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What Do People Look For In Their Leaders?

The Gallup group studied the responses of 10000 people to the question, what do great leaders bring to their lives?
Four clear themes emerged. People look to their leaders to provide…

  • Trust
  • Compassion
  • Stability and
  • Hope

These four themes really resonated with me and are a great framework to reflect against. We have all worked with leaders who frustrated us. Using these four themes we can easily see where some leaders have been ineffective.

Honesty, integrity and respect were words frequently used to describe great leaders. Leaders build trust by communicating clearly, being honest and explaining how decisions are made.
People skills are essential in great leaders. However, almost everyone ‘thinks’ they have good people skills. The ability to relate and connect with others, to see their viewpoint and understand individuals are different are key attributes.
Leaders show compassion by acknowledging the negative emotional impact of situations and decisions.
People like leaders to be organised and pro-active rather than disorganised, reactive and last minute. Security, certainty, predictability, reliability and support are the leadership traits that provide the stability that people rely upon, to do their best work.
Leaders provide stability when they calmly absorb emotional reactions to situations and decisions.
It is important that leaders instil belief that the school will be successful. It is vital that people feel confident that they are headed in the right direction and have clarity about how they will get there. The ability to communicate the direction and instil confidence that the school will achieve the desired outcome are key traits of great leaders. Hope is the result of having good ideas and the energy, skills, know-how and commitment to achieve future goals.

Which area do you and your team need to focus on to deliver for the people you lead?