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4 characteristics of successful leaders

4 Characteristics of Successful Leaders

Every step on the career ladder offers a fresh perspective and necessitates acquiring new skills. Surprisingly, CEOs often stumble in this process. A study involving 17,000 executives has unveiled that approximately 25% of Fortune 500 CEOs who depart from their companies annually are, in fact, 'shown the door.'

In many cases, this exit occurs due to their inability to demonstrate or acquire the various skills required in leadership positions. So, what are the unique qualities that transform managers into influential and respected leaders?

1. Embrace decisiveness

The golden rule here is not to aim for flawless decision-making but to be decisive. The aforementioned study revealed that renowned CEOs, who were attributed with prescient and almost prophetic abilities by their employees, essentially excelled at making quick decisions. Decisiveness also entails making prompt choices, often leading the way into uncharted territory. This decisiveness leaves a lasting impression on those awaiting a decision behind that door, building trust. According to the study, individuals described as 'decisive' have a 12-fold higher likelihood of achieving success as CEOs.

The phrase, "Yes or no... um, I don't know. Let's wait a bit longer," is a phrase that tends to send shivers down the spines of boardroom members. If you occupy the decision-maker's seat, it is imperative to live up to that role. Seasoned top managers understand that more often than not, an erroneous decision is preferable to indecision. Stephen Groman, former CEO of Greyhound, succinctly emphasizes, "A poor decision is always superior to a lack of direction." Ultimately, this distinguishes a proficient leader – providing a sense of direction.

2. Achieve effectiveness through engagement

Do you comprehend the interests and needs of shareholders, employees, customers, and suppliers of the company entrusted to your care? This comprehension defines both a potent organization and its leadership.

The key lies in having a thorough understanding of the path forward and the associated priorities, and most importantly, the ability to communicate these effectively. Motivated employees exhibit reliability and self-motivation, drawing inspiration from your example. Encourage the behaviors that align with your company's objectives. This results-oriented approach holds significant value. The data from the aforementioned study underscores that adopting such an approach can elevate your success rate by a remarkable 75%.

To attain this level of success, it's crucial to not only be aware of your adversaries but also to understand their arguments. Identifying both and strategizing how to transform their engagement into a positive outcome through your own statements, data, facts, and personal interactions is essential.

3. Maintain proactivity and a willingness to learn

Recent instances of crisis, such as the pandemic, Brexit, and various U.S. elections, underscore how swiftly the economic and social environment surrounding a company can evolve. This underscores the importance of adaptability not only for the organization but also for its leadership. Data from the aforementioned study emphasizes that CEOs who are proactive and adaptable can be up to 6.7 times more successful than their peers.

Domenic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company, observes that it's the ability to handle situations not covered in any handbook that genuinely defines a CEO's role. CEOs are constantly confronted with uncharted territories and must remain ready to explore new avenues while continuously adapting. The ability to learn is, therefore, a critical skill in this context.

4. Exhibit reliability and consistently deliver on promises

The term 'handshake quality' succinctly describes a fundamental attribute. According to the evaluation of 17,000 surveyed executives, this unwavering reliability emerges as one of the most esteemed qualities in the business world. Successful leaders also demonstrate this quality by consistently achieving the desired results. The study's data highlights that this unique form of leadership stability is a driving factor behind those who embody it having a 15-fold higher chance of success in their profession. As you've likely observed on your journey to the upper echelons of leadership, boards, investors, and shareholders generally favor a steady hand. Predictable leaders also tend to earn greater trust from employees.

In conclusion

The qualities outlined here for leaders are not set in stone. If you don't possess all these skills, there's no need to be overly concerned. Exceptional leaders view themselves and their performance as a continuous process of adaptation and learning. Continuously leverage the latest tools to optimize both yourself and your team further toward achieving business success.

Our software is designed to assist you in managing your leadership responsibilities more efficiently. It enhances the execution of meeting processes, aids in decision management, facilitates seamless tracking of agreed-upon actions, and improves communication with relevant stakeholders. Harness the power of our framework to maximize your impact as a leader.

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