Whether you’re running your own business, heading up your team or simply running solo, here are the 7 traits of highly effective leaders.
- Trustworthy. Perhaps the single most important trait of a leader is trustworthiness. Trust is based on keeping the promises you make, both big and little ones. With some people, trust is built over time while others will trust you instantly. One thing is certain; trust is a fleeting asset and will vanish quickly under broken promises. So be careful what you promise and once a promise is made do everything in your power to see that it is fulfilled. You want a reputation as someone who keeps his word.
- Accepts 100% responsibility. Life becomes a lot simpler once you refuse to blame anyone or anything for your results. Realize that your current circumstances are the culmination of all of the decisions that you’ve made up to this point. Some things do happen beyond your control but all of your results are based on the collective decisions you make including how you react to adversity. Look at adversity as another opportunity to prove yourself.
- Vision big enough to excite others to follow. We’ve all been placed on this planet to do something big, move mountains, change people’s lives in profound positive ways. Most people don’t rise to their true potential but the potential is there none the less. As a leader, it’s your job to develop your big vision, articulate it clearly to those who would follow, and then nurture it to success.
- Thoughtful, prompt decision-maker. Great leaders are not procrastinators. They’ll gather as much information as possible in a short period of time, and then make a decision. Once a decision is made, they don’t waste time second-guessing themselves; instead, they take action and make course corrections as needed never losing sight of their intended results.
- Disciplined. While great leaders have the energy for sprinting, they realize that most success is much more like running a marathon. To succeed, you must pace yourself and think in terms of being unstoppable.
- Passionate. Figure out what you love to do then, if possible, build your career around that activity. I personally love dealing with money and personal finance and helping others discover and achieve their financial goals. This passion makes work…well, not like work and is something I intend to continue doing as long as I’m physically and mentally capable.
- Inspire others to grow. Great leaders challenge others to go beyond their comfort zone in order to grow in abilities and confidence. You see, most people are like dynamite. All the power is on the inside just waiting for someone to light the fuse! I asked one of our young associates, Kimberly, to take my place as a guest expert on TV. Going on live TV for the first time is quite unnerving for most people and this was way outside Kimberly’s comfort zone. She accepted the challenge, did a great job and in doing so, expanded her comfort zone and confidence. She now looks forward to these types of opportunities.
Before you can be a leader of many, you must become a leader of one…yourself. Master these seven traits in your own life and you’ll see your leadership skills soar. Recognize that some of the most important promises you make are to yourself. Anytime you break a promise to yourself, you chip away at your own self-worth and confidence. Begin now accepting 100% responsibility for all of your actions and results while creating a compelling vision for your life. What are the big things you’d like to do? Who is the person that you’d like to become? Write down a vision for your life and begin to map out the actions you’ll take to create success. Make sure it evokes a strong sense of passion in you and don’t procrastinate; begin taking action right now. Also make sure there are elements in your vision that will stretch your comfort zone and allow you to grow as a person. Recognize that achieving great things often takes more time than you think, so think marathon, not sprint! You cannot control all things but you do control the level of discipline you bring to the game, so commit to ‘upping your game’. Finally, make certain that part of your focus is helping other people be the best they can be. Do these things and you will become unstoppable!