Leadership and its qualities are often a confusing and complex issue – the various attributes that make people good leaders are often lost on those who want to be them, leaving many in the dust while others succeed. In the Forbes articles “Why You’re Not a Leader,” “5 Transitions Great Leaders Make That Average Leaders Don’t” and “The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day”, these make-or-break attitudes are illustrated and discussed, cementing a transformational leadership style as far preferable to a transactional leadership style. Both Myatt and Llopis’ articles extol the virtues of open communication, trust and decisiveness as positive attributes of leadership, while downplaying selfishness and blind ambition as virtues.
Myatt expounds on his perspectives on “Why You’re Not a Leader” in “5 Transitions Great Leaders Make That Average Leaders Don’t”; in the former, Myatt points out common mistakes that poor leaders make, like a lack of performance, ethically gray strategies and a lack of care for one’s employees. After telling the reader why they’re not a great leader, his latter article expounds on what it would take to become one; this includes finding purpose, putting people first, forming awareness, getting personal with their relationships, and avoiding complexity (Myatt, 2013). Both articles seem to be meant to be read in conjunction with one another; he ends both with the one-word question “Thoughts?”, as if to invite discussion and engagement with the reader. That being said, the purpose of the articles seems to be two-fold; the first one is meant to shame you into recognizing what you are doing wrong (focusing on yourself instead of your colleagues and businesses, not cultivating relationships and innovating), and the other is meant to tell you how you can shake these mistakes by transitioning into better, and more transformational, leadership habits.
Myatt’s article about transitions goes hand in hand with Llopis’ “The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day.” Both demonstrate a systematic, transformational change in leadership styles through incremental changes that are fundamentally rooted in forming a reliable, strong and communicative team with a decisive leader at the helm. Myatt tells the reader that “leaders are nothing without people,” and Llopis expounds on that by telling people to “provide continuous feedback,” “be a great teacher” and have “positive energy & attitude” toward your team members (Myatt, 2013; Llopis, 2013). Both work in varying degrees of complexity, but Myatt’s and Llopis’ articles both discuss ways readers can turn from transactional, functional leaders to aspirational and productive transformational leaders.
Given the central ideas behind all of these sources, a greater trend can be seen in the overall tenor of Myatt’s and Llopis’ thinking. In essence, leaders must be able to inspire, while also being decisive; they treat their employees like valuable resources they must cultivate and care for, while also not being shy of making the tough decisions when they really count. By providing emotional and occupational support for your team members, you can benefit the most from their skills and ability to communicate. In the meantime, leaders must also be able to maintain close bonds and create a sense of investment on the part of their team members; transformational leadership is able to create such positive outcomes because it makes team members want to please their leader. This motivates them to do well, and to work as hard as they can to provide a strong team effort that everyone involved can be proud of. Leaders focus on the welfare of their teammates before themselves; the results will take care of them in the long run.
As previously mentioned, these articles deal primarily with the preference of the authors towards transformational leadership as opposed to transactional leadership. Transactional leadership is implied to be the reason that you’re “not a good leader,” as Myatt would say (2013). By treating business and management like a series of transactions, leaders fail to value the people who help them make decisions, and prevent themselves from thinking outside the box enough to take advantage of their full resources. This is a very uncaring, unfeeling way to go about doing business, according to the authors; what is preferred is a system of leadership that retains talent and cultivates outside-the-box thinking. Transformational leaders are at the behest of the team’s needs, rather than their own; they care about their employees, they keep promises, and they get results, just as Myatt implies (2013).
All three articles take the exact same approach, which is that transformational leaders are doing great work, while transactional leaders suffer by not adopting these principles. By being open, honest, encouraging and communicative, transformational leaders can inspire confidence, motivation and inspiration in their employees, permitting them to get the best results possible out of their people. They form relationships with those they work with, which is exactly what these authors stress. Placing oneself at a distance only serves to make you a poor leader, which Myatt and Llopis wish to minimize by offering the virtues of decisiveness, communication and openness.
Llopis, Glenn. “The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day.” Forbes.
Myatt, Mike. “Why You’re Not a Leader?” Forbes. Jan 23, 2013.
Myatt, Mike. “5 Transitions Great Leaders Make That Average Leaders Don’t.” Forbes. June