After 30 years working both in the corporate industry and as an entrepreneur, I have recognized that there are certain undeniable traits that high-achievers and great leaders share. People often associate achievement and success with a number of things, like the right timing, circumstance, education or natural talent. I have found that the true origins of success are more elusive. These are traits that have been cultivated and built over the years.
Below are 7 Traits that I believe create a great leader & can drive you to success:
1. A Well-Developed Personal Way of Life
Successful leaders know what their philosophy is; they understand their own thinking and reasoning. A clear viewpoint allows you to set expectations and articulate your definition of success so you can set a clear path to your goals. It prepares you for an extraordinary destiny.
2. Undeniable Persistence
Edison failed 2,000 times before he discovered the light bulb. Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because he “lacked imagination and creativity”. He then went bankrupt several times while creating Disneyland. People who are successful never quit, and people who succeed never give up. When failure is not an option, don’t give up. Find another contact, another way, another point of entry, and keep trying until you accomplish what you have set out to do. Persistence means picking yourself up every day and going after what you want without allowing anything to get in your way.
3. Meaningful Purpose
Every leader must be able to identify his or her purpose. Know your “why.” When you do, you can connect with the purpose that will drive you toward your unique vision. Your purpose tells you why you’re here and what legacy you want to leave. When you have a clear purpose, you know where to spend your energy.
4. The Art of Persuasion
Everyone, in every occupation, can benefit from skills in persuasion. They will help you influence others and persuade them not just to listen to you and trust you but also to partner with you, help you, and support you. Mastering communication and understanding human nature are essential if you want to effectively persuade and influence people
5. The Power of Passion
If you want to succeed, the most powerful weapon you can have is passion. It provides the fuel for success. When the passion drives you, you will do whatever it takes to make it a reality. Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, there are no possibilities. With no possibilities, you are stagnant, with nowhere to go. But when you can ignite the fire of passion, it will give you the energy to propel yourself toward possibility. Successful leaders understand that they are only great when they act from their passion. If you aren’t passionate about what you do stop doing it.
6. Ethics and Integrity
Successful leaders honor their principles. They know and live by their values & convictions. Their ethics and integrity are deeply rooted beliefs that help them make decisions and chart their course. Your moral compass starts with basic beliefs and values, and it will guide you to do what is right, not what is easy. Trust yourself and as Jiminy Cricket said, “Let your conscience be your guide.”
7. Excellent Performance
Proficiencies are important. Performance is imperative. It’s great to have a vision, purpose and passion, but you bring it to reality through performance. Bring the highest level of excellence and quality to everything you do, and keep raising your level of aspiration and expectation. Always show up tomorrow better than you were yesterday.
Factors like timing, luck, and circumstance may play some role in success, but it’s the deeper traits–the ones that lie within–that count the most.