097 - How To Recognize Good Leadership

I’m often asked to identify the best leaders I’ve worked for. I’ve been very fortunate to work for some really good leaders. Additionally fortunate, I’ve also worked for some really bad leaders. So I can easily tell the difference.

Good leadership isn’t identified by a title, position, attitude, or even actions. I can’t make a list of actions to take that make a good leader. Ultimately, good leadership is recognized by the way it makes those following feel.

Let’s identify a few feelings that indicate good leadership.


Good leadership will always make team members feel secure in being who they are. Every team member is different and therefore must be led differently. Good leadership will accept the differences among team members. This acceptance enables team members to feel secure, never needing to hide their personal nature or cover themselves with excuses.


Every team member has ideas, concerns, and opinions that are important to them. Good leadership will always make team members feel like they have the opportunities to voice them. In addition to the opportunities to share, team members need to feel leadership is truly listening to them.

Cared For

Performance, contribution, and goal achievement are important for every team member. Team members are keenly aware of the concern leadership applies to these aspects of a team. However, good leadership will also ensure each team member feels cared for as a person. Leadership is about relationships and building good relationships demonstrate genuine care for a team member. 


Empowerment is a popular buzzword in the work world. But the feeling of empowerment is much more important to a team member than we typically recognize. Empowerment includes training and trust. To have team members feel empowered, they must be trusted to complete the mission and properly trained to do so.


Especially in the servant leadership model, challenging and pushing a team are often overlooked. So much focus is placed on building good relationships and being liked, that leaders forget to push their team. Good leadership will always make the team feel challenged, stretched, and pushed - even to a point of concern related to the feasibility of accomplishing the mission.


Resources Mentioned:

The Leadership Calculator

The Leadership Accelerator