What Makes A Great Leader?

At our recent Leadership Forum, our three inspirational speakers were joined by over a hundred senior leaders from the world of sport and business to discuss how to create a high-performance organisation.

After much informed and enlightened debate, the ultimate conclusion was that people are the biggest factor when creating a high-performance organisation.  But all organisations have people, so why aren’t they all performing well?  How much is it due to how they are led?

Follow the Leader

Most organisations will set out clear objectives, values and behaviours required to achieve their common purpose. But these must be encouraged and continuously maintained to be effective.

To sustain a workforce with unified purpose, the leaders of the organisation must be clear.

If the organisation is a highly energetic and agile company, the people must behave as such. Likewise, if the objective is a robust, influential and trusted brand then its people must work together in the same way.

This applies to all employees including their leadership. “Do as I say, not as I do”, rarely inspires a group to follow the leader.

If a workforce is aligned behind the purpose, behaviour and values of a leader, the energy of the united people becomes an unstoppable force, powering an organisation’s performance and its ability to succeed and change, enduring disruption and shifts in direction.

What Makes a Great Leader?

A leader with the power to align people behind one rallying cry must have vision and the courage to define the organisation’s shared purpose.

Leaders should also embrace diversity to create an adaptable culture and be accountable for continuously improving a healthy, productive environment in which every person is moving in the same direction.

Those should be as standard in a leader, so what qualities define a great leader?

Jack Welch, acclaimed as one of the three greatest corporate leaders of the last half-century, defined greatness in the Four E’s of Leadership: Energy, Energizers, Edge and Execute.  He believes that great leaders capable of driving high performance must be capable of all.

A leader with energy is able to maintain their performance, tackling every day with purpose; a leader who can energize will consistently influence and inspire better behaviours in their workforce. Leaders with edge have a competitive advantage to create, sustain and continuously improve an organisation in line with changing landscapes and demands.  Finally, the key lies in execution, without which the other E’s are of little use. To quote Welch,

“Leaders who can execute can turn edge and energy into action and results.”

The edge, energy and execution required in each organisation will be different, therefore leaders should be selected based on their abilities, values, behaviours and purpose to be effective.

John Hodge, Managing Partner, US says,

“Leadership is born out of honesty and commitment to a common goal.  Inspiring people by treating them with respect, clearly articulating the goal and what is expected and then holding each other accountable is the framework of a great team.  Mean what you say and say what you mean creates a confidence that is attractive and compelling.  Trust is earned and once gained it becomes a leaders most powerful tool”.

The Power of We

The importance of great leadership is undoubtable, but it is equally true that a leader must also have the correct team in place. If everybody in the organisation understands and engages with shared themes, leaders can be sure that their consistent work ethic and morale will improve the business.

So, first find your leader to develop your culture, to create your high-performance organisation.

Miramar Global

At Miramar Global we understand how to identify, assess and secure leaders to ensure they drive your organisation forward in line with your common purpose, aims and objectives.

We also understand how to integrate new leaders into organisations to ensure they become effective from day one.

If you would like to join our network, to be invited to our events, or to talk to us, please get in touch. We are a global executive search firm with offices in London and Philadelphia. We work globally in the Industrial, TMT and Life Sciences sectors for both corporate clients and PE-backed growth businesses.

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