What Makes A Great Leader?

What makes a great leader?

There are many answers to the question above.  In this present world, some see a great leader as someone who is divisive and is lacking in having a moral compass and intelligence.  Actually, maybe there have been some who have believed that throughout all time.

As I write this, the CEO of Optus, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, has resigned.  In her short tenure as CEO, there have been two major issues.  In September last year there was the cyber attack on the personal identification documents of a couple of million Optus customers.  Two weeks ago, of course, there was the nationwide outage.

Rosmarin’s response to the outage was quick and straight to the point.  There would be no compensation for customers, especially business customers.  Oh, but let us give you some extra data.  For someone like me that is no compensation at all because I won’t use it.  During the cyber attack debacle, Rosmarin did not fill me with confidence in her handling of that issue.

It bears pointing out, Rosmarin was appointed Optus’ deputy CEO in 2019 and became CEO just over a year later.  Was she really ready?

Whilst I was reading this announcement, I then see the news of the passing of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of President Jimmy Carter.  There would be some who would say Jimmy Carter was not a great President.  I was a child during his Presidency and the impression that stayed with me was that he looked like a nice man.  Maybe that worked against him.  He made a lot of decisions with his heart.  People were more important to him than other things.  Including his own presidency.

However, part of the legacy of President Carter is the role Rosalynn played.  He recognised where she was stronger than him in certain areas and relied on her advice and contribution.  Rosalynn became a leader in her own right especially in the area of mental health.  Together they created the Carter Centre which improves the lives of people across the world including in the area of mental health.

I wonder if Rosmarin had someone she could lean on in the areas which weren’t her strengths?  If she did, did she listen?  Great leaders don’t have all the answers but they do have the right people in the room to ensure the best outcome is achieved.  To do that you need self-awareness and must be courageous and open.

Are you a great leader?  Do you want to be a great leader?

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