Great Leader VS Average Leader: Which are you?

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Everyone wants to be a great leader, but are told that leadership is a certain quality you need to have innately — It’s not something you can learn. It’s either you have it within you, or you don’t.

Utter rubbish.

Once you are able to identify the difference in values between average leaders and great leaders, you will know what more you need to do, or are already doing to become one of the greats.


1. Vision

Average leader: Knows what needs to be done within the next three to six months. Is always prepared to meet the upcoming deadlines.

Great leader: Is not only able to meet short-term goals, but is always forward thinking on how to sustain or improve the overall process.

2. Handling Situations

Average leader: Able to react to and deal with problems as and when they arise.

Great leader: Proactive in handling situations before they arise, or before they get out of hand and start causing inconvenience to others.

3. Execution

Average leader: Kick starts the whole thinking process after the planning gets done.

Great leader: Maintains the speed at which things are getting done, as well as pick up the slack whenever one member of the team lags behind.

4. Team Motivation

Average leader: Can keep the team together with authority and gets tasks done.

Great leader: Constantly takes into account the well-being of the team and makes sure everyone is equally motivated when completing the task together.

5. Dealing with Mistakes

Average leader: Finds out who is responsible for the mistake and tells them to fix it.

Great leader: Takes the responsibility when things go wrong and finds a way to resolve the mistakes together as a team.

6. Communication

Average leader: Gives brief of expectations and explains what the end goal is like. Encourages questions relevant to the task to be raised when it’s convenient.

Great leader: Keeps communication going throughout the flow of the tasks, checks back frequently to ensure learning is always accomplished.

7. Transparency

Average leader: Tells the team what he/she thinks the team needs to hear. Keeps what he/she thinks is irrelevant to himself/herself.

Great leader: Keeps everyone updated and ensures all issues can be managed. Trusts that the team is able to handle issues.

8. Ability to Delegate

Average leader: Takes on whatever he/she can handle and passes on the easier (not as accountable things) to the team.

Great leader: Uses each individual’s strengths to his/her advantage by giving each tasks they’re capable of handling.

9. Confidence

Average leader: Is always confident in front of the team, allowing them to be complacent, because ‘the boss can always do it if we don’t’.

Great leader: Opens his/her fears of possible pain points through journey of completing the task and assures the team that with each other’s assistance, things might possibly go smoothly.

10. Commitment

Average leader: Adopts the attitude of being committed at the start of the project.

Great leader: Puts the needs of the team before his/her own personal needs when trouble arises — is the pillar of strength for each team mate.

11. Learning

Average leader: Learns what is necessary for the completion of the assigned task to get things done.

Great leader: Already has basic prior knowledge and is always hungry to know more about things outside the required job scope.

12. Innovation

Average leader: Tweaks about 20% of an idea already in place within the company and presents it as an enhanced solution to a problem.

Great leader: Gets inspired by new creations and presents something totally out of the box as a solution to a problem.

13. Open-mindedness

Average leader: Has a solidified list of solutions to follow when dealing with the task at hand. Isn’t quite as receptive to expression of new ideas.

Great leader: Loves brainstorming and coming up with new and creative ideas, along with discussing problems each individual might be facing while working on the task.

14. Decisiveness

Average leader: Takes a relatively long period of time to come to a decision. Sometimes decisions are made too late, which delays the progression of the task.

Great leader: Takes just the right amount of time to consider and weigh his/her options, then firmly decides on a solution to execute.

15. Positivity

Average leader: Tends to complain and enforces too much on the negative parts of the task. Very afraid to fail.

Great leader: Takes every opportunity to learn, and encourges failure as he/she believes in it being the fastest way to improve.

16. Compliance

Average leader: Does whatever they’re told by the upper management.

Great leader: Questions system to see if anything else can be done quicker and better before coming to a compromise of how things should work, together with the management.

17. Risks

Average leader: Doesn’t want to break from the norm — it has been working well so far, so why ruin something good?

Great leader: Takes calculated risks frequently, in order to chase for improvement.

18. Persuasiveness

Average leader: Uses plain authority to get the team to follow his/her will.

Great leader: Persuades the team on why they came about with the decision.

19. Trusting

Average leader: Does a little too much micro-managing, especially nearing the deadline of a project to ensure things are done his/her way to ensure his/her standards are met.

Great leader: Does routine check-ins with the team on areas they need help in and monitor the progress towards the goal instead of getting the know-how on each nitty gritty detail.

20. Patient

Average leader: Needs things done instantly — no matter the situation.

Great leader: Prefers more time to be taken in understanding and massaging through the details to produce something with higher quality.

21. Calm

Average leader: Looses his/her cool when a situation goes sideways and results to the team panicking as well.

Great leader: Strategises his/her moves in a calm manner and never gives in to the anxiety within the environment.

22. Passion

Average leader: Seems to be doing things for the sake of getting things done, then hobbling off after work to something he/she is truly passionate about.

Great leader: Clearly loves what they’re doing and is usually seen doing things beyond what is expected of them.

23. Humble

Average leader: Takes most of the credit for him/herself upon accomplishing tasks.

Great leader: Always has the team in mind first when praises and rewards are in play after a job well done.

24. An example

Average leader: Occasionally showcases skills he/she expects from the team, but still has a higher baseline for each team member to hit.

Great leader: Leads by example — whatever is expected from the team has already been showcased and done by him/her.

25. Flexibility

Average leader: Needs everything to be done his/her way.

Great leader: Encourages innovation of the team by presenting them an end goal and being flexible on how they get there.


If you can’t identify with being either the average nor the great leader, take a moment to listen to this TED talk.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” — Marianne Williamson

All it takes for you to become a real leader, is to accept that it’s no longer just about yourself anymore. Do your best, it’s in you — somewhere.

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