The traits of a successful leader
I’m sure we all have our own idea as to what makes a successful leader, based either on our own experiences or observations, or how we think we act or would wish to be perceived.
A successful leader will undoubtedly be passionate, innovative and demanding. They should also be caring. They will care not only about their customers and for their business, products and services but will also care about their staff; the people that make their vision reality.
Arguably, most will display a majority of the following traits.
1. They surround themselves with talent. Successful people recognise that they cannot do it by themselves. They may be the visionary, the one with the great ideas, but they need talented people to ensure their ideas become reality.
2. They delegate. They also recognise they cannot control everything themselves, so they put their focus on what they do best and delegate appropriately. Most importantly, they delegate to those that have specific skills and, critically, their interests at heart.
3. They demand accountability. A successful leader will ensure someone has responsibility for a task and then hold them accountable.
4. They understand the power of ‘thank you’. An understanding leader appreciates that a simple ‘thank you’ goes a very long way. Successful companies aren’t successful by accident. They are demanding and ultimately retain talent by keeping people inspired by an emotional connection. Great leaders know how to sustain that. There is nothing more demoralising than a lack of recognition for a job well done and nothing more certain to make that individual think twice before they go above and beyond on the next occasion, than a lack of appreciation.
5. They inspire others. Motivating leaders have absolute belief in themselves, their company, their products, regardless of the challenges that arise. At times, their passion can be viewed as delusional but they recognise the essential point which is that a team needs the vision and confidence of a great leader.
6. They are engaged. Great leaders value their time and that of others, to everyone’s benefit. They expect structure to meetings, substance to discussions, and don’t waste time. In return, you get their complete attention. They are present and engaged and won’t allow external factors to distract them.
7. They seek positivity. Passionate leaders are inherently optimistic. Anything is possible and they want to be surrounded with like-minded people that keep them inspired. They will become frustrated when they encounter a roadblock or a wave of negativity. They have no time for pessimism; failure is not a word or concept they understand. Roadblocks get run over and negativity dismissed out of hand.
Doubtless very few leaders demonstrate all these traits but they are certain to demonstrate some.
What other traits should a great leader demonstrate that I haven’t mentioned? We’d like to hear your thoughts.
Posted by Martin Arnold on June 12, 2012 | Comments Off