What makes a great leader?

Is it listening, confidence or kindness? Girls in guiding tell us what they think makes a great leader.

Daisy, Member communications team
21 February 2019

Looking to brush up your leadership skills or help girls develop theirs? Take a look at our list of the key ingredients that make a great leader - as suggested by Girlguiding members. The theme of this year's World Thinking Day, 22 February, is leadership. So there's no better time to take the lead.

They're passionate, positive and try their best

Passion, positivitity, creativity and trying your best were just some of things girls and volunteers said makes a great leader. Watch our video to see what else they said. 

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. - Oprah Winfrey

They’re a great listener

Great leaders have great listening skills. They listen to their team's ideas and concerns and help others make their own choices. Simple games like Simon Says can can help younger girls develop their listening skills.

If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk. - Robert Baden-Powell

They’re confident

Having the confidence to try new things, make decisions and put yourself out there is key to leadership. Give girls a confidence boost by asking them three things they’re good at - and share three yourself.  

We waste too much time being afraid, when what we should really fear is wasting time. - Dame Stephanie Shirley, businesswoman

They’re inspiring

Positive role models help to motivate and inspire us and show us what's possible. Who inspires you? Sharing some of your favourite women role models with girls can inspire them to lead. Take a look at our lists of 10 women who smashed the glass ceiling and 10 guiding role models if you're looking for starter suggestions. 

How important it is for us to recognise and celebrate our heroes and she-roes - Maya Angelou

They keep learning 

Great leaders keep learning and growing. They encourage their team to learn and grow too.

There's lots of opportunities for girls to grow in our new programme. Our Lead skills builder has fun activities for all sections to help your girls develop core leadership techniques.

Or if you're a volunteer keen to make the jump into a leader role, or a leader looking to brush up their skills, we’ve got lots of support for you! Start exploring our leadership learning opportunities

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. – Margaret Fuller, journalist and first full-time American female book reviewer

And, sometimes, they put others in the lead

Recognising your team's talents and skills, and giving them a chance to practice taking the lead, are hallmarks of a great leader. Why not put girls in the lead by challenging them to plan a unit meeting from start to finish? Or you could keep it simple by getting girls to run a game. Let us know the results by sharing with us on social media.  

People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together - Michelle Obama