Originally Posted by motorman587
What make a good leader?? Rank and or their postions or is it the person who has earned their subordinate's respect?
For me, it's always been about earning my respect (that is, me as the leader's subordinate).
I highly recommend Gen. Schwarzkopf's autobiography that came out after he retired -- "It Doesn't Take A Hero". Don't be fooled by the title - he's not calling himself a hero; read the book and he explains it.
In the book, Schwarzkopf discusses his entire career, along the way pointing out ineffective leaders and effective leaders. He describes, for example, a senior CO in Vietnam who slept in pajamas... in a tent... with an aide outside the door, all while his troops slept in their dirty combat gear under their parkas.
After 30 years in Cubicle World I just shake my head every time I hear "command center", "war room", "leadership team", "senior leaders", "all hands on deck" and other military-esque references to managers, VPs, and team meetings, etc. In my humble opinion these folks have no idea what it means to be a leader
, and very few of them are good ones. Some of them have been good managers
(and a couple have been real AHs), but most aren't good leaders. I have to resist the urge to say "Sorry guys, calling yourself a leader doesn't mean you are one."
I am happy when I work for a good manager but I can only think of 2 who were leaders.
My short answer is: I think a good leader has to earn the respect of his/her subordinates by example
. There is also an element of something else -- call it nature, temperament, DNA, or whatever, but a good leader has something that not everyone else has. He knows how to use it for good, and to accomplish things - whether in the office or on the battlefield.