All business owners and executives have varying experiences, opinions and perspectives on the approach and necessary qualities of a successful leader.
Unfortunately, these heroes don’t wear medals or come with a guarantee of authenticity. Mostly we have to carefully consider specific skills, question past achievements and look out for certain personality traits to assess if we are in the company of a successful leader, powerful enough to empower others.
My philosophies on leadership have evolved over time, through research, experience, varying recruitment campaigns for many an executive – Directorship level role as well as my own successes and failures of managing teams.
Whether you are wanting to develop or assess your own leadership skills or you are considering those of another, such as a potential new hire, you will find my personal top qualities of a successful leader following –
- Ability to inspire
As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Leaders know how to use whatever’s at hand and make the best of any situation. Inspirational leadership inspires action and significantly raises individual and team performance levels. If people look to you in times of crisis, you have the resourceful mindset of a successful leader.
- Skillful in the art of delegation
Delegation not only gives leaders time for strategic thinking, but it also allows them to focus on other tasks that only they can perform, such as leading and coaching their teams. Delegating well, helps leaders maximise their resources, ensuring that they’re focusing on their highest priorities whilst also trusting and developing their team members. Those that know themselves to be control freaks will discover that the art of delegation can often be the steepest obstacle and hardest lesson to learn when transitioning to become a leader.
- Natural communicator
The best leaders communicate clearly and concisely. Whether it’s your thoughts and opinions on a current situation, or even bad news, you need to communicate with sincerity, transparency and feeling. Effective communication impacts more than just the bottom line. For successful leaders, it’s what enables them to rally their team around a shared vision, empower employees, build trust, and successfully navigate organisational change.
- Sense of humour
Research shows that laughter in the office is a seriously great thing for many reasons. Humour buffers individuals against the negative effects of stress. In addition to reducing stress, having a chuckle in the office makes us more motivated and engaged. Not only do employees who enjoy a laugh at work tend to be healthier and more productive, but they are also proven to be absent from work less often, which directly impacts profits. A good sense of humour is vital and is a way successful leaders motivate their followers and gain their support.
Self-confidence is necessary for leaders to take risks and accomplish high goals. Leadership involves influencing others and self-confidence allows a leader to feel assured that his or her attempts to influence are appropriate and right. If you accept that you are accountable for your own actions and behaviour and you are not into the blame game, if you have the confidence to admit when you are wrong and stand up when you’re right, you have the mindset of a successful leader.
- Creative solution seeker
Creativity opens up opportunities in problem-solving, achieving goals, and inspiring teams to be creative and find unlikely perspectives. A leader will not dwell on problems but instead look outside the box and challenge norms in search for solutions.
- Positive attitude
Successful leaders know the importance of positivity and will always be positive because they know that it helps them, and their teams, be more productive and reach their goals. This is a mindset that can turn what is bad into good, what is negative into positive.
- Highly intuitive
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift. — Albert Einstein
Intuition can help you assemble a team and inspire them to work together to find solutions. You can recognize when your people are not engaged—and do something about it. You can use your intuition to fix things and get your team back to high performance. Learning to listen to our intuition and following it is a trait of leadership.
Values and convictions matter a great deal to successful leaders. That means you know who you are and what you believe in, you’re committed to your values and you live your life according to those values. People feel inspired by your commitment and passion and will seek you out to connect and work alongside you.
- Dedicated and committed
A successful leader backs their people and their ability to achieve their goals. He or she ensures that the right people are in place and is committed and dedicated to removing any barriers in their way. Their dedication and commitment to their role, goals and people must be clear for all to see.
- Connection & coaching
Great leaders know the importance of connecting authentically. They create and maintain meaningful relationships; making it a priority to teach, support and encourage others. They make great networkers because they genuinely love connecting with people. Research shows that coaching leads to better engagement, higher productivity, and enhanced customer service. It also helps an employee improve performance, overcome challenges, reach aspirational goals, and build self-confidence.
In summary I believe that the best leaders are passionate about their people. They constantly adapt to their surroundings and work to improve the belief of others in themselves. To be a successful leader you must genuinely care for people with a deep desire to fully understand them, only then will you have the ability to unleash their passions and motivations for success. To do this, you must have superb emotional intelligence, unwavering self-awareness and the knowledge that only a strong team culture is the foundation of success.
If you are a legal professional considering a change within your career or a hiring manager seeking staff, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss your requirements in confidence.