February 17, 2013

Is being an effective leader enough to be a good leader?

We all know from history that Hitler was a very effective leader. He had a vision and purpose, and he accomplished it masterfully. However, does that imply that he was a good leader? In my opinion, whilst being effective is important for a leader, it does not necessarily suggest that effective leaders are good leaders.

While most people define leadership as directing a group of a people towards a common goal, simply attaining the objectives makes one an effective leader, and not necessarily a good leader.

In my belief, the following are some of the qualities that distinguish good leaders from simply being effective leaders:

Good leaders think about the purpose and the creation of sustainable value, and not just emphasise the accomplishment of goals.

They are also responsible and ethical leaders. They believe in dignity, morals, values, principles, integrity, and in being just and fair.

Furthermore, good leaders believe in limiting collateral damage by creating a positive spirit and morale amongst followers. They do not leave followers demoralized and exhausted once outcomes have been achieved.

Moreover, good leaders place emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility. They use resources wisely and do not waste them, and they ensure that they are not causing environmental damage.

Good leaders do not just lead; they create a learning environment in which they share their learning experiences with their followers, and promote the same good values and practices in their followers. They are free from hypocrisy and practice what they preach first and foremost. They build the talents and skills of their followers and transfer good leadership attributes to their followers.

Therefore, being effective is not enough. Good leaders believe in sustainability and ensure their words and actions would result in their positive trajectory to uphold even after they leave.

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