The Role of the Leader

Behind every successful business or organization you will likely find a great leader and taking on the role of leader means wearing many hats.  There are three critical components to being a successful leader.  Good leadership skills are not only gut feelings or high business acumen.   It is also knowing how to find and use appropriate tools where necessary.

Create a vision:  The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision.  We’ve all heard the saying “You must stand for something, or you’ll fall for everything.” But what does that really mean? Standing firm when it comes to your company’s policies and procedures is all well and good, but it doesn’t speak to having a vision.  Your role as a leader really starts with creating a vision…where are you going?  Where do you see the company getting to?  When do you see it arriving there?  What does it look like down the road?

Know your purposeA successful leader reasons and acts with organizational purpose firmly in mind. This provides focus and consistency.  However, you must know your purpose:  Why are you in business?  What made you get into this business?  What’s the point of your business?  Why is your company still in business…is it about money, creating jobs, some social good or a combination of multiple things?  Again ask yourself what’s your purpose and why are you in business?

Hire the right people:  A good leader knows that a high turnover makes the company weak from the inside.  If you want your business to profit, you need to hire people who will retire with you, or at least stay with you for many years.  This in turn, means you need to know how to assess people, therefore hiring should match your business needs. 

Hiring the right people and putting them in the right seats and at the same time making sure they are excited about what they do is a really important part that we sometimes skip. 

Once you have hired the right people they need to know what is expected of them and also how well they are performing their job against the standards or expectations that have been set for them.   Holding people accountable and enforcing the standards is a critical piece being a good place to work.

So what is the role of a leader?  One of the most important leadership challenges is to know what you stand for as well as what you won’t stand for and be able to communicate it to your team.

Set the vision, set the purpose, hire the right people, make sure that you hold your people accountable and enforce the standards.  This will help you distinguish your organization as a well-run company and provide true leadership to your team.

Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC, and author of “The 3×5 Coach: A Practical Guide to Coaching Your Team for Greater Results and Happier People”, which is available in Paperback or a Kindle version at

At 55 Questions, we work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition.  We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication, and accountability throughout their organization.

Follow Dave on LinkedIn