Jason Sandler's Tips on Leadership

Great Leadership Characteristics
Difference Between a Leader and a Manager
Leadership Styles
Chasm Between Smart and Street Smart
Autocratic Leader
Toxic Leader
Democratic Leader



As a person living in South Africa I can't ignore all that’s happening around us. Take a look at our government and what has transpired there over the last week for example.

Have you ever stopped for a moment and asked yourself what leadership lessons we could learn from some of our leaders?

Well I have, and here are some of what I've discovered.

• There is a huge chasm between smart and street smart. Street smart can often be cloaked in a guise of manipulation whether its people or a system, the play on words, the choice to "dumb yourself down", choosing to use language or cultural differences to justify choices you've made.

• Greed will far to often over shadow compassion and a sense of what’s right. To many people do what is going to benefit them and don't mind crushing others in the process. Many of our leaders are sadly teaching our society that it’s all about being self-centred.

• People will do what they are told because they have been threatened rather than what they know is right and just. Many of our leaders know what they are doing and voting for is wrong, some have even agreed that it is, however out of fear of a repercussion they follow the leader.

All this has made me look at what are great leadership characteristics that we need to have.

The one that stands out head and shoulders above the rest is a sense of fairness and being just.

Over the next few weeks i will unpack traits to embrace to be that better leader yourself.

I want to thank these "leaders" that we have, thank them for showing us what not to do if i want to be an effective leader.

Till next time, keep growing,


It is only small-minded people who think that if they are to be a leader it means that they need to be the "boss".

It amazes me how many people do not understand the huge difference between a leader and a manager!

A leader does not need to have a title. Being a leader is a mind-set, an attitude.

In my personal life, one of the best leaders I've worked with was Daniel A.

He used his wisdom and his personality to get people to do what was right.

Sometimes it was right for the business and other times for the individual.

The best way to know if someone is an amazing leader is simply to ask yourself "would I choose to want to work with this person because of how they make me feel?"

With many leadership styles I’ve decided to just take a glimpse of the four that I feel are the most common in society.

You may recognize yourself or someone you work with in these, and that is ok.

Today we will look at an Autocratic Leader – I believe that it is quite contradictory to call someone a Autocratic Leader. As the name implies, it is someone who is not interested in other peoples wellbeing. They are all about “There are two ways we can do something, my way or the wrong way!” They will listen, occasionally, to what others have to say, and then either ignore it or twist it around to make it come across as their own idea.

They keep all credit for themselves, but are very quick to find a scapegoat if things are going wrong. They are not a true leader, and in my opinion the contradiction is that they should be called a manager rather.

Next time I will cover the other three types.

Till then, keep looking towards the positive in your life.


In my last Top Tips, I spoke about an Autocratic Leader, quite a few people made comments how that was the worst type of leader you could get.

Those people are probably lucky that they have never had a Toxic Leader to work under!

If we look at the two opposite ends of the continuum, you have a Toxic Leader on one end and a Democratic Leader on the other.

The Democratic Leader is what I would consider the most successful leadership style. This is the type of person who is open to not only listen to what every member of the team has to say and welcomes contributions from all, this leader will also have enough of a sense of self to put someone else into the limelight, be willing to acknowledge all who have contributed. When you work within this leadership style it does not matter what your actual position within the company is, you feel as if you are an important cog in the mechanism of the business and deeply appreciated.

Let’s slide down the slippery slope to the dark side of leadership now. The Toxic Leader.

This type of leader is normally a person who has a low opinion of themselves and therefore has an overwhelming need to pull themselves up not by bettering themselves rather by chopping others down.

This leadership style will always destroy and annihilate others ideas and contributions. Making others feel stupid and useless. So often this leadership style leads to extremely high staff turnover and very demoralised staff.

Just imagine, every idea or concept you mention is considered "stupid, rubbish, a waste of time".

A toxic leader loves to "break" people as they are simply too lazy to work on themselves.

My question to you is what can you do to be the best Democratic Leader you can be? 

Till then, keep looking towards the positive in your life


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