• Jonathan Bullock

Be the leader your team needs, not the leader they want


Everyone needs someone to drive and motivate them. People frequently look to their leaders for such encouragement. This makes sense on the surface: who wouldn't choose a leader who is upbeat and supportive over one who is concerned with results instead of their team? However, expecting your leader to be your cheerleader is a mistake.

Of course, I believe leaders should be motivating and upbeat, but they must be so much more:


Good leaders are more concerned with being respected than being liked

Making difficult decisions is a necessary element of leadership. People will respect the judgment of an excellent leader, even if they disagree with them. Leaders must consider the larger picture, which often requires courage to make controversial decisions – but those who are prepared to make difficult choices for the welfare of others are eventually the most appreciated.

Strong leaders will push their team to be better

Being pushed can be unpleasant. Motivating your people to do amazing things involves persuading and prodding them to do and be more. Although it may not seem significant at the time, sometimes hearing "You could do better" is what we all need.

Leaders should be specialists rather than enthusiasts

Does a team need a leader who spends all day sending out positive messages but doesn't contribute significantly to their people's ongoing performance? Far better to have a specialist who is both enthusiastic and skilled. Many leaders aim to make their people feel good without giving them with anything to reflect on. However, effective leaders make their team feel good and make them think.

Leaders must not be afraid to tell it like it is

A leader's words are not always positive. Growth needs to be driven by somebody genuine and straightforward. Receiving honest, forthright criticism will make the team stronger and more efficient.

TAKEAWAY: We all want employers, supervisors and leaders who make us happy, but finding individuals who can help us learn, progress and adapt is more significant. We all need a leader we can trust implicitly; someone who will push us to find our inspiration and achieve great things.


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