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4 Actions That Separate Great Leaders from Good leaders

Business Author Jim Collins wrote, “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

In leadership, few people cross the bridge from good to great as it requires you to lead from a whole new level. Here are 4 of the key differences: 

Good leaders focus on:

Managing more than leading. Good leaders can be great at managing teams and ensuring projects are done on time, task and budget. However, they often lack the ability to engage, inspire and drive employees to become their best selves. 

Commanding from the top. Good leaders are effective at sitting at the top of the hierarchy and handling the commands and controls. They are well skilled at placing the right people in the right roles and getting them to do their jobs. 

Transactional leadership. Good leaders only focus on transactional leadership. They rely on disciplinary power and incentives to motivate employees and are essentially just “keeping the boat afloat.”

Developing others not themselves. Good leaders often assume they already have and know everything it takes to be successful in their duties. They realise the importance of talent development for their teams engagement and performance. However, they fail to see that you can’t effectively lead a team until you can lead yourself, which requires you to accept your weaknesses and become a life-long learner.

Great leaders focus on:

Transformational leadership. Great leaders are transformational leaders. They go above and beyond the point of duty to create the next level of performance and success in their company or department. Transformational leadership focuses on team building, motivation and collaboration to foster positive change.  

Developing themselves and others. Great leaders are in a constant state of self-improvement — not just in their ability to lead, but also in their mental and physical wellness too. Similarly, good leaders are often open to feedback, however, great leaders actively seek it and apply it.

Leading and following. Great leaders realise they don’t always have to be in charge to create the best results. They are willing to step aside and allow others to take the lead if it’s going to better serve the mission. 

Serving from the bottom. Similar to leading and following, great leaders are willing to put the needs of the team before their own. They realise their role is to bring the best out of their team and will make sacrifices to achieve the company’s vision.