I read a wonderful blog post  by Chad Missildine (@ChadMissildine) in which the meat of the post consisted of a compilation of answers to an open-ended question he posted on Facebook and Twitter. I thought this was such a brilliant idea that I decided to apply it to the topic of leadership. It just made sense to me that if you really want to know what makes a great leader, that the best thing to do is ask other great leaders and leadership experts for their opinions. Well that’s exactly what I did yesterday. I posted this on Twitter yesterday and asked for responses: Help write my next blog by finishing this sentence: Great leaders ___________.  The following answers are truly powerful and definitely worth taking note of…

  • Tony Hsieh (@zappos), CEO Zappos – Great leaders are obstacle removers.
  • John Baldoni (@johnbaldoni), leadership author, writer, speaker – Great leaders know their limitations and how to surround themselves with people who know more and can do more than they can do alone.
  • Mark Oakes (@MarkOOakes), CEO Intellimar – Great leaders shape a better tomorrow by laying the groundwork today.
  • Terry Starbucker, (@starbucker), renaissance man, passionate about leadership, social media, and all-around good guy – Great leaders never stop working to make their teammates better than themselves.
  • Bert Decker (@BertDecker), CEO Decker Communications, Chairman, Salvation Army Board- Great leaders speak!
  • Scott Mckain (@scottmckain), Hall of Fame Speaker & Best Selling author – Great leaders are humble.
  • Steve Roesler (@SteveRoesler),  leadership speaker/writer – Great leaders know what matters.
  • Phil Gerbyshak (@PhilGerb), speaker, author, brand coach  – Great leaders communicate clearly their expectations and ask probing questions to help all stay focused on the most important things.
  • Peter Mello (@PeterMello), Founder, weeklyleader.net – Great leaders serve.
  • Mike Henry Sr. (@mikehenrysr), Founder Lead Change Group – Great leaders inspire people to give excellent individual effort to achieve lasting team objectives.
  • Gary Schirr (@ProfessorGary), marketing professor and innovation expert – Great leaders are audacious and emerge in crises. Great leaders in non-crises are good leaders.
  • Rebel Brown (@rebelbrown), turnaround expert – Great leader LISTEN and ADAPT.
  • Wally Bock (@wallybock), author, writer, ghost writer – Great leaders touch base a lot.
  • Gwyn Teatro (@GwynT), leadership coach – Great leaders feed their egos only after everyone else has eaten.
  • Susan Mazza (@SusanMazza),  leadership coach – Great leaders stand for a possibility that matters for the long term and care about making a difference in the lives they touch on the journey.
  • Joan Koerber-Walker (@JKWleadership), innovation and leadership speaker – Great leaders listen, observe, and take action in a way that benefits others. Through their actions they inspire others to do the same.
  • Erin Schreyer (@eschreyer), leadership coach – Great leaders seek to inspire & understand as they equip and enable others to achieve greatness.
  • Elliot Ross (@elliotross), technology leadership and ITIL consultant- Great leaders ‘Care’ (all aspects) from people to business growth.
  • Stephen Bateman (@concentricdots), media executive – Great leaders inspire, inform and influence.
  • Lisa Petrilli (@LisaPetrilli) – Great leaders are passionate about the mission of their organization, magnetize others with a bold and inspiring vision, communicate clearly and with intent, & are as vested in their employees’ success as they are their own.
  • Randy Bosch (@RandyRules) – Great leaders are great servants, first and always.
  • Ed Piotrowski (@PiotrowskiEd) – Great leaders know when it is time to kick off their shoes, curl up by the fire and just “be”.
  • Jay Rhoderick (@BizProv) – Great leaders create leaders.
  • Julian Wood (@Ideas_Factory) – Great Leaders inspire others to be Great Leaders.
  • Alice MacGillivray (@4KM), Knowledge Management & Leadership Professional – Great leaders tolerate ambiguity; encourage diversity; can be anywhere in org; attend to boundary choices.
  • @WDYWFT – Great leaders are consistent, delegate the ‘ways’, but not the vision, know difference between influence & manipulation, have humor.
  • @arieliondotcom – Great leaders listen to, learn from, & love those they lead.
  • @justinvj – Great leaders produce great followers
  • @kmac4him – Great leaders are servants always.
  • @rmbrewer03 – Great leaders empathize…
  • @kengkaj_s – Great leader are men of democracy who never submit to injustice and dictatorship.

This just goes to show that there is tremendous value in a collective body of  work where people are competent and passionate in their beliefs. I apologize if I missed anyone, but if I did, or if you want to share other thoughts on what constitutes a great leader, please share them in the comments section below.