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The Truth About Leadership and What Makes a Good Leader

Yesterday I was checking out some of the latest posts on LinkedIn and I ran across one about "The Secrets to Leadership". (The full name is not revealed to protect the innocent or guilty).

I laughed out loud.

Why? because it's not a secret. Great leadership is pretty cut and dry to understand. Either you do it well, or you don't, and you know by how people feel and react to the way you lead.

I've been working with organizations and business people for over 20 years, and I am here to tell you: THERE ARE NO SECRETS TO LEADERSHIP. The word secret is really a tactic to get you to look at a writer's blog, and I get it. Copywriting is important and you have to sometimes use flashy, mysterious words to grab your audience's attention.

If I was the writer of that blog, I would change the title to say something like:

The No-Brainer Way to Great Leadership


The 5 Ways Rock Star Leaders Build Up People

The truth about leadership is that it is fundamentally about people, and getting people to produce a result in a way that is fulfilling to both parties.

Here are a few basics that describe a good leader:

  1. A good leader WANTS to lead PEOPLE, and have a heart for building them to their full potential.

  2. Good leaders listen intentionally.

  3. A good leader treats people with dignity and respect, and treats them like an intelligent adult.

  4. A good leader practices patience, acts as a coach, and as a mentor without trampling ideas and thoughts.

  5. Good leaders empower and inspire people to action.

These attributes DO NOT describe a good (nor true) leader:

  • Being a bully

  • Running over people's thoughts and ideas to get to a result

  • Disregarding his/her impact on other people

  • Micromanaging employees

There are many other characteristics and descriptors that could be listed here, but you get the point. It boils down to this: Good Leaders help people to feel heard, accepted, guided, and respected in a way that ultimately leads to optimal performance.

I invite your comments, additions, and feedback.


Angie Nuttle Executive Presence Coach

Angela Nuttle is an author, speaker, talent remodeler®, and consultant in talent and organizational development. As founder of The School of Executive Presence™, she teaches business people how to show up with executive presence and coaches them to business success. She also works directly with CEOS, Business Leaders, and HR Teams to develop people, potential, and processes that create productive and profitable business environments.

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