There are no perfect or books of instruction for every single situation that a leader faces. Many articles and books have been written on the subject and are a wonderful resource to learn from others. In my experience, the books I know of, have read, or even seen, mostly contain experiences and lessons that the authors have learned in their own lives.

The calling to be a leader, especially in corporate, is often after an interview to determine the individual’s qualifications, experience, and best fit for the organisation’s culture. This is a best and good practice, especially for people applying outside of the company. Determining who is going to be the best leader is often fraught with human error, yet still at best, determined by someone’s perceived character traits and personality.

Being a good leader then is determined by the person themselves, it’s a personal transformation that occurs within and usually is something developed over time. The best way to determine if you are a good leader is to find out from those you lead.

When asking others to determine how good a leader you are, observing their reactions and how they treat others is the key to their response.

Standing up and championing the organisation’s values is both essential for unity and essential for your own life.

Those who live the high standards that they advocate for others need to live it within themselves. Leadership starts in the home with your partner and children (if you have a partner and children), as this is where the greatest challenges and victories are won.

Practising at home in partnerships is where the greatest lessons are learnt in working with others, as home leadership lasts longer than any other, even for those who are single.

No manual can teach one the absolute perfect skills and traits of a perfect leader, as perfect leadership is working with and successfully championing oneself along with a great diversity of people that we live and associate with every single day. How we treat, respect and navigate through these diversities is a measure of leadership – whether good or bad. We have to learn and improve with each day and not treat everyone exactly the same, but also bear in mind the collective journey of our organisation or family in the process. The journey is perilous, but all must navigate it, whether for an hour, a day or threescore and seven – all are leaders of their own journey.

Kevin Farquharson