What makes a good leader--specifically of small groups?
- A listener. Being tuned in to your group's ideas is smart. Often a synergy will form--maybe not with the group as a whole if it's larger, but often with a core group of people, where their ideas feed each other's and the compilation is better than just one person's ideas. There needs to be a leader who will listen to the ideas, suggestions, and preferences, put them together, boil them down and say "Okay, this is what we're going to do.".
- Accepting the buck. A leader, even of a small group must be able to say, "This is where the buck stops."
- A decision maker. If no decision is made, the group stalls out. If there are five variations of the decision, the group and its efforts are splintered.
- A clear leader or nucleus lead team. Otherwise there's confusion and distrust. If the nucleus lead team isn't 100% on the same page, friction and division will develop almost immediately. There is much to be said for united fronts.
These things seem to be necessary even in small groups where things are run, for the most part, democratically. Often the person the group members look to is the founder, the person whose idea it was to start the group. When they don't step to the plate the group often stalls, stagnates, or splinters. It's not pretty to see happen and isn't fun to be a part of.
So tell me, what are some other things you've noticed a leader of small groups needs to do?