What Makes a Great Senior Leader?

Effective leaders are the driving force behind successful teams. They’re the visionaries that motivate and inspire other staff members to accomplish incredible things. Leaders can also be the innovators that place their companies on the cutting edge of the membership organisation environment.  

In the past, we’ve discussed what makes a great head of membership or marketing. However, phenomenal senior leaders can come with any title, from Head of Public Affairs to Global Membership Director and more. These people deliver incredible results wherever they are.  

At Membership Bespoke, we’re not just specialists in finding membership group talent; we also have an impressive track record for placing leadership candidates. Over the years, we’ve learned what it takes to make a fantastic leader. Here are the qualities worth looking for 


1. Strategic Planning Skills 



Whether you’re the Head of Marketing, looking into a new campaign, or you’re responsible for onboarding new members, strategy is essential. People look to those in leadership positions for guidance and inspiration in transformational times. As such, it’s essential for leaders to be both innovative, and meticulous in their work.  

The best leaders don’t just jump into new methodologies and strategies because it’s what your competitors are doing. They study the goals of your organisation and think carefully about how each possibility might deliver the best results. Effective senior leaders are: 

  • Naturally curious and informed about your brand and the broader membership environment  
  • Flexible and willing to try new ideas and approaches  
  • Aware of the bigger picture and focused on the future


2. Excellent Communication & Collaboration

Amazing senior leaders know how to take the initiative and take charge of their own careers. However, that doesn’t mean that they have to be a lone wolf. People who take a collaborative approach to leadership are compelling. They create transparency in your group that develops feelings of trust among your team.  

Collaborative leaders also have excellent communication skills. They know when to listen and when to talk. What’s more, they can speak a number of different languagesAn amazing senior leader will understand how to talk to everyone from your senior stakeholders, to your members, leadership colleagues, and employees alike.  

Great leaders can communicate easily on all levels, conveying complex information in concise format, whether it’s in group meetings, one-on-one conversations, or even over email.  


3. Commitment to Their Teams  



Exceptional leaders know that they’re nothing without their teams. With a high-performing team at their side, department heads and managers are capable of practically anything. This means that it’s in any leader’s best interests to invest in the development and motivation of their employees.  

Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why” suggests that leaders have the power to solve many of the common problems in the work environment. If your membership organisation suffers with employee engagement, leaders can address the issue by making people feel as though they’re appreciated and respected at work.  

Similarly, if you’re struggling with innovation, a productive senior leader can motivate and inspire employees, giving them the freedom to speak their mind and even make mistakes. A transformative leader is often someone who will go above and beyond to help their team grow.  


4. Accountability and Responsibility

Giving someone in your membership organisation power doesn’t necessarily make them a great leader. The best employees are those who know how to use their power effectively, with commitment, dedication, and accountability.  

Exceptional leaders always hold themselves accountable for their own outcomes, and they expect other people to do the same. These are the people that often set the standards for an entire group in your membership group. They’re where people will look for guidance on what to do and how to act.  

Make sure that any senior leader in your team appreciates the importance of your structures and values. However, be wary of anyone that’s too obsessed with the rules. Great leaders must be careful not to stifle individuality in the workplace.  


5. Vision and Positivity



Often, incredible leaders are highly effective at looking into the future of their membership organisation and setting clear goals for their team. They’re both confident about the directions that they choose and optimistic. After all, a positive attitude is often contagious in the workplace. Happy and positive leaders generally lead to enthusiastic and excited employees.  

Being a visionary in any workplace means knowing how to walk the line between growth and stability. Leaders need to incorporate new ideas and approaches, without getting too distracted from the primary goals of the company.  

Additionally, visionary leaders must understand that change is continually happening in their industry. This means that they’re agile and adaptable. They’re not afraid of implementing new concepts as their business model changes over time. 


6. Relationship Building Skills

Finally, many of the most compelling leaders do a lot more than simply inspiring other people to follow their lead. These people can help employees to commit to company goals whole-heartedly. Employees that feel like they make a real difference in your membership organisation are more likely to stick around for the long-term 

Strong senior leaders know how to build crucial relationships with everyone from fellow staff members, to the stakeholders that keep your group running smoothly. They also understand the value of effective networking to advance their careers 

Through a vast and varied network of leaders, customers, clients, partners and more, leaders are constantly growing and evolving.  

About Us 

The membershipbespoke group remains the only specialist recruitment organisation in the UK, which offers a dedicated service tailored to the needs of Trade Associations, Unions, Professional and Regulatory Bodies. 

We use our considerable expertise in successfully recruiting for positions across every department within a membership context. To find out more call us on 0203 4403653 or email us here. 

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