IDEAL Leadership: Integrity, Decisiveness, Empathy and the Ability to Let Go

The stamp of a leader

“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.”Steve Jobs 

At some point in our lives we have all heard the phrase “leaders are born, not made”. Thomas Carlyle propagated this view in the mid 1800’s, and it has remained stubbornly omniscient since. It suggests that certain individuals are born with innate qualities that predispose them to be successful leaders. This underpins the idea that only a small set of people can actually fill these types of roles successfully.

As our understanding of personality traits progressed, behavioural theorists put forward a new belief: it is not inherent characteristics that make a good leader, rather it is a leader that makes themselves successful based on learnable behaviour. As Vince Lombardi, the American football coach, put it in the 1970s: “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile”

So, where should you focus your effort to become a successful leader?


According to a survey conducted by Robert Half in 2016, over 75% of workers said that integrity was the number one attribute that a leader ought to possess. Leaders who are demonstrably honest and have strong moral principles inspire trust in their team with “their ability, their benevolence and their integrity”. Team members are willing to be more

Read More