many managers you have come across in your working life who are simply managing tasks rather than leading people, and maybe even being reasonably successful at it. However, it is likely this success is probably in spite of themselves rather than because of anything positive they are doing.

So what does it take to be that person, the person who other people are inspired to follow?

Let’s have a look at just some of the qualities successful leaders are often found displaying. Not only does that person needs to have the necessary knowledge and skills required to do the job and be adept at task management, but moreover, it is usually their actions that determine their standing as a leader in the organisation in which they operate.

Some of the more admirable qualities of a leader can include simply being transparent or behaving in a manner exuding ‘what you see is what you get’. I’ve heard this described as ‘playing with a straight bat’ in other words, operating on a daily basis with no agenda other than demanding excellence and the best you can be from yourself and others. Being honest and reliable, a dependable individual who can speak to others with composure and look them straight in the eye. This is perhaps summed up by saying this is an individual displaying a confidence in themselves and the vision they are selling to their people.

Having a high degree of ‘coolheadedness’ is also a quality considered worthy of respect in a leader. No one is likely to follow the person in charge who panics at the first sign of a problem or business challenge. So being cool under pressure instils a sense of calm in others.

It should go without saying that being a good communicator is a vital skill and one that will help in so many walks of life. Often we often hear the phrase, ‘being able to communicate at all levels’. Well, this is not an option for the successful business leader of today, it is a pre-requisite and those that have mastered the skill of powerful communication will excel.

Being a leader will inevitably mean that you are called upon to make presentations at times or deliver some sort of speech to both small and large groups of people. Therefore it is essential that you acquire the skills to be able to do this. When confidence and assuredness ooze from your leader then you are more inspired follow them and be more like them. Communicating your vision and business objectives with clarity and enthusiasm will help your charges to adopt a ‘go out and get them’ attitude rather than strategic objectives being delivered in a timid or unsure manner from their leader.

Sometimes it is hard to hear the truth from others, but a successful leader would encourage feedback on a number of issues, from their behaviour to their decision making. If you surround yourself with people who are comfortable telling you what they really think, rather than what they think you want to hear, then you are more likely to receive open, honest and accurate feedback. The key to receiving feedback is that you must listen to it all, no matter how much it may hurt your pride. You can then decide on which way to go with it. When presented in the right way there is usually something in the feedback you receive that you can work on positively.

At Maguire Training we are hugely experienced in delivering world-class leadership programmes and our website ‘Course Finder’ can point you to a number of courses and programmes that will help in developing the qualities of a successful leader for those in your organisation that are charged with managing others. Specifically, the course entitled simply 'Leadership', explores every aspect of successful leadership and is a good place to start.

Here at Maguire Training, we are also proud to offer a versatile and intuitive suite of over a hundred e-learning modules on our website which covers a range of leadership and management topics. Have a look at the module ‘Developing Your Own Leadership Style’ which would be a perfect complement to the classroom-based Leadership course.

If you need further information then you could always call us of course on 0333 5777 144 for a no obligation discussion about your training requirements. Alternatively, simply hit the ‘Contact Us’ on any page of our website at and we’ll get right back to you.

Either way, it would be great to hear from you.

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