What should a great leader NOT do? I get asked this question quite regularly by the respective individuals and teams I work with.

However, rather than focus on what a great leader should not do, I think it is much easier to point out some of the key things a great leader SHOULD do.

It is also a much more positive approach.

Naturally, the opposite of these key areas will obviously be what a great leader should NOT do.

Make sense??

Each of the key areas that a great leader should focus on revolve around the leader having a good attitude.

Let’s look at some of these key areas right now.

What Should a Great Leader Not Do?

Great Leaders Give Praise and Honest Appreciation

Great leaders recognise good work when they see it and will take the time to show their sincere thanks and gratitude to the person or team involved.

They understand that nothing motivates others more than the feeling of being appreciated.

They Call Attention to People’s Mistakes Indirectly

A great leader will never chastise someone for making an error in front of their peers.

They will take them aside and privately discuss what has been done well, and where improvements can be made.

Talk About Their Own Mistakes Before Criticising Others

Great leaders understand that they are not fallible.

They also understand that most people feel uncomfortable and embarrassed when they are criticised or have their failures pointed out.

By pointing out their own mistakes first, great leaders show their team that they are indeed human.

They Ask Questions Instead of Giving Direct Orders

Great leaders acknowledge that they do not know everything.

They do not want to be the smartest person in the room.

By asking the right questions of their team instead of barking orders, a great leader understands that they have a much better chance of achieving the right outcome.

Great Leaders Look at the Other Person Face to Face

They do not spend their time looking at their phone or around the room when they are talking with someone. They put their full focus into the conversation. And that means looking at the individual they are speaking to.

This is a simple case of showing respect to the other person.

Enough said.

What Should a Great Leader Not Do?

Praise the Slightest Improvement and All Improvements

Great leaders recognise that even the slightest praise or encouragement to an individual or a team will be repaid in spades.

It helps to build confidence within the individual or team.

With confidence comes greater output and a willingness to improve further.

Give the Other Person a Fine Reputation to Live Up To

Great leaders know that one of the pillars of having followers is the ability to build “Big People” or growing the next generation of leaders.

They encourage the personal development of their team and provide the environment to do so.

Be a Positive Influence on Their Followers

Just like I switched the negative connotation of “What Should a Great Leader NOT Do” at the start of this blog to focus on what a great leader should do, a great leader will watch what they say and the words they use to ensure that they are a positive influence on their team.

Great leaders will also make sure that their positive words are matched by their equally positive actions.


So, when looking at the question “What Should a Good Leader NOT Do?”, it is easy to see that there is more benefit in focusing on the good things they do, as opposed to the things they shouldn’t do.

As a leader yourself, if you take nothing else from this blog except for recognizing the importance of using positive communication, then you will be well on your way to being a great leader.

What Should a Great Leader Not Do?