What Do Successful Leaders All Have in Common?
There have been many successful leaders throughout history, and they all usually share some common qualities. This is what it takes to stand out from the rest.
Successful leaders have courage and vision. They’re tough and often appear fearless but they’re also empathetic and inspirational. A great leader encourages open dialogue and knows how to build trust.
There are many different types of successful leaders, from Mother Teresa to Microsoft’s Bill Gates. While some people appear born to lead, leadership is also a skill you can develop and cultivate.
Are you a leader? Would you like to be a great leader? Are you wondering how to help others become leaders?
Knowing what successful leaders have in common is a step in the right direction. Keep reading to find out!
Successful Leaders Are Authentic
The best leaders are authentic. They strive to always be the best version of themselves. Their words and actions match, and they’re comfortable in their own skin.
You know who they are by watching them and listening to what they say.
An authentic leader doesn’t worry about fitting a specific mould but rather focuses on doing their best. They’re relatable, dynamic, and connect well with other people.
Make Trust a Priority
Authenticity breeds trust and successful leaders are trustworthy. No one finds inspiration from someone who doesn’t stand by his word. If you’re in a leadership position, make trust a priority.
How do you create trust? It takes time.
You don’t earn trust by telling your employees you’re trustworthy. You have to earn trust through your employee’s experience of your reliability. One of the ways of earning trust is through good communication with demonstrable follow-up.
This brings us to our next point.
Communication Is Key
Communication is important and goes along with both trust and authenticity. It’s crucial you say what you mean and always mean what you say to people. Great leaders don’t make ambiguous statements.
Don’t make promises unless you plan on following through on them. Communicate your vision, values, and mission to your teams and then follow through. Speaking of missions…
Have an Aspirational Mission
Another thing common to successful leaders is an aspirational mission. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, has an inspirational style that focuses on his employees. He puts the needs of his employees first before the shareholders and customers.
This creates a motivated staff and team of managers excited about executing the company vision and mission. Branson believes in listening to his employees as well as respecting, trusting, and believing in them. His employees then put their effort into serving their customers.
Branson’s leadership style is authentic and he clearly makes trust a priority. Branson mentors young entrepreneurs to help them meet the challenges of starting a new business. He founded the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship to offer guidance and practical business skills.
The best leaders possess a high level of self-awareness. They forego drama and petty personal squabbles. They focus on the good and willingly acknowledge their own failures.
As well as acknowledging failures, they also celebrate both small and big wins. Self-awareness helps a good leader recognise the humanity in others which helps them be more empathetic to others.
Tough but Empathetic
Good leaders set boundaries and live by them. They’re tough but they’re also empathetic. They know how to nurture their employees while expecting the best out of them.
They understand that empathy and vulnerability are not the same as weakness. Empathy is what forms strong connections and bonds between people, and it’s one of the greatest leadership qualities.
Empathy makes you approachable. Offering kindness to others is a show of strength, and empathy is a great morale booster.
They Invest in Themselves
A good leader invests in themself. They acknowledge that they have things to learn about being a leader and invest time in leadership and CEO programs.
Successful leaders also invest in their employees with the same programs. Great leaders know how to identify the same qualities in others and take the time to foster those qualities.
The best leaders have good self-control and demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence. They’re calm even in high-pressure situations. They don’t let their emotions dictate their reactions no matter the situation.
A good leader takes time to think before speaking out loud. They don’t make rash, reactive decisions. Another thing successful leaders have in common is their ability to set aside their fears.
Great leaders know they’ll fail many times even amidst success. A good leader isn’t fearless, they’re someone who gains confidence by acknowledging their fears and move ahead anyway. Exercising self-control and conquering difficult situations creates an opportunity for growth.
The most successful leaders take responsibility and refrain from throwing their managers under the bus when something goes wrong. If a manager makes a mistake, a good CEO knows it’s a reflection of the boss, as well as the manager.
The CEO looks for ways of improving the process and communication to avoid the same mistakes down the line. You can’t inspire people by shaming and blaming them. You have to help them learn from their mistakes.
Creating a culture of blame is the opposite of how successful leaders operate.
Building Successful Leaders
Building successful leaders doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort. Here at 2020 Exchange, we make it our mission to build tomorrow’s successful leaders.
Our programs accelerate growth through our proven learning dynamics. We offer programs to engage every type of leader from CFOs to CEOs.
Are you ready to take your leadership to the next level? Do you have employees you’ve identified as tomorrow’s leaders?
Contact us today for information about our learning philosophy and programs.