Terence H Clarke

What Makes a Great Leader?

When we think of great leaders, we often think of the big names in history such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. But what makes a great leader? What qualities or characteristics make someone stand out among their peers and be remembered as an inspirational figure? In this blog post, we will explore the qualities that make a great leader. From inspiring others to having the courage to take risks and make tough decisions, these are all essential components for becoming a successful leader. We will also discuss how to cultivate these skills so that you can become a better leader in your own life.

The different qualities of great leaders

There are many different qualities that make a great leader. Some of these qualities include:

-The ability to inspire others to follow them
-The ability to motivate and encourage others
-The ability to make difficult decisions
-The ability to build relationships and trust
-The ability to communicate effectively
-The ability to delegate tasks and responsibility
-The ability to lead by example

The different leadership styles

A great leader is not born but made. Leaders are made through a combination of hard work, training, and experience. There are many different leadership styles, but the best leaders share some common qualities.

The most effective leaders are those who can adapt their style to the situation and the people they are leading. The best leaders also have a clear vision and can communicate it effectively to their team. They are able to Inspire others to achieve collective goals and create a positive work environment.

The different leadership styles can be broadly classified into three categories: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.

Autocratic leaders make all the decisions without input from their team members. This style of leadership can be effective in emergency situations where quick decisions need to be made. However, this style of leadership can also be very dictatorial and can lead to resentment from team members if used excessively.

Democratic leaders encourage participation and collaboration from their team members. This style of leadership fosters creativity and innovation as team members feel empowered to contribute ideas. However, decision-making can take longer with this style of leadership as all team members need to be consulted before a decision is made.

Laissez-faire leaders provide guidance but allow their team members to make most of the decisions themselves. This hands-off approach can lead to high levels of creativity and empowerment among team members. However, it can also lead to chaos if there is not enough structure or

The trait theory of leadership

The trait theory of leadership posits that there are certain inherent traits that make a leader successful. While there is no definitive list of these traits, some commonly cited examples include intelligence, drive, determination, and charisma.

The theory goes that if you have the right mix of these traits, you will be more likely to be an effective leader. This is not to say that all leaders have all of these qualities, but rather that the presence of these qualities makes it more likely for a person to be a successful leader.

One of the advantages of the trait theory is that it provides a framework for understanding what makes a leader successful. By identifying the specific traits that are associated with success, we can better understand what we should be looking for in a leader. Additionally, this theory can help us identify potential leaders who may not yet have shown all of the qualities required for success.

However, one downside of the trait theory is that it doesn’t take into account the context in which a leader is operating. A leader’s effectiveness can vary greatly depending on the specific situation they are faced with. For example, a leader who is very intelligent and charismatic may not be as effective in a crisis situation as someone who is simply level-headed and able to think on their feet.

Additionally, the trait theory does not always account for how a leader’s style might change over time. What works for a leader early on in their career may not work

The contingency theory of leadership

The contingency theory of leadership posits that the leader’s effectiveness is contingent on various situational factors. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership; what works in one situation may not work in another. The theory was first proposed by Fred Fiedler in the 1960s and has since been expanded upon by other scholars.

There are a number of situational factors that can affect a leader’s effectiveness, according to the contingency theory. These include the leader’s personality, the nature of the task at hand, and the composition of the group being led. For example, a leader who is high in task orientation (i.e., someone who is focused on getting the job done) may be more effective in a situation where the task is simple and well-defined. On the other hand, a leader who is high in social orientation (i.e., someone who values interpersonal relationships) may be more effective in a situation where the task is complex and requires cooperation from group members.

The contingency theory of leadership provides a useful framework for thinking about how different situational factors can affect a leader’s effectiveness. However, it should be noted that this theory is not without its critics; some scholars argue that it overemphasizes the role of situations and downplays the importance of individual leader attributes.

The transformational theory of leadership

The transformational theory of leadership posits that leaders inspire and motivate followers to achieve great things. This theory has its roots in the work of early 20th-century sociologist Max Weber, who argued that leaders must have a vision for their followers and be able to articulate it in a way that inspires them.

A transformational leader is someone who can see the potential in people and help them realize it. A vital part of this is the ability to communicate a compelling vision. Transformational leaders are also adept at motivating and inspiring people to achieve collective goals.

While the transformational theory of leadership has its detractors, there is no denying that many of history’s most effective leaders have embodied its core tenets. Whether you’re looking to find your own leadership style or improve upon your current one, studying the transformational theory of leadership can give you insights into how to best motivate and inspire others.


To summarize, great leaders possess a unique combination of qualities that allow them to be effective in their roles. They are highly knowledgeable and experienced, have strong communication skills, and are willing to put forth the effort it takes to make sure everyone can succeed. Ultimately, what makes someone a great leader is having the courage and integrity to lead by example. If you take the time to nurture these skills within yourself, you too can become an exemplary leader who will inspire others for years to come.

If you would like to explore working with me to develop yourself as a great leader please get in touch for a free 30-minute consultation

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