How To Become A Great Leader

The most important lesson I have ever learnt about leader­ship is that being good is of­ten not enough. In fact, if you want to be success­ful then you need to
18 Aug 2018 11:00
How To Become A Great Leader

The most important lesson I have ever learnt about leader­ship is that being good is of­ten not enough.

In fact, if you want to be success­ful then you need to be great. When I think about this, I’m often reminded of the story of Mack Robinson.

You may not have heard of Mr Robinson but in 1936 at the Berlin Olympic games, he broke the world record for 200 metres.

He actually destroyed the world record.

It was a remarkable achievement, but the problem was that he still came second.

Mr Robinson came 0.4 seconds be­hind the winner Jessie Owens, who became known as one of the great­est athletes in Olympic history with statutes built in his honour.

Yet Mr Robinson became a janitor at his high school.

Two athletes with two incredibly different stories yet all that sepa­rated them was 0.4 seconds.

The story of Mr Robinson shows us that the difference between winning and losing can be incredibly small and that it’s no use being good.

If you want to be a winner, you have to be great.

In this article, I will share with you some tips, not on how to be good but on how to be great.

Adopt moon-shot thinking

Google is one of the most success­ful companies in the world, a com­pany that can easily be described as great.

One hallmark of their success is their attitude which is described as “moonshot thinking.”

This is when the improvement you are aiming for is 10 times where you are at now instead of traditionally aiming for a modest 10 per cent in­crease.

You are looking for an idea that will shoot you to the moon hence moonshot thinking has enabled Google to make many advancements which made them so successful and this attitude can work for you too.

If you will work hard to become good, you might as well work harder in order to become great.

Be humble in order not to be


When I’m asked to name the num­ber one quality that every success­ful leader needs to have, my answer is always the same, humility.

The best leaders are humble and this is important not just because humility is an attractive quality but it also makes them better in their role.

If you possess humility, you are naturally motivated to consistently challenge yourself to do what works and become better at what doesn’t work.

Without humility, you need to be prepared to be humbled as the most you can achieve is to stay at the level you are operating.

You will become good but you will never become great.

Become comfortable with being


When we achieve a level of success, it comes with a wave of celebration.

Winning makes us feel good yet success has a bad side.

Success makes us very comfortable and when we become comfortable it takes away our edge, our desire to reach an even higher level.

When we go from being an average leader to becoming a good leader, it’s easy to find the motivation because no one wants to be average.

Yet, when we become good it is very tempting to stay there yet if we want to become great we have to leave the comfort behind and em­brace being uncomfortable.

Greatness requires us to become comfortable being uncomfortable.

Demand excellence in all areas

Greatness is a habit, it’s not some­thing that should be turned on and turned off.

The key difference between leaders who become great and the leaders who become good is consistency.

Everyone is good at something and each and every single one of us can reach a level of greatness but very few can continue at this high level.

In order to be great, you need to de­mand more from yourself and from those around you, demand excel­lence in all areas.

When you stay at a five-star hotel it’s very different from a three-star hotel, your expectations are differ­ent not just in the rooms but also in the restaurant, the services offered, the standard of service.

So become a five-star leader and de­mand greatness in all areas of your life.

Be confident and curious

The journey to become good is well documented.

There are a lot of good leaders around so it’s easy to find out what they have done and follow their lead.

There are much fewer great lead­ers so the journey to greatness is one which is less travelled.

In this article hopefully, I’ve pro­vided some tips on how you can be­come great but you need to be curi­ous.

Do your own research, don’t be afraid to try things, don’t be afraid to fail just make sure you are confi­dent enough to get back up, be curi­ous and find your pathway to great­ness and when you do be confident to take that journey.

The story of Mr Robinson high­lighted just how close you can get to greatness and still come up short.

In his case it was a mere 0.4 sec­onds, this is why if you are deter­mined to become a great leader you should never ever give up because if you do you might never discover just how close you were to achieve your goal.


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