Founder & CEO, Talentedly


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What defines a good leader?

Why are some people better leaders than others? Personality? Trust? Idealism? Why do people follow leaders throughout their careers?

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    Mar 30 2011: A true leader is the greatest servant. A leader that doesn't have the attitude of service/servitude is not a leader.
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    Apr 1 2011: I think a book called The art of war will help define a leader for you.

    A leader is someone who can be admired, who listens to people, who encourages people but can steer that encouragement in the correct direction.

    A leader must have belief in what they are doing and en still this belief into everyone who follows.

    A leader must be transparent and let everyone it leads know the aims of the leadership and know where the organisation is going.

    A leader must lead my example and not by words.

    A leader can have many different characteristics and a different mixture depending on what organisation they are leading and where they are leading it.
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    Mar 31 2011: I'm a good leader when I hold everybody that I work with capable, creative, whole and resourceful. This empowers them to trust and become great leaders themselves on their own and unique way.
  • Mar 31 2011: Leaders are chosen by others because they reflect the beliefs and inspire their followers. Original thinkers, innovators, are not necessarily leaders per se. One must believe in the tenets that a leader not only professes but actually lives in daily life...a leader is authentic. So many so called leaders have fallen from grace because they have not executed on the beliefs that elevated them to the role. One only has to peek into the realm of politics for examples. A question I continually ask: since we are all human, and therefore not perfect, can we maintain the role of leader holding true to our beliefs 100% of the time or are we inherently subject to fail? What is the cost of perceived failure on the leader's position?
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      Mar 31 2011: I think very few can uphold their beliefs in the long run, that is why we have terms for our politicians and so on...
      People need to accept that no one is perfect and make the best of it.
  • Mar 31 2011: thats right marimar. Also, a good leader is the one who have fear to GOD. A godly leader will surely serve the best. He will put all his duties and responsibilities into God alone and for sure will succeed.
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      Mar 31 2011: I'm sorry Kenny but: WHAT!?
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        Mar 31 2011: Well we have tried that for 2000 years and it appears not to be doing so good. How about a good leader might be one who has a strong faith but does not believe that their employees should share that exact same faith?
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      Mar 31 2011: Kenny,
      I have some questions for you:
      1.- Could you explain to me what good comes for fearing GOD?
      2.- If you disapoint GOD, what will GOD do to you?
      3.- Do you think GOD is a good person?
      Thank you.
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    Mar 21 2011: Best leaders are the ones who can truly serve to their followers and public.
    They know how to build a participative vision and they know how to motivate people to work for the implement that vision.
    They know when to stop not to become self-serving leaders…
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    Mar 20 2011: The best leader knows when to follow.
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    Apr 1 2011: Every one leader must to be for example for another one.Every one of employees have to believe him.And the most important the leader have to lisening each one of employees.and I support a lot of thinks of Colby
  • Apr 1 2011: A leader (in no order of importance):

    1) sets the standard and accepts nothing less from himself or his subordinates.
    2) must have conviction and believe in what he is doing.
    3) sets his subordiantes up for success.
    4) is willing to admit his mistakes.
    5) is a person of integrity, character and honor.
    6) willing to make the hard decision.
    7) can see the broad picture.
    8) effectively and efficiently uses his subordinates to get the job done in the best way possible.
    9) will never ask his subordinates to do something that he will not do himself.
    10) knows his people, like family.
  • Mar 31 2011: Leaders are called leaders because they lead people behind them. For me, a good leader knows its responsibility, knows how to lead his or her company, and lead them into the right way.
  • Mar 30 2011: To me definitions by their nature are pragmatic. Like a laundry list of attributes... Rather than what makes a leader worth following. My humble opinion is a leader worth following must have conviction. They must believe in the cause, program, objective... whatever. They must have enough self confidence to surround themselves with good people and the humility to consider alternative opinions. No "yes" men. They must be able to articulate, communicate, and be personable. OK, this is sounding like that that laundry list... so add in integrity, honesty, responsibility, tenacity and vision.

    maybe a simpler definition is a good leader is someone I LIKE, and I believe in.
  • Mar 27 2011: I found Mark van Vugt's RSA lecture "Selected: Why some lead, others follow and why it matters" very informing:

    It's also the name of the book he co-wrote with Anjana Ahuja on the topic. It's actually a lot better (if even more dry) than the lecture, as it in my opinion quite convincingly integrates evolutionary biology with leadership theories from psychology.
  • Mar 21 2011: It depends on what you mean by "good". Hitler was a good leader, as he got millions of people to follow him, but he is hardly the sort of leader we want to emulate. Why did so many people buy in to his philosophies? He articulated them well. He clearly tapped in to some kind of popular feeling. He generated a feeling of belonging in the minds of his followers. Perhaps these are some attributes of a good leader.

    I define a leader as someone who takes people to places they wouldn't have gone on their own. In other words, someone who can somehow convince others to become followers.
    • Mar 27 2011: I'd call Hitler an effective leader. "Good" has certain moral implications. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but the choice in words is important to frame the issue.

      Your definition of a leader is probably the most effective, morally neutral definition possible. It's basically whoever takes the initiative to effectively get a group moving.
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    Mar 21 2011: One who goes first.

    Frugally, ;-)

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    Mar 20 2011: Hundreds of books written on the subject and sure you went through many of those, so will not refer any rather will say what I feel which is as below
    Good EQ + Good AQ + Strong Value = Good Leader

    Good Emotional Quotient (EQ) helps to understand people better so can influence them better.
    Good Adversity Quotient (AQ) helps to provide direction to people even in adverse situation which usually people look for.
    People usually have higher trust on a leader who displays high value
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    Mar 20 2011: I am currently reading a book by a Stanford professor of Management Science and Engineering called Good Boss, Bad Boss. Maybe the answer is in there somewhere.
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    Mar 20 2011: I don't think that can be generalized to people my objective in life is to have complete control over my life and not answer to anyone. Many who indeed find satisfaction in following others and not taking matters into their own hands are simply afraid to live with the responsibility that freedom entails. What makes for a good leader is someone who can convince people that they are not competent enough to live life for themselves.