Have you ever had a supervisor that just didn’t seem very good at
supervising? Maybe they were not very pleasant, or maybe they were too
friendly. Maybe they were too overbearing or maybe they were too
passive. Maybe they never allowed for anyone else’s ideas or maybe they
welcomed too many ideas. Maybe they were constantly over your shoulder
watching every move you made or maybe they were never around when you
needed them. How many times have you thought to yourself, “I could do
their job so much better”?
What makes a good leader? Perhaps it is someone who falls somewhere
in the middle of these examples. Perhaps it is someone who is able to
motivate those whom they manage. Perhaps it is someone who understands
the work and what it takes to get it done. Perhaps it is someone who is
able to be all things at all times to all people.
According to Webster’s, a leader is one who has commanding authority
or influence. Therefore a good leader would be one whom does this
consistently, is reliable and is deserving of respect. Obviously not
everyone is cut out to be a leader. So, whether you are currently a
manager, up for a management position, or just think you can do a better
job, how would you know if you really are a good leader?
The first question that should be answered is what is your level of
commitment to your job, department, and company? If you are just in the
job until something better comes along, then your commitment is probably
not very strong. If you are only there because the pay is pretty good,
your commitment is probably not very strong either. By the same token,
if you plan on being at your company, sink or swim, your commitment
level is probably pretty high. Even if that means that you have to work
extra hours and do the work of three people to make sure everything gets
done appropriately. Level of commitment is obvious to and affects your
supervisees and the work you put out.
Do you believe that your importance is based on your job title? For some
people changing their job title is enough to encourage or motivate them
to do more. They may feel that their value to the company is reflected
in their job title. Like a Special Event Director is somehow different
from or more important than an Event Planner. Same job, different title.
The level of importance is determined by the person possessing the
title and their coworkers, not by the title itself. However, the title
does not guarantee good leadership.
Job expertise does not automatically give you leadership expertise.
There are some people that are the best at what they do but they are
horrible leaders! Good leadership skills enable a person to motivate
others to move towards a common goal. These skills include effective
communication, relationship building, decision making, and problem
solving. These four basic areas are critical to any good leader.
Whether is knowledge, skill, resources, or time, as a good leader you
should know what are your limitations. There are some limitations that
you can not get around, like time. If you don’t have enough, there is no
where you can go to get more. In other words, there are only 24 hours
in a day, regardless of what you’re to do list looks like. One sign of a
good leader is not taking on more than you can handle, as well as
knowing when to delegate.
It takes more than just the desire to have a title or to make more
money to be a good leader. It takes skill and commitment, as well as the
ability to work well with others. It also takes knowing your value, as
well as your limitations. So, do you still think you can do a better
job? Then go for it!