Studying the characteristics of great leaders is useful because it allows us to define the traits that contribute to a leader’s success. There are several leadership styles and there is not one style that is better than another. However, in studying the qualities of successful leaders, patterns start to emerge.
Think back to leaders that you have worked with in the past. If you had to define what made them successful, chances are they would will exhibit similar traits. Brian Tracy shared in his blog, an Infographic displaying 7 qualities exhibited by great leaders.
Whether you are working on your own personal leadership development or looking to hire a new leader in your organization, look for the following traits.
7 Important Qualities of Successful Leaders
The difference between a manager and a leader is that a leader has an ability to inspire. One effective way to inspire is to have a clear vision of where the company is going. If a team believes their efforts are contributing to the overall goal, they will be more committed to helping the company achieve its goals.
No matter which marketplace you are in, you will probably be faced with many obstacles. Whether it is from your competition or the economy, a successful leader needs courage. Despite the risks, they continue forward towards the vision although they have no assurance of success. There is no certainty in business, but one thing is for sure, without taking action, there is no advancement.
“With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.” – Zig Ziglar
A team who believes in their leader’s integrity is a team that unites and stays engaged. Truthfulness is the foundation of the trust that is necessary for the success of any business.
“The more you can contain your ego, the more realistic you are about your problems. You learn how to listen, and admit that you don’t know all the answers. You exhibit the attitude that you can learn from anyone at any time. Your pride doesn’t get in the way of gathering the information you need to achieve the best results. It doesn’t keep you from sharing the credit that needs to be shared. Humility allows you to acknowledge your mistakes.” – Larry Bossidy
This is one of the rarer traits found in leaders. There is a perception that humility equals weakness but that can not be further from the truth. It takes great strength to be open and humble enough to accept feedback not only from your supervisor but employees. Humble leaders are lifelong students and because of that have no limit to their personal growth. They, in turn, inspire their team to want to model this behavior.
Great leaders not only look at where their company is at but strategize at where the company needs to go. They have the ability to look ahead, to anticipate with some accuracy where the industry and the markets are going.
There are a number of distractions that a leader faces on almost a daily basis. It is easy to lose sight of the vision when faced with so many obstacles. Leaders always focus on the needs of the company and the situation. They also have a great ability to make sure that their team maintains their focus on the most important tasks that contribute to the company’s goals.
As a leader, it is never about the results you deliver. It is about the ability you have to get the best results out of your team. In order to achieve great results long term, a leader needs to ensure that every member of the team collaborates in synergy.
It starts with inspiring your team to want to work for you and then mobilizing them to want to succeed together.
7 Leadership Qualities and Attributes of Great Leaders – An infographic by the team at Brian Tracy International