How Can You Be A Great Leader at Work?


Are Great Leaders Born or Are They Made?It’s the million dollar question. Are the best leaders born or are they made?

Certainly many people believe in the ‘natural born leader ’ theory. They think there are some individuals who just naturally have the social intelligence and charisma that can bring a team together and motivate them to achieve their best. Then there are others who believe that the greatest leaders have acquired their skills through practice, hard work and experience.

So opinion is divided, but maybe both theories are right? Perhaps it’s a bit like riding a bike….most people will learn to do it, some will get better with practice and determination, but there will always be the ones who are naturally gifted and go on to win the equivalent of the Tour de France.


Some research conducted by the University College London (UCL) has shown that leadership is ‘partly hereditary’. It’s also clear that many leaders have similar characteristics or personality traits that allow them to be successful. If you think back to your school days, it always seemed to be the most outgoing and confident kids who were elected as Team Captain or Head of House. But rather than it being down to one factor, it’s probably more likely that a combination of genetic and environmental influences work together to create a great leader.

Essential Leadership Qualities

  • Honesty - Not all leadership styles are the same and that’s fine. The important thing is to be yourself, know your own personality and always be clear about what you care about and what you stand for.
  • Confidence - Leadership requires self-confidence and the ability to make the right decisions. If you’re sure you’ve made good decisions, stick by them though thick and thin. If you realise you were wrong, then be big enough to say so.
  • Trust - You need to be able to get people on your side. After all, you can only lead if people will follow. That means winning and retaining their respect for your experience and skills, not just your position.
  • Delegation -The main role of a good leader is to motivate and inspire others to work well and be able to delegate the right tasks to the right people - and then leave them to get on with it. However, you’re ultimately responsible so you also need to know when to step in if you see things going wrong.
  • Vision - You need to have a clear vision and be able to explain it to others so they can understand and support what you want to achieve. Also make sure everyone knows exactly why it’s so important to achieve your goals, how you will go about it and more importantly, how you will know when you’re there.
  • Communication - Being a good communicator is crucial. You should be constantly thinking about what other people know and how they are being affected by the change and decisions that you make. Also make sure you communicate in a clear and coherent way so it’s easy for everyone to understand and remember what you are saying to them.
  • Effort - You need to put effort into building your team. It’s important to surround yourself with people you trust, who will be honest with you and whose judgment you respect. And never be afraid to hire someone who is better than you.
  • Instinct - Always trust your instinct; if something doesn’t feel right don’t do it. Even if it slows everything down, take time to talk to your team, get their opinions and then find a direction you’re all happy with.
  • Own your mistakes - Everyone’s human so if you make a mistake, don’t be too big to admit it. Show you’ve learnt from it and then move on with a smile on your face.

Building your team

Once you’ve mastered the art of being a good leader, what can you do to motivate your team, ensure they are united and remain right behind you? Probably the most crucial thing is keeping everyone up to date with what’s going on. That way everyone will feel valued and involved. Then it’s also really important to give your team a chance to bond through social events or even better, team building days. There are so many options out there for activities that allow your team to be challenged, have fun and discover skills they didn’t even know they had!

If you’re looking for a way to boost morale and get your team working better together, here are our favourite team building options:

A unique and effective approach to team development using live sheep! See if your team can use their communication and leadership skills to herd a flock of sheep into a pen. They’ll be led by an experienced shepherd and facilitated by professional trainers who will devise a specific programme for your organisation.

This is team building at its biggest and bounciest. Your teams can score points by scrambling up slippery summits or wobbling across crazy inflatables, dressed as giant penguins or circus clowns. It’s unique, unforgettable and a total scream.

Hardened thrill seekers will love heading out to the countryside for a night of camping under the stars, while learning a host of essential Bear Grylls style survival skills from an experienced guide.

Run away and join the circus – even if it’s just for one day. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, you can tailor your own day to include trapeze, tight-wire, juggling, stilts or a mix of them all.

Talk to our team

At Rainbow Zebra, we’re lucky enough to have a fantastic team who work together brilliantly to ensure our customers get a first class service. If we can help you with your furniture, storage or accessory needs, then please call us on 0800 092 1985 or browse our Rainbow Zebra website.

Posted by Paul Randall
16th November 2015