Every leader has their own style. Steve Jobs was a different type of leader than Bill Gates, yet no one would argue that both weren’t successful. Some posses the renegade visionary style while others might take a more conservative approach. But no matter their individual styles, we see certain traits emerge in the very best.
Leaders are good communicators.
If you cannot articulate a vision, you won’t be able to move your team forward or convince them of the necessity to change. According to a Navalent study on Developing Exceptional Executives, “Top executives are consistently transparent and balanced in their communication. They effectively translate their view of business potential and challenges, as well as expectations for action using concise, direct, and readily understandable language in doses that are easily digestible. They devote time to their connections.”
Leaders are good listeners
The same Navalent study states, “Top executives are distinguished by the consistency with which they listen to, and actively seek out the ideas and opinions of others. They incorporate other views into their plans to solve organizational problems.”
They learn from the past while aiming for the future.
Past successes and even failures can be very instructive. This is not to say that successful leaders buy into the philosophy of “We tried that years ago, and it didn’t work.”
Leaders build loyalty within their team, as well as with customers and other stakeholders.
Successful leaders are optimistic.
They know when to take risks and when a more limited approach is appropriate.
Some of that is based on experience as well as gut instinct. Leaders are not afraid to research and be inclusive of the thoughts of others.
They know how to motivate their employers and take on the role of coach.
Leaders establish the tone and are the keeper of the culture.
The attitude of the CEO permeates thought the organization. If the leader is risk-averse, you won’t see a lot of innovation from your employees.
If I asked your employees if you embody these characteristics, what would they say? Which ones would you like to work on?