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Qualities Of A Leader – A CliffsNotes Version For Aspiring Leaders

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.

Image Credit: Worditout

Johan Reinhoudt

Johan Reinhoudt, oprichter/directeur van Top-Coach, heeft gedurende de afgelopen dertig jaar organisaties en individuen geholpen naar een hoger prestatieniveau.

Zijn indrukwekkende ervaring als DGA, algemeen directeur, management consultant, maar ook zijn brede wetenschappelijke, operationele en R&D achtergrond in organisaties variërend van start-up, MKB tot gerenommeerde internationale concerns (zoals bijvoorbeeld Abbvie, Cognizant, Eurofins, Leiden Universitair Medisch Centrum, Pfizer, PRA Health Sciences, Sanofi) zorgt voor een bijzonder praktische, creatieve en innovatieve achtergrond.

In zijn huidig executive coaching werk helpt Johan executives en ondernemers die kampen met prestatie en/of (beginnende-) burn-out, hoe ze snel hun passie en energie terug kunnen krijgen en weer kunnen gebruiken in hun werk, duidelijkheid en visie kunnen herwinnen en meetbare duurzame verbetering in hun resultaten te krijgen.

Tel. (+31) (0)30-200 6761

During the past thirty years Johan Reinhoudt, Founder/CEO of Top-Coach, assisted organisations and individuals to a higher performance level.

His impressive experience as CEO, President, Management Consultant, but also his broad scientific, operations and R&D background in a variety of organisations, ranging from start-up, SME to renowned international concerns (such as for example, Abbvie, Cognizant, Eurofins, Leiden University Medical Center, Pfizer, PRA Health Sciences, Sanofi) provides an exceptional practical, creative and innovative background.

In his current executive coaching work, Johan works with executives and entrepreneurs who struggle with performance and/or (pre-) burnout. He shows them how to quickly recover their passion and bring bonfire energy back to work, regain clarity and vision to get sustainable and measurable improvement in their results.

Tel. (+31) (0)30-200 6761

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