What makes a great leader? This is a common question among individuals and enterprises aiming to improve on their leadership in an attempt to be more productive, and importantly, more effective. Research shows that a blend of art and science makes a great leader.


Leadership entails being able to manage and lead a team both efficiently and effectively. And yes, this requires great skills. Developing these skills takes a lot of time. To be a great leader, an individual must also be willing to put in the intensive and extensive research required, as it is essential in leadership development.


James River Capital has conducted research that seeks to establish what makes a great leader. The findings from this research show that there are a few changes that an individual can make to improve their leadership style. Below are key leadership strategies that can help you become a better leader.


Take the Supporting Role Instead of The Leader’s Role


To be a great leader, you will fast have to drop the leadership mentality and take up the supporting mentality. Giant companies such as Facebook, are leveraging on this to improve productivity. By using this strategy, you not only change how you interact with your employees but also change how you view your role.


Encouraging and Welcoming Escalation


Recent research shows that 85% of staff hold back from providing their employers with feedback. A great leader understands that employees shy away from providing feedback if they feel that they’ll get into trouble. It Is therefore essential for a leader to be welcoming to escalations raised while also creating “psychological safety.” By implementing this, employees will be at ease when communicating challenges, problems, and improvements.


Understanding That All Opinions Matters


Once a leader drops the leadership role and takes up the supporting role, the next thing will be removing any obstacle that lies between you and your staff. A typical workplace problem that creates barriers between employees and their staff is poor communication. Regular meetings between employers and employees can solve this problem. These meetings provide the perfect platform for showing your staff that all their opinions matter. During these meetings, it is crucial to encourage your staff to contribute, but doing so without being pushy.


Paul Saunders is a founder of James River Capital, a firm that has its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. Saunders founded the firm to serve as an independent investment firm that has a focus on commodity trading and hedge funds. Learn more:


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