What is Leadership? What Makes a Great Leader, and What Doesn’t.

What does leadership mean?  I often have the privilege to work with incredible leaders, teams, business owners, CEO’s, managers, employees and many others about leadership and what it means, and I realize leadership is often misunderstood.  What is leadership, and what makes a great leader? 


The Meaning of Leadership, and Qualities of a Great Leader

We often have those people in our life that we remember. They influenced us, they encouraged us, they made us better, and they made a huge difference in our life.  Why?  Probably because they had the qualities of a great leader.  Leadership is a term used often, but not often defined, so I thought I’d write some qualities of amazing leaders that I have witnessed, and these qualities exemplify what true leadership means.

  • Leadership has no title – some people with titles are not leaders, and some people without titles are true leaders
  • Leaders look up to the people they lead, not down on them
  • Leaders build relationships
  • Leaders are great communicators
  • Leaders take ownership of their own actions
  • Leaders are the first to volunteer to help
  • Leaders are kind and respectful to everyone they work with, lead, or encounter
  • Leaders speak positively
  • Leaders encourage others to be their best
  • Leaders do everything they do with integrity and honesty
  • Leaders lead by example, and are the first to do “the dirty jobs” and help in the trenches
  • Leaders have “Fanatic Discipline
  • Leaders are quick to praise
  • Leaders are thankful and grateful to everyone who surrounds them to help or be a part of what they are working on
  • Leaders are humble, and don’t think of themselves as leaders
  • Leaders are quietly leading from afar
  • Leaders listen to others first, seek to understand, then voice their own understanding after
  • Leaders have a vision
  • Leaders motivate and inspire and empower others
  • Leaders have the ability to connect with others
  • Good leaders get people to do what they may think is impossible, and suddenly it becomes possible – 
  • Leaders build future leaders, not more followers….

Want to know more?

Want to know how to be a better leader, or how to encourage others to be better leaders?  Look at the qualities of a good leader above, and work on one of them.  That’s a beginning.  Leadership is one of the seminar/workshop/program topics I often have the honor to speak about and work on with owners and their teams.  Here is the link to it on my website:   https://www.thrivebusiness.ca/solutions/seminars-workshops/   

If you’d like to be a better leader or grow future leaders within your company, let’s have a conversation.


Cindy Piva is Founder and President of Thrive Business Strategies.