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Good vs. Great Leadership

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

What Sets You Apart



Because of positional leadership, anyone with a title and one person reporting to them is called a leader.

Good, bad, or ugly, culture tells us a leader is a leader and we must defer to them.

So, how do you know your leadership effectiveness?

You ask the people you lead.

And when you do, you will hear them say that the following 15 things separate good leaders from the great:

1. Purpose

2. Values

3. Vision

4. Humility

5. Authenticity

6. Empathy

7. Equity

8. Service

9. Courage & Conviction

10. Improvement

11. Balance

12. Resilience

13. Agility

14. Excellence

15. Legacy

Let's briefly explore each.


1. Purpose

A good leader is guided from the outside in, by, for example, the organization's targets.

A great leader is first guided from the inside out by their own internal purpose (why they exist and the meaning and impact of what they are doing with their team).

2. Values

A good leader follows the organization's values.

A great leader is first guided by a set of internal (moral and ethical) values which they either align with an organization or environment's values or, where the cultural values fall short, seek to be a catalyst to positively influence and elevate the organization's values and culture.

3. Vision

A good leader implements an organization's vision.

A great leader asks questions to understand the purpose and outcomes of their work to, where possible, contribute to improving the organization's vision.




4. Humility

A good leader admits when they are wrong.

A great leader acknowledges that they don't know everything and asks others (including direct reporters) to teach and show them how to be and do better.

5. Authenticity

A good leader is situational, becoming who they need to be to represent the organization's best interests.

A great leader is authentic and unchanging in every situation even as they represent the organization's best interests.

6. Empathy

A good leader sympathises with others.

A great leader empathises with others; leaving their perspective in efforts to see things from others' point of view so that they can understand and lead with their specific needs in mind.

7. Equity

A good leader treats everyone equally.

A great leader treats each one equitably, according to what they need to thrive, contribute, and gain.

8. Service


A good leader follows the rules to ensure they equip their team to deliver on the organization's goals.

A great leader sometimes sets aside the roles to sacrifice, advocate for, empower, and serve their team's interests first, then the organization's.



9. Courage & Conviction

A good leader will rise (and fall) by the code of conduct.

A great leader will show courage and conviction, even if unpopular, to challenge, and negotiate the best outcomes to move forward.

10. Improvement

A good leader performs what is in their job description.

A great leader does whatever they need to do to better themselves to help their teams and organization to thrive and deliver.

11. Balance

A good leader prioritises getting the job done.

A great leader prioritises healthy colleagues, work relations, culture, and work-life balance to be able to sustain long-term, a high level of performance.


“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

-Stephen Covey.


12. Resilience

A good leader leads the team to victory.

A great leader guides team growth, in good times and bad.

13. Agility

A good leader complies with bureaucracies to eventually get results.

A great leader swiftly navigates and negotiates to a quick resolution.

14. Excellence

A good leader does their job.

A great leader delivers excellence.

15. Legacy

A good leader delivers results.

A great leader builds a legacy.




Want to know how effective you are as a leader?

Download the 360 Leadership Assessment Tool below and connect with the teams you lead for feedback this weekend.



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