What does it actually mean to be a good leader? What makes a great leader? Is it the ability to stand out in front of a crowd and motivate people? Is it making every single decision yourself? Or is it something else?

In this article, we will explore what it is to be a good leader, how you can become a better one at work, and how to develop the skills and qualities needed to lead a team effectively.

1. What is a good leader at work?

Being a good leader at work is essential for achieving success in any organization.

A good leader is someone who can inspire and guide their team towards a common goal, while also fostering a positive and productive work environment.

To be a good leader, it is important to develop a variety of skills and qualities, such as:

  • Communication: Effective leaders are able to clearly convey their vision and goals to their team.
  • Emotional intelligence: Being able to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as those of your team, is crucial for effective leadership.
  • Decision-making: Good leaders are able to make difficult decisions quickly and with confidence.
  • Problem-solving: Leaders should be able to identify and solve problems in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Adaptability: As the business environment changes, leaders should be able to adapt their leadership style and approach accordingly.
  • Strong work ethic: A leader sets the tone for the team, and a strong work ethic will be contagious.
  • Lead by example: A good leader sets an example for the team to follow and shows them how to be a good leader.
  • Be a good listener: A good leader listens to the ideas, concerns and feedback of the team members.
  • Be approachable: A leader should be approachable and willing to listen to the team members.
  • Continuously improve: Leaders should continuously work on improving their skills and knowledge to stay current and effective.

2. How to become a better leader at work?

a. Improve your leadership skills

Leadership is a skill that can be learned and improved. It isn’t something you’re born with or without, but it’s something that you can develop with practice.


The first thing to understand is that being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean being the boss. Anyone can be a leader, even if they don’t hold a formal management position.

You can become a better leader by studying the subject and developing your skills through practice and experience.

Read up on leadership books and articles. Find out what other people have done to become better leaders, and learn from their successes and failures. Look for examples of good leadership in history or popular culture, as well as at work.

Watch how other people lead, especially those who do it well. If you’re working for someone else, observe him or her closely so that you can figure out what makes them effective — then try to apply those techniques yourself when appropriate.

Ask your boss how she or he thinks she or he could improve her or his leadership skills (and then listen carefully!).

If you are running your own business, talk to colleagues who have worked for you in the past — ask them what they learned from working with you.

b. Be able to motivate

A good leader manages to motivate his or her staff – every day anew and even in difficult times. The goal must be clear, to become a little bit better together every day.

One of the key ways to become a better leader is to learn how to effectively motivate your team. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as setting clear goals and expectations, recognizing and rewarding good performance, providing opportunities for professional development, and fostering a positive and supportive work culture.

It’s also important to be a good listener and open to your team’s feedback and suggestions. Demonstrating your enthusiasm and commitment to the work can inspire and motivate your team to give their best effort.

c. Show appreciation

Recognition is one of the most important building blocks for motivation. It shows the employee that his or her achievements are seen and appreciated. Recognition has nothing to do with adulation.

A simple “thank you” or a sincere compliment can go a long way in boosting morale and motivation. In addition to verbal appreciation, consider recognising and rewarding good performance, such as through promotions, bonuses, or public recognition.


It is also important to show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of your team on a regular basis, not just on special occasions. By making a conscious effort to show appreciation to your team, you can create a positive and supportive work environment, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Even criticism that is well presented can be a form of recognition if the message is: I see what you have already done well and would like to show you how to do it a little bit better.

Only with transparent feedback can teams achieve their goals. 

d. Remain authentic

Employees have a keen sense of what is genuine and what is a put-on attitude. They can only trust a leader who trusts her or himself and shows this by not pretending.

It is important to be authentic and transparent in your communication and actions but also to consistently follow through on your commitments. Avoid pretending to know everything or presenting a false image to your team, as this can erode trust and respect.

Instead, be open about your own strengths and weaknesses, and show your team that you are human and capable of making mistakes. By being authentic and transparent with your team, you can foster a positive and open work culture, which can lead to increased collaboration and support among team members.

For you as a leader, this means finding your personal path to the goal – then the team will follow you.

e. Be up to speed professionally

You don’t have to know everything your employees know, and you don’t have to know every little detail of their fields of activity. But you should have a profound knowledge of your job so that your team takes you seriously as an interlocutor.

This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as staying current with industry news and trends, participating in professional development opportunities, and seeking out mentors or coaching. As a leader, it’s also important to share your knowledge and expertise with your team and to encourage and support their professional development as well.


f. Deal with mistakes and defeats sympathetically

Dealing with mistakes in an understanding way does not mean sweeping everything bad under the carpet for the sake of the team.

The message must be: Something went wrong here – let’s see how we can do better. The way to deal with mistakes is to reflect on how they happened and how they can be avoided in the future.

g. Succeed

There are dry spells on every journey. However, it should always be clear where the journey leads: to success.

As a leader, you need to have a clear idea of how you define success, how you measure it and how you want to achieve it.

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