A good leader does more than lead, guide, and direct other people. He first learns to be an astute protégé as he is mentored, led, guided, and directed by people who are more knowledgeable and experienced than himself. Therefore, before he can become a good leader, he must first be willing to be teachable, learn how to be a humble follower, and be willing to accept direction from those who have blazed the trail before him and are able to lead, guide, and direct him into becoming a successful leader.
A good leader is not an autocrat. He does not merely give commands to his team members and expect them to produce miraculous results, but he himself is a mentor who takes the time to instruct his people as to what is expected of them in order to accomplish a given task, thereby having some assurance that the end result will meet the desired expectations. He does not dump (“fire hose”) tasking on his followers, but doles out tasks only as fast as his team members can accomplish them successfully, insulating them from the pressures of higher authority and enabling them to take satisfaction in work well done.
A good leader is not a one man basketball team who basks in the glory of scoring all of the game points himself, but he is a team player and knows when to pass the ball to some of the other key players on the team, thus getting all of the players actively involved, hence allowing them to also be an integral part of the game.
A good leader does not delegate all of his responsibilities to someone else to have to shoulder the burden of getting things done, but he learns to accept responsibility for the tasks that he has been given, and he also accepts the fact that along with that responsibility comes a certain amount of accountability which he cannot easily delegate to another. He delegates only those parts of the tasks that need to be delegated to others, while at the same time maintaining an active participation in any ongoing projects to ensure that all tasks are completed with accuracy and precision, and all deadlines are met according to schedule.
A good leader is a people person and always keeps the best interest of his team at the forefront. He realizes that the overall true success of the team depends not only on himself, but on every team player getting their head in the game and burdening their fair share of the work load. As the leader he realizes that his position does not dictate that he is to lord it over his team members, but he understands that those team members are fellow human beings, and they deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and self-worth. He learns that he is not above or better than anyone else and no one is beneath his feet, or of a lower standing as a human being than himself. He also learns that any respect that he is favored is always earned, never demanded, and is a reciprocal of the loyalty, trust, and respect that he shows towards the people whom he leads. He praises his people publicly, and any correction that is needed is always done in private.
At the end of the day, a good leader should be able to rest comfortably at night knowing that he not only did a good job at leading his team, but he also treated each of his team members with dignity, respect, and as persons of self-worth. He was also willing to be teachable and was indeed taught by and learned from his team members how to hone his leadership skills in order to become an even better and more effective leader.