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8 Qualities of Outstanding Leaders and how you can develop them

One of the first questions I asked participants in a recent leadership development programme was, ‘What are the qualities of great leaders?’

That generated lots of ideas and became the agenda for our subsequent training and mentoring programme.

Here are what I believe to be the qualities of outstanding leaders – and the good news is that these are all learnable!!

1.Leaders understand their ‘Why?’

To inspire others, you must be able to connect with your inner passion and with the why that drives you.

We don’t even need a team to be a great leader – we just need to be on purpose. Know your why, show up in the right mindset, live your life to the highest standards and the ripples will spread out reaching those who need your guidance and example.

2.Leaders possess the power of focus

Leaders today, regardless of what business they are in, need to be able to focus in the face of constant distractions from staff, emails, phones, meetings, all of which have the capacity to deflect us from the priorities for the day.

Multi-tasking is a myth – the best way to accomplish anything is to give it all your concentration. Focus, focus, focus!

3.Leaders have integrity

To be trustworthy leaders must demonstrate integrity in everything they do. Integrity is such an all embracing quality and encompasses how we conduct ourselves, our business and how we relate to others.

It embraces loyalty, trust, honesty and sincerity. It means keeping our word about the small things as well as following through on higher level commitments. It is about delivering on time, consistently, and to the highest quality. It is about the spirit in which we do things as well as the process and results.

4.Leaders are outstanding communicators

Effective communication is the glue that holds organisations together and ensures that everyone is facing in the same direction. Leaders communicate the vision in a way that inspires the workforce to set goals that are aligned with the mission and values of the organisation.

5. Leaders show instant rapport and connection with others

Leaders must be able to relate to people regardless of situation and circumstances. Health and social care professionals have to engage quickly and empathetically, build trust and create a safe space for service users to share, sensitive information.

6. Leaders are decisive

Leaders make decisions and in doing so they provide security and certainty for their teams.

Indecision is one of the scariest factors in modern day businesses and in health and social care organisations.

Wait and see strategies rarely work. Leaders have to take all of the available information into account, analyse it quickly and take decisions about the next steps, within an overall strategic context. Then they act on those decisions.

Mindset + skill set + action = success

7. Leaders implement systems

Effective leaders have mastered and captured the most efficient and successful ways of completing routine tasks and activities. Within my business we have developed systems for everything we have to do more than 3 times. That is our rule of thumb and we are continually finding new things for which we need simple systems.

The value of systems is that they save so much time, effort and frustration. They also provide consistency for us and for our clients so everyone knows what to expect.

8. Leaders possess high emotional Intelligence

So what is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is a combination of interpersonal intelligence (the capacity to be aware of our own feelings, fears and motivations), and

Interpersonal intelligence (the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and consequent behaviour of others).

It requires the personal competence of being aware of and controlling our own emotions and the social competence of being aware of and influencing the emotional response of others. This includes managing our relationships with staff and with clients and influencing their relationships with each other.

For my insights into how to develop emotional intelligence in both you as a leader and in your team visit

For more information about how I can support you and your business email

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