The 15 Characteristics of a Successful Leader
What does it take to be a successful leader? We know that success leaves clues. Therefore, any manager learn the required skills. All of the information needed is available today. Failing as a leader is an excuse for not investing in the effort to learn to build a better team. However, the team must also learn how to work with an excellent leader as well. It’s different as you will see in the character traits.
The fastest way to become a good leader is to talk to, read about, and to be coached or trained by a successful leader. In addition, the next step is to “model” what good leaders do while you continue to learn to apply their behaviors, attitudes and strategies.
Certainly, it takes commitment and diligence to reach a higher standard. However, it is not something that can happen over a weekend. Furthermore, practice, trial and error, and repetition are the mother of learning. You have to ask yourself if you are up to the challenge.
We have worked with countless organizations to help drive results in sales, customer retention, and employee engagement. (this involves close to 500,000 managers) With the management teams we have achieved extraordinary results. Most importantly, the managers and their teams became the heroes. Subsequently, we identified fifteen traits of a successful leader.
7 Essential Character Traits of a Successful Leader
- Integrity – When manager’s were asked what the #1 characteristic they look for in a leader, integrity came up. It’s not surprising considering all of the high-profile leadership failures we have witnessed in the media.
- Knowledgeable – You have to be competent and a student of the game.
- Vision – Effective leaders need to be able to create exciting plans and goals that “charge up” their teams.
- Hard-working – Nothing of significant value is cheap. You have to go the extra mile to be a top-notch leader.
- Persistent – Excellent leaders have a determination to succeed and are relentless in their pursuit of their goals.
- People person – Most of the best leaders we have worked with are “people” oriented. They love to engage others, particularly in their teams and with their customers. They know as the supervisor, they have the single biggest impact on the performance of their employees.
- Good Listeners – Communication is crucial to leadership success, and listening is the skill of leverage. Why? Unfortunately, too many leaders want to dominate the conversations. Listen more and you learn more.
8 Other Critical Characteristics of a Successful Leader
- Belief – Without belief in what you are doing it’s almost impossible to win. Management champions believe in themselves, their teams, their company and its products.
- Courage – Be willing to do whatever it takes, taking calculated risks to exceed the objectives.
- Coach – There is no question, the best leaders become the best coaches and trainers. Coaching has become a lost art. Champions learn to do it well using a multi-disciplinary approach.
- Trainer – The single biggest impact on an employee’s performance is the direct supervisors-you. Developing people is a key to success. Superb leaders learn to train one on one and in a group.
- Accountability – Superstar leaders understand that the “buck stops here”. That is to say, they take sole responsibility for results.
- Lead by Example – You have to be willing to show others how to do it. Champions do what they ask their team to do and they have the humility to give the team credit.
- Collaboration – Work cultures today requires dynamic and positive relationships and teamwork within the team and with other departments.
- Execution – Leaders who “lead the pack” know that excellent execution of the plan often means the difference between winning and losing.
Leadership Skills Summary
How do you rate in these areas? What do you do well? What can you improve? While there are other qualities that matter, we have found that the above are common in a successful leader. The lesson, be a student of the game, keep learning and be open to feedback from others. Don’t take your capability lightly. Leaders with these fifteen traits help their people win. Get aggressive in becoming more effective. If you want your team to be better, must be a better leader.
In addition, do you want to benchmark your strengths with successful leaders? Go ahead and take this complimentary Superstar Leadership Assessment and action plan.
Finally, do you want to become a successful leader, see our Superstar Leadership eBook.