Tips for the Leader

The Essence of Great Leadership

leader tips

This article is from the May 2016 edition of the Toastmaster magazine.

What are the 10 qualities that make a great leader, and a more human one too? What are the attitudes and attributes of those who step into the arena and lead their teams to achieve the success trifecta—a great business, a happy team and a fulfilled leader? In my view, it boils down to having all of the following.

  1. Positivity—It’s what I call “looking at the literal world in a favorable way.” You are certainly not a Pollyanna, but the arrow must always stay pointing up.
  2. Purpose—You must have a place to which you want to lead someone, or a group (or yourself), that goes beyond just profit.
  3. Empathy—You have to be able to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, and apply the Golden Rule.
  4. Humility—You want to make your team better than you. You shine the light on them. It’s not about you.
  5. Will—You have to really want to get there, somehow, some way. And that needs to be right on your sleeve for all of your team to see, and feel.
  6. Relentlessness—Your positive tone, message, vision, values and expectations are out there, constantly, week after week, day after day, hour by hour.
  7. Persistence—You are never satisfied. The bar can always be raised.
  8. Curiosity—You don’t know everything, so first you need to admit it. You want to keep learning, and learning and learning.
  9. Trust—It’s the sacred bond between you and your team that must be earned, not just be freely given or taken.
  10. Positivity—You have to love leading your team, and not be afraid to talk about it, or express it.

The 8 Principles of More Human Leadership

  • Crossing the bridge from “I” to “We”—It can’t be about you. It’s about a team.
  • Asking for trust and keeping your promises—Integrity is an absolute must.
  • Establishing a mantra of key values—It’s the glue that holds all of us together.
  • Finding and teaching more human leaders—The legacy must be passed on; we can’t do it ourselves.
  • Building a culture of accountability—It’s all about fair- ness and shared responsibility.
  • Measuring, monitoring and managing with the right metrics—The team needs to know where they stand, and what they are aiming for.
  • Fighting complacency and the naysayers—Inertia is a momentum killer. So are those who still desire the old ways.
  • Connecting it all to a higher purpose—Humans want to be part of a meaningful cause that’s bigger than themselves.

Author Bio

TERRY “STARBUCKER” ST. MARIE is a writer, consultant, entrepreneur and startup investor living in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the co-founder and publisher of the media platform focused on Oregon entrepreneurs, He has been named one of the Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts by Inc. magazine. Read more at


"You want to make your team better than you. You shine the light on them. It’s not about you."