The Forgotten Skill That Will Make You a Better Leader

It’s easy to tell a good leader from a bad one—but how do you tell a good leader from a great leader? That secret lies in their forgotten skill.

Many people who move into leadership positions get caught up in thinking that power is the way to build great leadership, when in fact it’s just the opposite.

Power come to those who take on responsibility—not just for themselves but for others.

As with so many things, if you have to tell people you’re in power, your power isn’t that genuine.

If you aspire to achieve greatness in leadership, it’s a must that you develop a healthy relationship with responsibility.

Here are some ways great leaders can take on responsibility:

Create a framework others can follow.

People need a map, a guide, a blueprint to help them know which direction they need to follow. It is the leader’s responsibility to show them a path and a vision. When you have that framework in place, it provides focus and discipline, and those who resonate with it will follow without being told.

Earn people’s trust.

Earning trust is crucial; people need to have confidence in their leader. When there is no trust, people will alienate themselves from those in authority. Great leaders who have earned the trust and confidence of their people  know that their team is inspired, committed and motivated.

Invite feedback and criticism.

It’s the responsibility of a leader to invite open criticism. When you make it to the top, many people will tell you what you want to hear, but that’s not how you learn. Great leaders aren’t interested in the shallow validation of hearing how great they are. Instead, they take on the responsibility of making sure they know about their mistakes and weaknesses.

Set high standards for integrity.

It is a leader’s responsibility to implement, develop, monitor and enforce ethical behavior. Integrity starts from the top and moves throughout an organization. Responsible leaders hold a mindset that cares for the needs of others and takes citizenship seriously. Each action and word must meet a moral and ethical baseline.

Understand leadership is not about you.

It’s about others. The leader may hold power and authority, but those things come with obligations. Leadership is ultimately an act of service. It’s impossible to treat it otherwise and achieve greatness.

With great power comes great responsibility—not only to yourself but also to those you lead. As a leader, you must always be willing to show accountability and to respect and serve others. The true source of power is not titles or bank accounts but service and responsibility.

Lead from within: The forgotten skill that will make you a better leader is knowing that the price of power is paid with responsibility. As Plato stated, the measure of man is what he does when he is in power.

Additional articles you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.

3 Responses to “The Forgotten Skill That Will Make You a Better Leader”

  1. Milestonethree

    20. Mar, 2017

    Nice Post., Pursue leadership development training through intensive programs at Milestonethree. These management seminars help you become a more effective Manager.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Json formatter

    21. Mar, 2017

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing!.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Mehmoona Zulfiqar

    27. Mar, 2017

    Thank you Lolly Daskal for highly informative post!
    In the corporate sector, I work in different places and came through such leaders who create healthy relations but didn’t take full responsibilities. I love the way you write the post “the forgotten skills that will make you a better leader”. I read this sentence thrice: Power come to those who take on responsibility—not just for themselves but for others.
    Currently, I am running Riz & Mona business consultancy in Dubai and I will definitely implement all skills in myself. Keep the good work!
    cheers!!

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply