Qualities of a Great Leader

Kim Jones, LPBC Board President
Leadership Palm Beach County
September 11, 2015

What a great time to discuss the qualities of a great leader.

 

As you know, LPBC has a new CEO. Courtney Curatolo, PhD, comes to us with extensive experience in leading organizations and starting new ones.

 

From speaking to her and knowing her record, I know she’ll do great, just as our previous directors have done.

 

So what makes a leader great? Are great leaders born with the capacity for leading others? Or is learning how to be an effective leader within everyone’s grasp?

 

Like all big questions, the answers are somewhere in between.

 

There are, without question, key traits that all successful leaders share in common such as:

 

1)They inspire others through action.

2)They empower the people they work with by building trust through integrity and honesty. 

3)They are open to creative solutions.

4)They make confident decisions that reflect the best interests of their employees and organization.

5)They are organized and strategic planners who think about the bigger picture and how all their teams contribute to that success.

 

Now let’s address the other issue in leadership: can it be learned?

 

Yes!

 

Start with knowing your weakness. Great leaders hire people who complement, rather than supplement, their skills. They can delegate to others who have those abilities, so they can achieve the common goal for the betterment of the organization.

 

You also need to do your homework about the team you are leading. Effective leaders clearly understand their organization’s overall purpose and goals, and the agreed-upon strategies to achieve these goals. The leader plays a vital role in helping the organization grow and thrive. And so it helps to know your team – inside and out – before you start leading.

 

Becoming a great leader is not a quick, one-time thing. It takes time – many years in some cases -- to learn and practice leadership skills until they become a part of you.

 

I’m confident that Courtney will be a great leader for LPBC. I look forward to seeing how her unique leadership style impacts LPBC in the years to come.

 

Kim Jones is president of LPBC’s Board of Governors. 

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