The five ingredients for a leader.

I am often asked “what makes a good leader?”

My answer is: leaders are like food, it depends on the time, place and people as to which meal is considered the best. However meals often use the best ingredients.

So I thought about the great leaders I have met and the ingredients that set them apart.

Good Listening.

Better leaders communicate really well by taking the time to listen to what people are saying and letting people know they have been understood.

(The average focus on talking at people)


Top leaders delegate well following a check list and spending the time to get it right. They use delegation to enable others to reach their full potential.

(The average ones keep control or delegate the boring stuff)

Self awareness.

Great leaders know their strengths and weaknesses and their patterns of behaviour and step outside them when required. They also identify their values and recognise how to motivate themselves as well as others.

(The average ones never create time for self reflection)


They continually look to go outside of their comfort zone and say what needs to be said. They don’t hide from the difficult conversations or tasks but frame them as a challenge or stretch.

(The average focus on staying safe or in the comfort zone)


The best leaders regularly refer to a vision and an inspiring purpose to it. They also believe in this vision and talk about it when the going gets tough.

(When pressure is on the average leader talks about only about whats wrong and the need to be hitting targets)

I’m sure you do most of these and here are some links below to recipes to help you do them even more.

1.       Five things to consider with a vision.
2.       Thoughts on communicating.
3.       Top tips on how to delegate well .
4.       Here’s an inspiring video on creating a following.
5.       More on getting out of the comfort zone.