What makes a good leader?

This is what a cynic has written:

W. Somerset Maugham.

What do you think?


  • Mark Twain
    (from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)

I think a good leader needs to be a good sportsman. Like Jack Lynch, for example.

A good leader recognizes that he or she cannot do everything single-handedly. Therefore, a good leader must be good at team-building. A good leader must be able to establish an atmosphere of inclusion rather than exclusion in the team. A good leader recognizes, cultivates and encourages talent in the team. A good leader does not attempt to stifle the talent and creativity of team members. A good leader does not feel threatened by the talent of team members. Very few people are “natural born leaders” – leadership is a skill that must be developed and worked at.


All right that covers a lot in as far as the ‘led’ are concerned in a team with a heavy emphasis on the negative but I was thinking on a somewhat grander scale. On this wider dimension I would think that delegation was a prime function. The proviso of course would have to be that if the delagatee fouled up, it would fall to the leader to face the music.


I should think it varies from job to job.


When a leader fouls up, there are often many who must suffer the consequences.


And your point is? In connection with the original question, I mean.


Not quite sure who you were aiming your last question at, Alan. In case you were talking to me, perhaps quoting will clarify things:

In other words, the guy at the helm is also capable of fouling something up. I also believe it is a mistake to suggest that it is only the leader that will have to face the music if a “delegatee” fouls up.

With respect to my response about team-building, it seems to me that it is generally the success of the team as a whole that defines a leader’s success as a leader.


A good leader should have some idea where they are going, but also have the ability to change if things are going wrong.
Leaders have fallen through history like teams through leagues. All have failed to see the need to change.

Just my humble opinion.

cheers stew.t.

Would you say that Paul Jewell is a good leader?

Sorry for sniping…

There are some leadership courses in my school, but I don’t think that’s something that can be learned.:slight_smile:

Well the good leader needs to be persuasive in order for the others to believe in whatever he is saying;)