Before discussing what are the elements of “good leadership”, it is essential to make it clear what do leaders do. Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.[1] We can see that the leadership exists around us in the modern business management, the the classroom, in the court, the government, the armed forces, etc., it can be seen at all levels in various fields and it is in the core of every thing we do.

Leaders are the core of an organisation, the ability of a leader decides the survival and development of an organisation, therefore, one successful leader must have good grasp on leadership.

Despite the qualification requirements for management personnels of different industries, different companies and different positions are various, in the aspect of leadership, the qualification requirements are quite similar and have much in common, therefore, the “good leadership” can be summarized as the following factors.

I. Thinking and Imagination

1. Thinking:

The first element constitutes the good leadership is the ability of thinking. Different corporate strategies come from business leaders’ differences of thinking, such differences have a strong direct or indirect influence on leaders’ decision making. The ability of thinking can always be effective unknowingly, and gap among business leaders origins from their abilities of thinking, then leading to very different strategic consequences, the differences are enlarged continuously along with the development of the entreprises.

2. Imagination:

Good leaders can never loose the ability of imagination, moreover, it is not important that good leaders themselves have the ability of imagination, it is more essential that the leaders have the ability to introduce and encourage their staffs to learn and develop the ability of imagination. We can conclude that the leaders themselves should have dreams, and they should use their dreams to encourage their followers to imagine.

3. Creativity:

Most good leaders have ability of creativity, because without creativity the entreprise may be successful once but could never have the chance to develop and surpass the previous success. A major new study involving some 3,500 executives has highlighted the key skills that innovative and creative entrepreneurs need to develop, the six-year-long research into disruptive innovation by INSEAD professor Hal Gregersen, Jeffrey Dyer of Brigham Young Univeristy and Clayton Christensen of Harvard, outlines five skills that business leaders need for creativity and innovation, these five skills are associating, observing, experimenting, questioning and networking. [2] In many enterprises, creativity has become just a slogan, in fact, it is very difficult to practice creativity specifically.

II. Effective Management and Controlling

1. Good Management:

Many scholars in modern business and management believe that good leadership must include effective management, and good management should include some of the following skills and elements.

1. 1 Rational Skills:

It is a thinking ability which could analyze and judge the complex situation reasonably. This skill enables business leaders and managers to understand the truth of business matters and then make sensible choices.

1.2 Interpersonal Communication Skills:

This skill indicates the ability to work with other people, and to understand and inspire them. It is impossible for business leaders and managers to achieve targets alone, they have to rely on the members in the same group to complete their work together. Therefore, it is essential for good leadership to include the interpersonal communication skills for communicating and stimulating the co-workers.

1.3 Scientific Skills:

This refers to the capability to apply specialized skills or exceptional knowledge into work. For senior business leaders and managers, this skill requires them to understand the industry knowledge and enterprise management, as well as being familiar with their products; for leaders and managers in medium and low levels, this skill need them to grasp the relative knowledge with their vocational content, ie. basic knowledge of finance, manufacture, human resources management, informatics technology, etc.

1.4 Political Skills:

It is relative with increase in personal status, bases establishment of powers, as well as creating appropriate interpersonal relationships.

2. Controlling:

In 1916, Henri Fayol formulated one of the first definitions of control as it pertains to management: Control consists of verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the plan adopted, the instructions issued, and principles established. It’s object is to point out weaknesses and errors in order to rectify them and prevent recurrence.[3]

For business leaders, controlling mainly contains setting up standards, measuring the performance and correcting the deviations. Setting up standards is to determine the control object, control methods and setting the rules and standards needed; measuring the performance is to use the standards to measure business results and test the objectivity and effectiveness of the standards; correcting the deviations is to find the reason that causes the mistakes and select appropriate ways to modify it.

Controlling for a good leadership is very comprehensive, it is often reflected by the levels of leaders’ impaction on organisations and implementation of the strategy. Controlling is an art, it needs business leaders to practice it flexibly.