What makes a good leader?

Posted by Charlie Johnston

I recent had a conversation with a couple of clients about 'what makes a good leader?' Interestingly each one had a diiferent view, one stated that the person should have good 'commercial ability with people skills' whilst the other said that people should come first and that if you get people to buy into what you are doing then the commercial element will follow.

In truth we do not believe that one approach is best, as leadership is a multi-dimensional and fluid dynamic. Leadership on the battlefield is very different to leadership in a commercial setting. Business schools and academics have wrestled with the issue for years and although people can sign up to different schools of thought in truth in our minds leadership styles are bespoke to the individual. Yes people can be coached and tutored in how to lead, but ultimately it will come down to the situation and how a person reacts to it.

People therefore will always bring a different style to each leadership role, the key in our minds is identifying the right talent that matches the aspiration of a client and their culture. Is it always a perfect fit? No very rarely, but if we were all clones then the business world would be a very benign environment to operate in.

Back to blog