What makes a great leader

leadership traits

Leader in every sense! 

Who is a leader? What makes him/her remarkable or historic? How can a leader maintain  leadership aura in every decision he/she makes? What makes a leader more charismatic and  soulful? 


In today’s corporate world, the most significant challenge leaders face is to keep every stakeholder happy by taking eco-friendly and sustainable decisions.

As a result, such moves make a leader revered in the long run, as he puts  other stakeholders’ interests first before his own personal agendas, including but not limited to  their customers, suppliers, employees, public and future generations of not only human race but also considering every living being on this planet. 


What makes an administrator or a manager a best leader? If a person brings holistic views and  thoughts in every decision he/she makes, would it be a great value add to any organization  irrespective of the nature of business or industry in which a company functions? Be it finance,  IT, consumer goods, banking, or fashion. 

Every corporate or industry enjoys its own pros and suffers from cons, causing advantages or disadvantages to the ecological balance. It is vital for a  leader to understand his company’s position in the industry and his industry’s role in the whole  ecosystem. 

Related:   Measuring resilience

Every novice perspective a leader brings on the table matters, a visionary leader must  consider the long term impact of every decision he/she takes on every stakeholder.  

Mere MBA graduation from the best business schools in the world, doesn’t really make any person a great  leader. Sheer industry knowledge or long-term experience in the same field, doesn’t really make  a person a great leader. 


There were many out of the box thinkers who were school dropouts who have become great leaders in corporate America, who climbed up the corporate ladder  navigating through competition, purely based on their common sense and ability to read market  pulse and win market shares with their novice products and services. It is an art of balancing  profitability with other stakeholder interests.  

Profit is extremely important for any corporation to survive and grow, however it is equally  important to balance that with stakeholders’ interest. 


There are some explicit stakeholders of  an organization like customers, employees, suppliers, but there are some implicit stakeholders for example government, society etc. who may not be directly associated with the corporate’s day to day affairs, but most of the corporate decisions would affect nature and society. For example, any toxic emissions from manufacturing companies, any corporate activities endangering sea lives, usage of substandard raw materials just for the sake of cost cutting and  impacting human health?

Related:   Navigating the path from COO to CEO

Therefore it is extremely important to understand every  stakeholder needs and wants while making any managerial decisions.

Although it may sound very simple but hard to follow, the chart above shows few major stakeholders of a corporation, which play vital roles while making any managerial decisions. 


In reality, most of the leaders take only their immediate superiors’ and subordinates’ words or interests into consideration while taking several major corporate decisions, leaders’ shortsightedness would cost heavily on the company’s reputation and balance sheet in both short and  long run.  

Leader should never be people pleaser although he is expected to behave gently with all, he  should take stern decisions even if he has to rub wrong shoulders in the corporate and make few  enemies who are in better positions with their influence and long foothold in the same  organization for a long time, such risks may put leader’s position at risk, chances that he/she  might lose their job due to lack of majority support is expected. 

Tough decisions

However, tough decisions are  imperative considering stakeholders’ best interest and company’s best interest as corporate is a  separate legal entity which has perpetual succession means it survives even after we die giving  jobs, products n services etc. for generations to come. 

Related:   Bridging cultural differences and diversity

This is possible only if a corporation is built  on a strong foundation by a GREAT LEADERSHIP team.  

Such strong leadership qualities would eventually put a leader in an unprecedented powerful  place for earning trust and credibility convincing all stakeholders to believe in his thought process  of keeping their interest safe, breaking their resistance, would ultimately create “win-win”  situation instead of remaining yet another “ME TOO” product by remaining a people’s pleaser  who wouldn’t take any tough decisions but always lean on majority votes.

It is extremely difficult to always consider all stakeholders’ interests and keep all of them happy at  the same time. The best way to resolve this conflict would be to conduct an impact analysis of each  decision prior to its implementation. Having a brainstorming session prior, once a decision is  made enough efforts need to be made in convincing the same with required stakeholders. 

Not all decisions are fool proof, although it is rightly said “prevention is better than cure”, it is highly impossible to pre-empt all scenarios beforehand, as in the world many things are beyond  human control be it COVID situation or tsunamis or earthquakes, etc. 

However, the onus is on the  leader to do his best prior to taking any decisions on behalf of the corporate keeping all stakeholders’ interests and try to take as many eco-friendly decisions as possible saving this world for  the future generations.