How To Become A Better Leader

March 21, 2018 0 Comments

Leaders Make the Biggest Difference

By Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt, PhD
After studying and teaching leadership for the past two decades, I have found some key characteristics that stand out about effective leaders. I have also recognized a pattern in teams that fail and how leadership abilities affect success. A leader is the backbone of a team. They are the person to whom everyone else looks up to, who will be the guiding light and the soothing voice. An effective leader is the person who takes the least credit during a success and gives most of it to their team, and also the person who will take the biggest hit during a fall. They are the motivators, the confidence, the planners, without them a team becomes useless. A leader makes the biggest difference: they make the difference between a loss and a failure, a win or a loss. Read on to find out why.

How To Become a Better Leader - Supervision Essentials

In a team of five people everyone has different qualities, things both good and bad. Some are shy, some artistic, some good thinkers. However, there will always be one person who will get the ball rolling, who will begin the discussion, and direct the team along the right path – that person is the leader. A good leader is confident enough to communicate with the rest of the team and make the first move. They are usually the ice breakers and gets to know the others to assign them to the right task.
A leader can make the difference between a win or a loss. Great leaders are the last to go to bed, and the one person who doesn’t slack off. When there is a deadline coming up and still a large portion of work left, the leader begins to take charge and takes on more work than his own share to get the job done. He or she is prepared to work hard and can motivate the rest of the team as well. 

Motivation: It takes trust and wisdom to motivate team members. This is another significant skill of leaders. They are the driving force of a team of individuals, the person who shows them the goal and encourages them to pursue it. Even in the worst of situations a good leader can lighten the mood by radiating positivity and showing everyone the bright side of thing. A team which lacks drive will soon wither out; a good leader will not let that happen. Wise leaders must built trust with teach individual and help each member use his/her interests and talents to benefit organizational goal completion.

A leader is the decisive one. The person who can make decisions instantly when required, but at the same time can converse openly with their team and take into consideration everyone’s opinions. Most times, an answer may be required on the spot and if no one else responds, it is up to the leader to respond. Leaders must keep all stakeholders in mind when making decisions, looking to create win-win outcomes builds trust which leads to more significant future successes. Relationships are fragile, so leaders must act wisely and be consistently thinking win-win.
Leaders can make the biggest difference since they are at the center of a team and keeps in mind the best-interests of all team members and organizational stakeholders. Leaders need the ideas of others in order to create outcomes that make a positive difference. Leaders must build around their personal ideals through which the others shape themselves and in alignment with organizational vision and mission statements.

During a time of conflict, it is the wise leader who will step in to thoughtfully and empathically listen to each party and resolve the matter. Smart leaders know that all perspectives brought into an argument probably have merit, so helping find common ground to build upon takes wisdom and skill.
In every action you take, you must realize every day is one that can build trust and create positive outcomes. Wise leaders know that supportive followers are key to maintaining organizational excellence. Leaders must hire the right people with the right talent, then build trust through clarity and support. Billions of people can be willing to follow a leader who sets a good example and finds ways to create win-win solutions for each and every challenge.

Throughout history we have seen many such examples of noble men and women who have brought change and progress into our world through their leadership, and inspired billions in the process. Each person can and will make a positive or negative difference, so leaders must learn to empower people and understand the needs, talents and ideas of each team member. In doing so, loyalty is earned, trust is built, and greater ideas and actions come to fruition. Leaders is all about making the biggest difference.

Dr. Paul Gerhardt is a tenured professor of management, diversity and leadership lecturer/trainer and the author of several publications available on, including Diversity at Work and the new Leadership Handbook. Consider inviting Dr. Paul Gerhardt to do customized leadership or diversity training at your organization. Most organizations find that diversity and leadership training by the right trainer has a significant instant return on investment. You can get your FREE COPY of the Leadership Handbook by clicking this link:


Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.