The Role of a Good Leader
Good leaders can be found at different levels within an organization, not just at the top of an organization. Roles they fill help a company to realize a variety of benefits, including staying financially solvent, establishing goals and being positively perceived by the public. During challenging times such as economic recessions and company layoffs, leaders’ abilities can be tested. However, even during normal business conditions, effective leaders are relied upon to offer direction to their companies and workforce.
Good leaders ensure that their employees and clients are kept aware of major changes impacting the departments and/or companies they lead. For example, they may schedule conference calls or in-person meetings to let employees know about upcoming company mergers or acquisitions. They also meet with employees and clients and listen to their concerns. Following these discussions, good leaders may take steps to improve products, services and/or organizational processes and procedures employees and/or clients expressed disapproval with. As noted in the January 19, 2012, Harvard Business Review article, “What Do Good Global Leaders Do," good leaders, “work hard to be present in company locations all over the world, not only to spread messages but to learn and listen.”
Whether they are managing or leading small, mid-size or large organizations, good leaders build strong teams. They may achieve this by hiring workers who understand and fit their organization’s culture. For example, managers of companies with hierarchy cultures might hire employees who enjoy working for organizations that place a lot of emphasis on chains of command and job levels. To build strong teams, good leaders also are fair and non-discriminatory toward workers. They avoid favoritism and ensure qualified workers get opportunities to succeed and advance.
Even during down economies, good leaders adhere to high ethical standards. They avoid breaking local, state and federal laws and regulations. They also comply with policies created by the organizations where they work. For example, the owner of a financial services firm avoids participating in insider trading even if doing so would generate more revenues for her company. Furthermore, good leaders encourage their workers to adhere to ethical standards as well.
Confidence is a trademark of good leaders. While performing their jobs, good leaders use confidence to manage organizations through crisis, such as unfavorable market shifts. They also use crisis or unwanted events, such as a significant decline in customer sales, to review organizational operations. As reported in the March 5, 2009, Wall Street Journal “Leadership In Crisis, How to be a Leader” article, “A crisis provides the leader with the platform to get things done that were required anyway and offers the sense of urgency to accelerate their implementation.” Should changes need to made at the organizations where they work, good leaders make those changes, even if doing so makes them unpopular with employees for awhile. For example, good leaders may sell parts of their business, replace ineffective workers or restructure their entire organizations to remain competitive in the marketplace.