5 Keys to Being a Great Leader

business 101 Nov 18, 2022

What's in the Blog:

  • Leadership is imperative to running a successful business. Leigh shares her top 5 keys to being a great leader.
  • We all know communication plays a significant role in leadership or any relationship, but are we mindful of the various situations and settings in which we must adjust our communication skills? There might be more to it than you think.
  • Who Moved My Cheese? is a great little book with an entertaining lesson on flexibility. You should check it out if you haven't already.
  • We have all been guilty of chasing new and shiny things, but it is so important that leaders allow their decisions time to be correct. See it through before you go after the next shiny idea.
  • Focus Forward! Of course, we had to get this one in here. Be the optimist and focus forward so that your team can follow.
  • Do not forget to ask for help or call in reinforcements when needed. Like a business coach! You can schedule a complimentary first coaching session with Leigh here.


What is a leader?

Every team, whether a project team, a virtual team or even a team of athletes, requires a great leader to succeed. It is no mystery a team finds more success with a leader, given we have been choosing team captains since grade school.

But what exactly defines a leader?

And why did we choose the same team captain for every sport?

The answers to these questions are vastly different. When we look for a leader, we often seek strength, popularity, boldness, and even showmanship. It is true some, perhaps even most, leaders possess these qualities; however, there is much more to quality leadership than that. 

As W.C.H Prentice of the Harvard Business Review puts it in their article "Understanding Leadership",

Leadership is the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of human assistants—a human and social achievement that stems from the leader's understanding of his or her fellow workers and the relationship of their individual goals to the group's aim.

That definition magnificently encapsulates what is at the core of leadership. Though there are many tactics one could use for the "direction of human assistants", leadership, especially great leadership, requires fine-tuned skills in communication, relationship building, vision, optimism, and more. It is a continuous ebb and flow of understanding for those working with you and determination to reach the desired outcome. Maintaining this balance is no easy feat, thus the required fine-tuned skills.

Continue reading to learn what Certified High-Performance Coach and Founder of Focus Forward Business Design, Leigh Wilson, practices as her "5 Keys to Being a Great Leader".


Leigh's 5 Keys to Being a Great Leader

  1. Be the Communication Guru. You have to know how your people best communicate. Some people communicate with that hard-line while others need that soft pat on the back. Everyone on your team is different, and you will get more out of your team if you know how they communicate. You must also understand how to speak one-on-one with your team or in a small group, like a mastermind setting. What if you are giving a large presentation? All of these require different communication skills, and you must be adept at them.
  2. Be a Visionary. You are the leader. You set the goals. You choose where you want the path to go. Then your job is to be able to get your team to join forces with you, buy into your dream and support you all the way. One critical piece to being a visionary is a solid Mission Statement. Your mission statement is not just for your customers to get to know you but is the first piece that your employees, volunteers and team need to be able to connect with and relate to. 
  3. Be Flexible and Accept Change. An excellent book that addresses this topic is "Who Moved My Cheese?". Be sure you read it; all great leaders do. Once you have your reading done, it is time to remember that businesses are free-flowing, and things are not locked in stone. Things will change, and there will be mishaps out of your control. Accepting this as a fact now will allow you to better prepare for when you do need to change. 
  4. Be Decisive. No one likes a flake. Once you make a decision, unless something catastrophic happens, stick with it. Stick with it till the end, and your team will support you better. They will know that you believe in your chosen path to elevate your team and grow your business. 
  5. Keep Moving Forward. You are the voice of optimism. Things will happen. You will have ups and downs, but you must keep everybody, including yourself, looking forward. You know the road will not always be smooth, and it is up to you as a leader to solve problems and look forward, trusting the results.

We know much goes into being a leader, and each situation requires some analysis to determine the best solution. If you learn Leigh's five keys, you'll be equipped with the necessary skills to do so. Keep in mind these are not one-and-done items we are talking about. These habits, skills and ways of being daily will propel your vision, dream and business further. So, you'd be wise to get some daily practice in.

Leigh's exercises to build better leadership skills:

  • Reading for ten minutes every morning gets your mind primed for the day. It is a must for Leigh's morning routine and should be for yours too! And you can start with "Who Moved My Cheese?"
  • Planning each week the Sunday before (or the day before your work week begins) is critical for clarity and accomplishing weekly goals. Each Sunday, sit down and write out all the items that need to be completed for the upcoming week. Get out your planner or calendar and block time for your personal obligations first, and then fill in your week with the tasks and goals that need to be completed. Now, the task at hand can get your full attention because those other items are written down and have an assigned time to deal with.
  • Release Meditation is an excellent technique for transitioning tasks or environments. It allows you to release your thoughts from your current state of mind, making room for what you will do or where you will be next. It is ideal to do every time you get home from work so that you can enjoy your favorite people and things with a fresh mind. Leigh picked up this simple technique from her coach, Brendan Burchard, who also uses this each time he gets home. Click the image below to sign up for the free guide on the release meditation technique.

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