What Makes a Leader Outstanding?

We have all heard the comment, “He or she is a born leader.”  But does that automatically make them an effective leader or even an outstanding leader?  From my experience, a leader and even a “born leader” needs to continually improve the skills they already have and acquire new ones.  To take it one step further and become known as an outstanding leader means working hard, having perserverance and faith in their ability.  Below are some characteristics that make a good leader outstanding.

  1. Think Big Picture. Outstanding leaders see things as a whole rather than compartmentalize. They connect the parts based on a guiding sense of purpose. Outstanding leaders achieve through a combination of systemic thinking and acting for the long-term benefit of their organization. They recognize the interconnected nature of the organization and operate effectively.
  2. See People. Outstanding leaders have strong interpersonal skills which are deeply people and relationship centered rather than just people-oriented. They not only like and care about people but have come to understand that people are the key to exceptional performance.  Outstanding leaders passionately and constantly invest in their people and use the challenges presented every single day to encourage growth, learning and engagement. 
  3. Be Self-Confident without Arrogance. The fundamental attributes of outstanding leaders is self-awareness. They understand they cannot create results themselves but must do so by influencing others.  They set the tone and message the goal and empower their employees to accomplish it. Outstanding leaders unite a deep understanding of others, high levels of self-awareness and a systemic appreciation of their symbolic position to become a role model for others.
  4. Talk is workOutstanding leadership depends on trusting and positive relationships that are built over time for the long-term benefit of the people and their organization. They spend huge amounts of time talking with people to understand what motivates and how they can support and excite others.
  5. Value the Team. Outstanding leaders work hard on issues such as team spirit, shared decision making, collaborative working and a strong bond within and between teams. Sustainable performance comes from collective wisdom and intent, encouraging people to get involved, and giving them voice and autonomy.
  6. Walk the Talk.  Outstanding leaders actively build trust by delivering on promises and acting with consistency, which in turn, leads to a sense of security and greater freedom of expression. They understand the power of trust to speed up interactions, enable people to take risks, diminish arguments and disputes and emphasize innovation.

Finally, an outstanding leader is constantly looked upon to do what is right and to guide their team to success whatever the circumstances.  Are you an outstanding leader?

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About Patricia Knight
Hello and welcome. My name is Patricia Knight. Thank you for taking the time to view my blog. I’m a Human Resources professional who is currently pursing an MBA at the University of Nevada-Reno. I am an analytical, detail-oriented professional who believes that collaboration and negotiation are critical for successful employee relations between leadership and employees.

4 Responses to What Makes a Leader Outstanding?

  1. Patrick M says:

    I really liked your article, especially the part about leading without arrogance and empowering your employees to accomplish goals. Nice work.

    • Thanks Patrick for reading my blog and your kind words! Leaders that are arrogant truly get in the way of accomplishing tasks. Empowering employees is so important because I believe they truly want and can succeed for the organization.


  2. Great Post Patricia!

    I really like the fact that you concentrate on the “human side” of effective leadership. If leaders of today don’t realize that business is still about people, not just numbers, they are quickly on dead waters.

    Kepp up the good work!

    Jaana Eubanks

  3. Thanks Jaana for tuning into my blog! Leaders need to remember the human side as it is the people that make or break an organization.


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