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Qualities of a Leader – A CliffsNotes Version for Aspiring Leaders

What qualities define an effective Leader?  How do you further amplify these qualities?

  • A Leader builds Trust by giving trust and by being Trustworthy
  • A Leader leads with People in mind – Leadership is a People business. People FIRST, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, turns businesses into FIRST
  • A Leader leads an organisation’s Vision by concisely communicating and providing clear short, mid- and long-term direction, enabling the People in the organisation to clearly ‘see’ where the organisation is heading
  • A Leader leads Ethical business dealing by always considering whom the leader and his/her leadership team is dealing with, knowing full well it must be “Ethical” 100% of the time
  • A Leader takes full Accountability for the organisational environment and its output
  • A Leader leads Human Resources through direct involvement in human resources. For example, by being involved in the hiring of direct reports’ direct reports – Developing a definition of the Unique Business Contribution prior to hiring and by requiring full unbiased Data Disclosure when organisational survey’s are being used
  • A Leader imagines running a ‘Management Laboratory’ – experiments, tries, prototypes, hypothesises, tests. Does all these things with openness and experiential learning in mind – For Leadership and the Organisation
  • A Leader realises Efficiency does not imply Efficaciousness. Not infrequently Efficiency turns to be the opposite of Efficaciousness
  • A Leader leads by Developing Others to Lead. Always actively develops people to the maximum of their capacity, through Coaching and Mentoring moments, but most over by Talking the Walk, through leading others by example desired Behaviour. People copy behaviour – the good and the bad
  • A Leader leads the organisation Innovation Capability by creating an environment for innovation, starting for example with the openness around, the amount and the kind of leadership team- and recurring-meetings the leader conducts
  • Measures Innovation by the amount of innovative behaviour they see in the organisation and through the Innovative Products they successfully launch serving their market.  Intelligent employees, when given space and a desire from leadership to innovate, will do exactly that. Healthy human beings derive great satisfaction from being productive, being innovative, and through all of this to have a measure of self-growth. By the way, Leaders are no different
  • Measures output through Continuous and Transparent Organisational Feedback – No longer an annual performance review ‘event’ and goal setting process. Continually acts on performance and acknowledges through behaviour “Tenure does not equal Performance”
  • Leads and manages the business through Personal Involvement, being a ‘Lead Manager’ – not a ‘Micro-Manager’, stimulates open and honest debate with a transparent communication system. All communication has a feedback mechanism and leaders openly react through action
  • Leads a ‘Fail-Safe’ organisation, not an organisation without Failures
  • Additionally, you may also want to review my recent publication “What if? Twenty Leadership Tips to Ponder”

A leader’s communication and behaviour are important reminders to the organisation of what matters most.

Finally, I would like to quote the Hippocratic oath of the Greek physician: “Primum Non Nocere” – “Above all, not knowingly to do harm”.

As with all ‘CliffsNotes’ versions, the above will hopefully be ‘starting material’ and causes you to further research, read and explore your own and other people’s leadership.

Enjoy the process – Leading is living™.

Johan F. Reinhoudt

This article was originally published in Leadership Matters on 14 April, 2016.

Johan Reinhoudt

Johan is een voormalige life-sciences executive, oprichter en directeur van Top-Coach en PTSS Voorbij. Hij is de ontwikkelaar van het “True Result™ Executive Coaching 5-Stappenprogramma” (prestatieverbetering), en de “12-weken Coach™” (versneld en blijvend herstel van burn-out).

Dit is executive coaching door een ervaren senior executive en goed opgeleide professionele executive coach, waarbij geavanceerde coaching interventies worden gebruikt. De coaching is daarom dan ook bijzonder geschikt voor executives en professionals die "nu" vooruit willen en die willen investeren in een 1-1 persoonlijk ontwikkelingstraject met blijvende resultaten.

Johan is Master Certified Coach, Effortless Coach en Master Burnout Coach en hij is geaccrediteerd door de Nederlandse Orde van Beroeps Coaches (NOBCO), de Internationale Logosynthese® Vereniging (LIA) en de Internationale Coaching Council (ICC).
Verder is hij geassocieerd met de Europese Mentoring en Coaching Council (EMCC) en de Vereniging voor Uitgebreide Energie Psychologie (ACEP). Hij heeft gedurende de afgelopen twintig jaar vele aanvullende en geavanceerde trainingen gevolgd, waaronder een afgeronde opleiding tot Logosynthese® Practitioner.

Het is Johan ’s missie om met Top-Coach executives en professionals te ondersteunen bij het verhogen van hun persoonlijke prestatie, veerkracht en vitaliteit en daardoor op duurzame wijze bij te dragen aan een gezonde leef- en werkomgeving.

Hij is woonachtig in de regio Utrecht en werkt in een persoonlijk gesprek, live en online met executives en professionals in organisaties door geheel Nederland, maar ook internationaal.

Voor meer informatie kunt u hem vrijblijvend bellen via Tel. 030-200 6761 of e-mailen:

Johan is a former life sciences executive, founder and director of Top-Coach. He is the developer of the "True Result™ Executive Coaching 5-Step Program" (Performance Improvement) and the "12-week Coach™" (Burnout Recovery).

This is advanced executive coaching by an experienced senior executive and well-trained professional executive coach. The coaching is particularly suitable for executives and professionals who want to move forward "now" and who want to invest in a 1-1 personal development proces with permanent results.

Johan is a Master Certified Coach, Effortless Coach and Master Burnout Coach and he is accredited by the Dutch Association of Professional Coaches (NOBCO), the International Logosynthesis® Association (LIA) and the International Coaching Council (ICC).
He is also associated with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP). Over the past twenty years, he has completed many additional and advanced training courses, including a completed training to become a Logosynthesis® Practitioner.

It is Johan's mission with Top-Coach to support executives and professionals to increase their personal performance, resilience and vitality and thereby contribute to a healthy living and working environment in a sustainable way.

He lives in the Utrecht region in the Netherlands and works live and online in a personal conversation with executives and professionals in organisations throughout the Netherlands, but also internationally.

For more information you can call him via Tel.+(31) (0)30-200 6761 or e-mail:

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