7 thoughts on “What makes a good leader?

  1. maureenmonte July 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm Reply

    Hi Khalid! What I love about your post is the variety of answers from your followers (and you do have a large following) plus the variety of answers from your social network (and you do have a large social network!) I have two thoughts.

    a) We all see “success as a leader” through our own leadership lens, meaning that if we naturally possess and value compassion (like the Dalai Lama, whom I adore), then we will see a successful leader having that approach.

    b) This is a problem if there is an environment where compassion is not what is required to achieve success. For example, in one of my favorite leadership movies, Band of Brothers, the leader often has to choose between compassion (my men are hurt and afraid) and leadership (influencing them to achieve the next goal.) In one scene, one of his men has lost his sight. The leader is kind, you can tell his heart is breaking for the young man. He encourages the young man to not worry about anything else but healing. With this compassion, the young man heals. In another scene, his men are under fire in a field outside a town they have been instructed to take. If the men don’t move, they will die. He kicks (literally) his men to get them to run towards the gunfire – leave a place that falsely “feels safe” and move to a place of true safety.

    In both examples, I see parallels in business. You know my story – I’ve been roasted in the workplace more often than I care to admit. A kind word from someone who sees and understands what I’ve been through goes a long way. It’s even better if it comes from a person of authority. I’ve also been in situations where if we do not move from where we are, then we will die. In such circumstances, it’s corrective movement first, empathy and compassion second. Empathy without action is not effective.

    Isn’t it wonderful when we can find a leader who can lead in both circumstances? It is very rare. By the way, the leader I spoke about above died in the past few years. His name was Dick Winters. In the war, he was teased about being “too good.” He didn’t drink. He didn’t swear. I think he was a Quaker from Pennsylvania – a spiritual man. But in the end, his sense of “human AND effective leadership” made him hugely successful, and his men would have followed him anywhere.

    You are most fortunate to be surrounded by such talented and caring people, my friend. Onward!

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  2. Khalid Raza July 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm Reply

    I could not agree more with you, like I do on most occasions and you touched a very delicate part here. The leadership, as sometimes, know as servant leadership, although I do not like that term. I would not shred prudence here but I am cognizant that success is when we lead people to success rather than be successful. People who get higher bands as the estivated in the system and had to be dragged to seniority – and this clan is the most dangerous as they lack the heart and mind of being a leader.

    My dear friend, your radiant and rident demeanor is one of the best qualities one can have. If someone could not leverage it, their loss. You will shine wherever you go. I still recall how we paired up to create history in IBM and led the most enrolled learning series.

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  3. Farah Hashim July 15, 2014 at 10:49 am Reply

    Khalid – simply loved the read.What I would love to share further is I have grown over the past couple of years as a Manager.However,in the Indian Market does compassion work.Not really!Not from all the personal experiences I have been through.As a leader sometimes kindness gets misunderstood for weakness.People are not self motivated here.As a part of the Paul Mitchell ethos we believe we should make successes out of our team in all aspects.If they fail to perform we absorb them in other aspects of our business – the last resort is to let them go.That’s how compassionate we are.

    Poor business ethics,time-keeping and the inability to deliver does require a change in candidate.Most important of all is setting high standards in the company and working collectively to achieve it.

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  4. Vanitha Poojary July 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm Reply

    Hey Farah, I am a people manager with IBM, and though I do agree that its not easy being a manager and there is no one size fits all formula, I think compassion is a value that should be held high and inculcated as best practice, even if there are a few bad experiences. I personally would prefer to receive bad news delivered with compassion and would not perceive it as weakness. And would think, so would everyone.

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  5. […] hold the key to make your work place happy and create leaders around you and in the process transform your journey. List down three people you think will benefit […]

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  6. […] I would also recommend you to read this blog in which a lot of people shared their idea of a good leader: What makes a good leader? […]

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  7. May be. Live with it. | #SocialGlamor March 6, 2017 at 11:29 am Reply

    […] What makes a good leader? […]

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