AMA Recap: Ingredients of A Great Leader

Few more days to the start of a new school year!  It has been a wonderful few weeks here in the States, lots of play peppered in with some business.  Hosting an AMA #askmeanything live was really fun.  I received many rich questions - thank you for connecting.  Here is a recap of my thoughts on the ingredients of a great leader

The best leaders that I've worked with, 

get consistent strong business results over the long term, 

become stronger with each challenge/crisis,  attract rare talents, 

grow even more great leaders 

and lead rich, full lives.  

These leaders share a number of key traits:

A Growth Mindset

They believe that ability can be developed, instead of fixed or pre-determined.  Their growth mindset leads to a desire to learn, and therefore a tendency to persist in the face of setbacks, see failures as essential to mastery, find lessons & inspiration in the success of others. Recently, I wrote an article on the dangers of becoming a fixed mindset leader and how to avoid them.  Awareness is the first step to growth.

A Compassionate Heartset

Many companies today have a focus on building an inclusive culture.  A diverse workforce that represents the colourful community we live in, can powerful serve the unmet, unarticulated needs of our customers, with empathy.  A compassionate leader invites in divergent perspectives and allows different voices to be heard.  I define compassion as the combination of empathy for others AND the courage to act to make a positive difference. 

A Rich Soulset

They are clear on their values.  These are demonstrated in how they prioritize, decide on trade-offs and make decisions.  They are aligned and congruent.  Therefore are respected as authentic, genuine and build trust with ease.

3 Key Skillsets

In developing teams, they practice:

  • Active listening - they are fully present when engaging with their teams.  Listening to both what is being said and what's not.  Allowing ideas and opinions be expressed openly.
  • Asking powerful questions - their active presence allows them to ask powerful questions that stimulate reflections, or be provocative when required to put a halt to evasion and confusion.
  • The art of possibilities - helping the team to find their own solutions.  Savvy at infusing "what-if", "yes-and", to drive towards the desired outcome.

3 Timeless Leadership Qualities

In leading self, they show:

  • Courage - to go beyond their comfort zone and be challenged.  To always be learning & growing.
  • Humility - to seek feedback and feedforward. To be of greater value to their teams & customers.
  • Discipline - to commit and follow through on the work required to be a better leader.

You probably are thinking, hey Jacinta, the skillsets and qualities you mentioned, sound a lot like what transpire in a coaching conversation.  Yes, you hear me alright.  Indeed that's what I've observed about great leaders - they are great coaches too. They set a clear vision, guide, support and COACH their team to unlock a higher level of performance each day, unleashing the potentials in their people.


If you would like to learn more about coaching, come join me on THE LEADER COACH webinar on August 23rd.  You can find the details here.  I hope to see you there.

Jacinta Quah