6 things great leaders do

It’s not easy to condense leadership into a to-do list. The role of a leader doesn’t lend itself to a step-by-step algorithm that you can learn and automate but there are some common things that you can see in effective leaders. 

Call them competencies, values, traits, or qualities, here’s a list of things great leaders do. It’s not THE list, but it’s a good start.  

Great leaders: 

Translate the big picture

Great leaders at all levels are masters at understanding the big picture and understanding how their team contributes to the overall success. It’s not always about setting a unique vision for your team, more often it’s about connecting the dots for how the work your team does maps to the company’s mission. When team members gain this understanding there’s increased clarity and purpose. The lead unlocks their team’s ability to deliver results and navigate ambiguity.

Build trust

Trust is foundational to building an effective team and it starts with the tone set by the leader. A high trust environment leads to higher morale, higher productivity, and most importantly, better results. Trust is earned through consistent actions, transparency, and integrity. By modeling integrity in their actions and decisions, leads inspire trust and confidence in their team members. When they actively listen to their team, value their input and perspectives, and demonstrate genuine interest in their ideas, leaders cultivate an environment of openness, respect, and trust, essential for fostering high-performing teams.

Communicate effectively

Feedback, strategy, coaching, emails, meetings, stage talks… so many things a leader does relies on effectively communicating a message. This doesn’t mean that a leader needs to be a charismatic extrovert with the stage presence of a Broadway star, they just need to know how to get key messages across in a way that brings clarity to the work. Effective communication enables leaders to articulate their vision, align their teams, and drive performance. Great leaders adapt their communication style to suit the preferences and needs of their audience, fostering understanding and engagement among team members. 

Empower and inspire the people around them 

Great leaders understand that their success is intricately tied to the success and growth of their team members. They actively work to empower their team by providing them with the resources, support, and autonomy they need to excel in their roles. This could involve delegating tasks, offering opportunities for skill development and growth, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Additionally, great leaders inspire their team members by setting a positive example, demonstrating passion and commitment to the organization's goals, and recognizing and celebrating their achievements. By empowering and inspiring those around them, leaders not only foster a sense of ownership and accountability within their teams but also cultivate a motivated and engaged workforce.


Collaboration is essential for driving innovation, fostering creativity, and achieving collective goals. Great leaders actively encourage a collaborative culture within their teams and across departments. They understand that diverse perspectives and expertise can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving. They create opportunities for open communication, idea sharing, and teamwork. By fostering a collaborative environment, leaders build stronger relationships among team members, and ultimately drive greater success for the organization as a whole.

Get Results

At the end of the day, great leaders are measured by their ability to deliver results. While it's important to focus on empowering, inspiring, and collaborating with their teams, leaders must also have a clear vision of what success looks like and be able to drive execution to achieve it. This involves setting clear goals and expectations, developing actionable plans, and holding themselves and their teams accountable for delivering results. Great leaders are resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks, adaptable to change, and resourceful in finding solutions to overcome obstacles. They continuously monitor progress, provide support and guidance where needed, and celebrate achievements along the way. By consistently delivering results, leaders earn the trust and respect of their teams and stakeholders, and position their organizations for long-term success.

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