What Great Leaders Do Differently?

Article By
Carl Hinett
Carl Hinett
Posted On30th October 2023

Have you ever stopped to think about why some people stand out as great leaders while others do not? What do great leaders do differently? Leadership isn’t just about being in charge. It’s about inspiring, guiding, and setting an example for others. In this blog, we’ll dive deep into what great leaders do differently, and why it’s important to strive for great leadership. Remember our focus key phrase, “what great leaders do differently”, as you read on.

Why be a Great Leader?

Every team, group, or organisation thrives with a great leader at the helm. Here’s why being a great leader matters:

  1. Inspiration: Great leaders inspire their teams. When people are inspired, they give their best.
  2. Direction: Great leaders provide clear goals. With direction, teams know where they’re headed.
  3. Trust: When you’re a good leader, people trust you. And trust is the foundation of any successful group.

Related Read: The Importance of Great Leadership in Modern Business

How to Be a Great Leader?

Being a great leader is a mix of many skills and attitudes. Let’s explore how to be one:

  1. Listen: Great leaders listen more than they speak. By doing so, they understand their team’s needs and feelings.
  2. Adapt: The best leaders are flexible. They adapt to changes and make the most of every situation.
  3. Educate: Always learn and always teach. Great leaders know that learning never stops.
  4. Empathise: Understand the emotions of your team. When you connect on an emotional level, you foster loyalty and trust.
  5. Feedback: Always give and take feedback. It helps you grow and lets your team know their voice matters.

Further Reading: More Steps to Great Leadership

How NOT to Be a Great Leader?

It’s equally important to know what not to do. Here’s what can hinder you from being a great leader:

  1. Avoid Feedback: Ignoring feedback means you’re missing out on growth.
  2. Be Inflexible: If you resist change, you risk becoming outdated.
  3. Ignore Problems: Problems don’t disappear if you ignore them. They grow.
  4. Lack of Empathy: Without empathy, you’re not understanding or connecting with your team.
  5. Avoid Responsibility: Always passing the blame? That’s not what great leaders do differently.

Disadvantages of Not Being a Great Leader

Not everyone prioritises good leadership, but there are downsides to this:

  1. Low Morale: Without good leadership, team spirit drops.
  2. High Turnover: People leave organisations where they feel undervalued or misunderstood.
  3. Stagnation: Without a guiding vision, progress can stall.
  4. Lost Opportunities: Bad leadership often misses new and exciting chances.
  5. Distrust: Without trust, teams can crumble.

Must Read: The High Cost of Bad Leadership

Examples of Where Great Leadership Has Made an Impact

History and present times are filled with stories of great leaders. Here are just a few:

  1. Nelson Mandela: His leadership brought an end to apartheid in South Africa, uniting a divided nation.
  2. Sir Richard Branson: He transformed the aviation and music industry with his unique style of leadership at Virgin.
  3. Malala Yousafzai: Even at a young age, Malala has shown the world how leadership can champion the cause of education for girls.


In summary, great leaders stand out because of their approach, their attitude, and their actions. They inspire trust, guide with clarity, and listen with empathy. Whether in business, politics, or community work, understanding what great leaders do differently can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Strive to be the leader who makes a positive difference. Remember, it’s not just about being in charge; it’s about guiding with heart, insight, and vision.


At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

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