We’ve all had good bosses. We’ve all had terrible bosses. But not everyone has worked for an excellent leader. What exactly sets excellent leaders apart from the rest of the pack? Here are nine leadership qualities that successful people have:
1. Work incredibly hard
Successful leaders work harder than anyone else in the room.
One need look no further than Elon Musk for proof. The South African-born entrepreneur has become a household name in recent years — probably because he serves as CEO of Tesla Motors and CEO of SpaceX while simultaneously serving as chairman of SolarCity and OpenAI.
Some people complain about working 40-hour weeks at fairly unchallenging jobs. Musk’s work ethic is unquestionable.
2. Decide quickly
Successful leaders don’t have the luxury of taking their sweet time to make a decision.
The world moves quickly. To stay on top of it, they need to move one step faster. So they act swiftly, pivoting their company on a dime when they must.
3. Ask questions
There’s no one alive who knows everything. No one. Successful leaders understand this perfectly, which is why they’re always asking questions.
When successful leaders are unsure of something, they don’t feign knowledge or understanding. Instead, they go directly to the source and ask for an explanation — regardless of whether they’re wondering how an employee is feeling or trying to learn more about network functions virtualization.
4. Listen to the answers to those questions
It’s one thing to simply ask questions. It’s quite another to listen to the associated responses.
Successful leaders are fantastic listeners. Not only are they receptive to new ideas, but they're also unafraid to move quickly to put those ideas into action.
5. Give credit and show appreciation
We’ve all had bosses who are quick to take credit for all the good news and assign blame for all the bad news. Such behavior doesn’t exactly embed confidence or excitement within an organization.
Successful leaders understand team victories are precisely that: the result of many employees working their tails off toward the same goal. They are quick to shower their workforce with employee recognition when things go well.
6. Remain positive, despite difficult circumstances
There are almost infinite variables that are outside any leader’s control. The economy could tank, huge contracts could not be renewed for budgetary reasons, employees could take job offers elsewhere — the list goes on.
Rather than pouting when things don’t go their way, great leaders do their best to always remain positive — no matter how difficult things may be. Positivity begets positivity.
7. Make mistakes, but learn from them
You can’t make it to the next level if you never take a chance.
Successful leaders love taking chances. Sometimes, those chances don’t pay off. But that's not a problem. Great leaders aren’t afraid to fail. They learn from their mistakes and move on to the next thing.
8. Learn every day
Successful leaders are advocates of lifelong learning. So they take matters into their own hands, proactively trying to learn more and more every single day.
9. Stay healthy
You can’t change the world if you’re sick all the time. Successful leaders take care of their bodies. They exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep more often than not. In doing so, they have enough energy to tackle whatever comes their way every time they step into the office.
What do you do on a daily basis as a successful leader? Let us know in the comments below!
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