What’s the main thing you need to be an outstanding leader?

One of the most common questions I am asked when people find out I am an executive coach is, “What’s the main thing you need to be an outstanding leader?” 

My answer is outstanding leaders know how to connect with people and get the best from them. It is not about making everyone happy, but it is about ensuring they are engaged. The research shows leaders who connect with people achieve greater employee engagement and that business results follow.

Gallup’s employee engagement meta-analysis examined decades of data from over 2M employees and over 100,000 teams to evaluate the connection between employee engagement and 11 key business outcomes.

They found engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees do — across industries, company sizes and nationalities, and in good economic times and bad.

The Gallup research shows business units that score in the top quartile of their organisation in employee engagement have nearly double the odds of success when compared with those in the bottom quartile.

Gallup concludes that for leaders, this means a culture of engagement is no longer an option — it is an urgent need. 

This ability to engage employees will be even more important in a hybrid model of working. 

Gallup proposes three critical actions managers can take to engage employees:

✅ Focus me

Work with me to establish mutual expectations and priorities.

 ✅ Free me from unnecessary stress

Help me get the resources I need and remove barriers for me.

 ✅ Help me feel valued and supported

Ask my opinion, recognise my contribution, and genuinely care about me.

🙋 How do leaders achieve greater employee engagement in your experience? 🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian