This week I worked on a feature about effective leadership and found every second of the interview process fascinating.
I had the privilege of interviewing people in leadership roles throughout Bay of Plenty about what they believe makes a good leader, as well as an expert from the University of Waikato.
There were a lot of common attributes mentioned but the ones which popped up most often were good character, authenticity and communication skills.
It made me think about the people I have been led by and which styles, in my experience, have been the most effective.
I believe the key is an ability to motivate, which ties in to the other attributes mentioned. If a leader shows good character, is authentic in what they do and communicates clearly and effectively with me, I will be much more inclined to live up to their expectations.
Those who lead should strive to find a balance between authoritative power and showing they care about those in their team. Set a high standard, and live those standards yourself, as well equipping those in the team with confidence that they can meet those standards.
Too far one way, and you will not have the respect of your team members which may result in them not giving 100 per cent. Too far the other way, and they will see you as a pushover under whom they can get away with slacking off.
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In sport, in particular, I have noticed my personal preference in a coach is one who demands excellence but also encourages. I'm the type of person who seeks validation, although I know I shouldn't, so if all I hear is what I have done wrong I am likely to simply stop caring.
That is not to say everyone feels that way about leadership.
One thing that stood out in writing my feature is the need to recognise everyone reacts differently to different incentives. A true leader will be well aware of that.
Overall, many of the key attributes which make a great leader are those we should all strive for regardless of the role we are in. Be a good person, communicate well with others and realise we live in a diverse world.