Leaders come in all forms. But GREAT leaders, those who are recognised for being so, share a few things in common. Here are seven factors that I have discovered in working with great leaders:

  1. They know where they are headed, and communicate it simply and compellingly.
  2. They stay focused on their destination, despite being exposed to a multitude of distractions (hint: CEOs don’t waste a lot of time on social media!).
  3. They dare to be different, and attack change in a determined and courageous way. They are quick to take action on the areas (e.g. people, systems, technology, products and services) that need attention in order to reach their stated destination. They demand change from others, and spell out the consequences if change doesn’t occur, both personally and organizationally.
  4. They listen for ideas and input from others, and they create a collaborative environment where these ideas are discussed and the winning ideas are chosen, then implemented.
  5. They move fast. While they don’t just encourage speed for it’s own sake, they recognise that speed can be a competitive advantage, and they make and execute decisions in a timely manner.
  6. They never fake it, meaning they are authentic in every way. What you see is what you get. They are transparent and vulnerable, and this builds tremendous trust.
  7. They reward positive performance, especially where an individual or team gets results AND upholds the organizations values and principles in the process.

No doubt you can probably add to this list. So if you are longing to be recognised as a GREAT leader, start by comparing yourself against these seven factors and see how you shape up!