The 7 Enduring Traits of Extraordinarily Great Leaders

The 7 Enduring Traits of Extraordinarily Great Leaders

By Peter Economy.

Many leaders can be good--but only the very select few can be great.

What are the things that make truly great leaders the way they are?

What are the things that make truly spectacular leaders the way they are? Here are the 7 most common traits of the very best leaders.

1. Empathy

The best leaders are the ones who are able to truly connect with their employees on a personal level. Demonstrating understanding, as well as socially acceptable reactions to the feelings of others, is a huge plus to have as a leader--and will definitely make everyone feel a lot closer.

2. Confidence

How can we believe in people if they don't believe in themselves first? Leaders who demonstrate self-assuredness or quiet confidence are definitely the most respected and loved ones of all. As it turns out, simply giving the impression that you know what to do is enough.

3. Accountability

The higher up we go on the professional ladder, the easier it is to delegate tasks rather than do them ourselves. The more a boss holds him or herself accountable, the more their colleagues and subordinates will respect them.

4. Awareness

Great leaders have super keen senses to pick up whatever might be going on around them--even if that sometimes involves more work. The act of realizing where the boss stands in the corporate landscape--and subsequently breaking that stereotype--is incredibly powerful for winning people over.

5. Positivity

Keeping positive in the face of struggle--especially when nothing goes as planned--is definitely the trait of an excellent leader. Being able to determine which situations need more positive energy--and then providing it--is something we all could work on.

6. Focus

Efficient leaders know how to keep their team on track while making members feel like they have a clear direction and focus. Reminding people of your organization's mission at various steps along the way is important so that people know where they're going, and what they can do to help get there.

7. Inspiration

To top it all off, the very best leaders are able to rally a diverse group of people to work together--sometimes very hard--in order to create the final product. The ability to inspire people is key. How else will people jump on board your mission?

While Peter Economy has spent the better part of two decades of his life slugging it out mano a mano in the management trenches, he is now a full-time ghostwriter and best-selling author of more than 85 books--including Managing for Dummies, Everything I Learned About Life I Learned in Dance Class, and Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product--with total sales in excess of two million copies. He has also served as associate editor for Leader to Leader for more than 12 years, where he has worked on projects with the likes of Jim Collins, Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and many other top management and leadership thinkers.

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