What really makes a leader? This might come as a surprise...


Here's one of the 'secrets' on what it really takes to be a leader! This is applicable across any organisation, whether it’s in a blue chip multinational organisation, an owner-managed small business, a government department or agency, a local authority or even a not-for-profit organisation.

Some people are natural born leaders just as some people are natural musicians, artists or athletes but true leadership is shaped, refined and developed on an ongoing basis even for those people who find that they are naturally gifted with leadership characteristics from an early age.  During my career progression as a professional management consultant with an international client base I have had the honour and privilege of meeting leaders across many organisations and here’s one of the common traits evident in particularly effective leaders that I have met might surprise you.... HUMILITY!

 Humility emerged as one of the key characteristics amongst many of the effective leaders that I have met during the course of my career.  Humility can be characterised by a number of component attributes which include: 

  • a desire to serve others;
  • a self-depreciating sense of humour;
  • being prepared to learn from others;
  • willingness to admit mistakes and implement the suggestions of others where there is merit in doing so;
  • ensuring that credit is given where credit is due;
  • celebrating the success of others and not wanting to “hog the limelight”;
  • demonstrating a sense of empathy towards others;
  • listening to their concerns and showing sensitivity to their needs and feelings.

These are only a few of the attributes and behaviours demonstrated by individuals who are considered to be the most effective leaders in their organisations by both the hierarchy and by people at all levels.

If humility in a leader is something that you’re struggling to come to terms with think of someone who you have worked for or reported to during the course of your career progression to date that you particularly admire, respect and would “go the extra mile for”.  Did or do they display the above typical attributes of humility? 

Enough said!


How Dentists took their practices to the next level...

The dental practices that have been most successful in responding effectively to changing and challenging market conditions have demonstrated effective leaders across all levels of the organisation. 



Leadership at all levels is characterised by individuals, not necessarily Practice Owners or Managers, taking lead roles and implementing innovative approaches that have helped to deliver improved business results. 

We found the leadership roles undertaken by frontline staff at some of the dental practices we worked with recently particularly inspiring... what some of the teams have achieved has been awesome!   

Dental nurses and administrative assistants took the lead roles in successfully delivering ‘improvement projects’ linked to cost saving initiatives, process improvements, increased customer satisfaction and the introduction of new services and products. 

Check out the following podcast to get the 'insider secrets' from one of the practice owners who recently completed our Business+ programme!

Thanks to Claire McMullan from Dental 32 and Philip Burns from Monkstown Dental for sharing!

Practically Applying Leadership


There are many classic definitions of leadership and many views on what it means to be an effective leader in a business setting.

The team at Next Level Impact tend to think of true leadership as the ability to unleash the potential of others.

If a leader is focused upon “unleashing potential” that naturally creates the “can do” attitude that results in the empowerment of self. This in turn naturally leads to individuals across all levels positively believing that they really can make a difference and that their input and efforts will result in positive outcomes for both themselves and their organisation.

Our team have encountered many organisations that haven’t embraced the concept of “unleashing potential” at all levels. Within these organisations the attitude of mind generally exists that the company is a victim of circumstance and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

Where this attitude of mind is evident amongst the supposed leaders of an organisation it permeates in a very tangible way across all areas and ultimately produces negativity, loss of morale and a general feeling of helplessness. The organisation indeed becomes a victim of circumstance and battens down the hatches in order to await circumstantial change and hopefully a positive future.

This is completely in contrast to organisations that have thrived during the recession. In such organisations leadership has been typified by an abundance mindset focused upon encouraging ownership, responsibility and empowerment across all levels together with a flexible and responsive attitude to change.


Here's a pretty cool video that takes the concept a bit further...