Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Friday, April 20, 2018

What Makes a Good Leader (A List!)

I just realized something today: in December 2018, I will officially celebrate my 20th year of working. I may not be in the same company where I had my first job, but I have been working for that long and it feels overwhelming!

As most young people do, I jumped from one job to the next during my early years and even considered being a freelance writer during those times in-between jobs when I sidelined as one. Once I found my current job, however, I've stayed in one place. It's been 17 years in this current one.

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Through the years I have had several bosses and I have learned a lot about leadership from them. Here are some of the traits that I've come to believe make up a good leader:

Accountability - I think good leaders are accountable to the results of his/her decisions but also the result of the actions of his/her team. As a leader, the mistake of your team is also your mistake. A good leader takes responsibility for the actions of his/her team and doesn't throw anyone under the bus.

Decision Maker - A good leader is someone who can make his/her own decisions, especially during time-sensitive and highly sensitive situations. A team needs to know that they can count on their leaders to make the right decisions when they need it the most. 

Empowers Others - A good leader is someone who knows how to delegate to empower his/her team members to do important work without micromanaging them every step of the way. I like leaders like this who make members of his/her team feel like their leader can step away and they will be able to do a good job because he trusts them.

Approachable and Open - I think leaders always have to be open to new ideas, someone to can adapt to the fast-changing life we have today. They have to be approachable so that the members of their team can speak up when they have ideas of their own.

Coach/Role Model - The best bosses I've had were the ones who lived by example. The ones who served as mentors and role models and taught me by how they carried themselves in the workplace and how they coached me when I was learning the ropes. Great leaders share their knowledge and inspire their team to achieve what they have. They don't just sit down and order people around. They work with everyone else to reach their target.

Respect - A good leader must be someone that the team can respect and respects his/her team. Some leaders can be enablers, the ones who pander to the needs and wants of their team -- I hate that. Pushovers are never good leaders. A good leader is respected enough by his/her team that when he makes a decision or acts on something, they respect that their leader is doing what's best because they know their leader respects them enough to do what's best for everyone.

I've been blessed to have had great leaders in my 20 years in the workplace. I have learned so much from them and I can only hope that others see me as a good leader as well. I hope that the people I work with can and do learn from me too.

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