We’ve been swept away with election fever this week as the citizens of South Africa cast their votes to elect the country’s leaders. Most importantly, it’s reminded us that whether you are the leader of the country, a political party, a multinational, a family business or a department within a company, there are certain qualities and characteristics that leaders need to display.

We call these the 11Cs of Captaincy.


Firstly, leaders need to earn and maintain authority and respect. Do people sit up and take notice of what you have to say? Do you have an awareness and finger on the pulse of the business and the job at hand?


Is your behaviour, performance and delivery predictable and consistent with your values and standards, or do you blow hot and cold?


Leading businesses and their owners have a culture and values that all employees subscribe to, and clients and suppliers relate to.


Remember, communication is the response you get. Leaders get results by communicating clearly, effectively, honestly and openly with their teams and customers.

Common goals:

Success happens when everyone is on the same page. Leaders are responsible for ensuring everyone in the business has a common vision they are working towards.


Leading employees and businesses are reliable, passionate and deliver what they promise by prioritising effectively.

Crew selection:

Great leaders put the right team together with complementary skills to support each other to deliver on the vision and goals of the company.


Leaders are aware that you can’t do it on your own. They are open and receptive to others’ ideas and are willing to assist others who may need their help.

Career management:

Effective leaders have a plan for their own careers and the people within their business to ensure individual and business growth.


Leaders have those difficult conversations, take risks, admit mistakes and step out of their comfort zone to achieve more than they previously thought possible.


This is about taking responsibility and accountability for actions and behaviour – when things go wrong, and when things go right.

Whether you apply these criteria to your business, to your career role or your personal relationships, these 11 criteria are values that everyone in a leadership role can strive for.

Would you vote for yourself as the leader of your business? If you or your leadership team is lacking in any area, I can help you.

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