An influential leader is the best way to get the best people to do their best work

BY Jillian Dabbs, (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Behavioural Specialist, Workpoints

Leadership is arguably the most important aspect of any organisation. It’s almost as though an entire organisation takes on the personalities of their leaders. Therefore, leadership has the ability to shape a positive, negative, successful, playful, hardworking etc. environment and ultimately how a leader influences their employees can be instrumental in the creation of an organisation’s culture.

To add to this, attracting, cultivating and retaining talented people is the indispensable ingredient that drives the ideas, products and growth of all companies. Why leadership is so important when it comes to this, is because an influential leader is the best way to get the best people to do their best work. Better leaders develop better employees and both, together, develop better products or services.

Now while leading people may seem to come more naturally to some than others – it is always a journey fraught with constant challenge and surprise and therefore requires continuous improvement, self-management, development, constant reconnection and of course, communication.

We, here at Workpoints, have highlighted a few pointers that will assist in the constant journey of becoming a better leader.

Have a peek:

Emotional Maturity

There is no doubt that emotional maturity is a vital aspect in being or becoming a better leader. This means that an individual needs to be in tune with their emotions, needs to know how to relate to others and importantly, needs to accept criticism. An inevitable part of participation and discussion between leaders and followers. Another key aspect of being an emotionally mature leader means knowing that you do not know everything about everything - and that you don't need to. An emotional mature leader focuses on enhancing the knowledge and strengths of their team so that they will excel in any situation.


Recent increases in global competition, especially in core industries in Europe, the USA and Japan have introduced some new issues for leaders. For organisations to maintain their vitality, their productivity and their competitive edge requires leaders who are healthy, strong and capable. This means that an effective leader needs to keep their mental and physical health in check by maintaining a satisfactory balance between work, exercise, family and relaxation time.

Mental Models

A mental model is an explanation of someone’s thought process about how something works in the real world. Often mental models are formed by the experiences an individual is exposed to during the early stages of life. These models then continue to shape how that individual sees the world, makes decisions and relates to others. A good leader is able to reshape his or her mental models or view the world through others’ models or ways of seeing the world.


Shifting from size-matters to ambiguity-matters development requires rethinking other key assumptions. Most companies, for example, look to what a leader has achieved to assess their performance. But in ambiguous circumstances with uncertain outcomes, you need to look at how a leader has acted. Sometimes you can do everything right and forces beyond your control lead to “failure”. Therefore, a leader needs to understand the fast-changing pace of the work world and be prepared for pretty much anything.


It has been found that when organisational leaders know and act upon their true values, beliefs, and strengths, while helping others to do the same, higher levels of employees’ well-being will accrue, which in turn have been shown to positively impact follower performance. Therefore, potential and current leaders need to ensure that when leading others they remain true to themselves and what they stand for.


And lastly, as stated previously, being an effective leader is no plain sailing – it will be a journey fraught with constant challenge and surprise and therefore requires continuous improvement, self-management and self-development. If a leader is to become complacent, he or she might not be as an effective leader as he or she may have originally thought.

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