Stephen Newman’s Blog

In the ongoing storm, what’s the difference between an effective leader and a successful leader?

There is a tornado of change around us and the only way to survive this economy successfully is to lead your organisation effectively. Recently I’ve been thinking about what makes the difference between an effective leader and a successful one and if it’s possible to be one without the other…

Leadership was described by Martin Chemers, a Social Psychologist 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”. Yet true leadership is a quality that only a few people have. Often people can force others to accept their leadership through weakness, bullying or imposing change but that is not effective or good leadership.

Good leadership is the ability to inspire people to follow you through your ability to observe and encourage. One thing I’ve seen over the years is that not everyone is lucky enough to be born with the skills that go with effective leadership. Sometimes these attributes need to be learned.

Then, just as there are different ways of learning effective leadership skills, there are various ways of evaluating leadership qualities. Subjective measurements such as self-assessment, reaction, perception and satisfaction, simply cannot reliably measure learning. Don’t take my word for it – A Danish Consultancy I work with, recently ran  a survey to prove that if we use subjective criteria to measure learning, in 87% of the cases we will be wrong!

I believe in this ever changing world there are some new and smart  ways to be an effective leader. First build up processes to secure and improve learning outcome of learning activities. Secondly create a high impact learning sales organisation. That means ongoing training – because when you get to the top, you need to encourage others to do the same.

A ‘good’ leader exhibits all of the competencies and characteristics of leadership, while an ‘effective’ leader is someone who also gets results. Generally, good leaders deliver good results, yet the whirlwind of current market pressures is forcing good leaders who cannot always deliver the results to think again. When it comes to training and forming new leaders, it’s vital that you think about mapping your business needs and competence development. Your learning objectives, your development programmes and your questions should be true mirrors of each other.

Miller Heiman is, in my estimation, the most well known name in effective leadership sales training programmes. Research is conducted annually, continuously, and serves as the basis for all its updated solutions content and programmes. Unique in its approach to sales performance improvement,,  Miller Heiman gives us one of the longest ongoing studies of sales behaviour to reveal new trends. With this research we can understand the past a little better and get some idea of what the future may hold in store. We can use this knowledge in our workshops and consultancy to tackle ongoing climatic forces and lead organisations effectively to success.

Find out more about what sets an effective leader apart from a successful one, talk to Stephen Newman on: Telephone: +44 (0)1923 818 967 email: or visit:

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