Matthew and Janice are entrepreneurs who’ve been in business for nearly two years. They recently decided to attend a leadership conference to help them remain competitive leaders/entrepreneurs in a global economy.
What began as a conversation about the occupational role of a leader turned quickly into an exchange over the most important traits of a leader, and how the most successful leaders are not simply measured by their knowledge, but more importantly, measured by their character.
Intelligence isn’t a replacement for high character.Intelligence isn’t a replacement for high character. Click To Tweet
Matthew and Janice concluded that successful organizations have leaders who are not only functionally proficient—but more importantly—are leaders who have developed necessary characteristics to empower people and develop sustainable organizations.
When you embark on your leadership journey, it is critically important to acknowledge that success is not simply about your rank or income level, but a well-developed character to ensure continued organizational growth and long-term success. There are seven characteristics of a highly successful leader to consider on the ‘F.O.R.T.U.N.E.’ leadership path.
Every leader must be:
The great tragedy of any organization is a leader who is paralyzed by fear. Fear is being unfamiliar with the unknown or simply being unwilling to take risks. Often the greatest challenge of any organization is not the current market conditions or revenue projections, but a leader’s own ability to confront self-imposed limitations rooted in fear.The great tragedy of any organization is a leader who is paralyzed by fear. Click To Tweet
In the life of every leader, there will be a single defining event that will require a decisive moment of fearlessness to propel the organization forward. It may be unpopular for the few that you lead, but necessary for the many to catapult the organization forward. It is in this moment that courage is formed within the heart and mind of the leader which will position the organization to be on the cutting edge of its field.
Many leaders have been educated to embrace the norm and the similar (hold onto tightly held paradigms) which creates a very linear view of growth and sustainability. A leader must be mindful that while it is essential to learn from other successful leaders, no two leaders are alike.
An original leader defies labels and is keenly aware of their value to their organization; unwilling to lead simply for the approval of others, but is fully committed to expressing their authentic leadership identity. It’s living outside the ordinary leadership constructs that propels the leader to achieve the extraordinary.Living outside the ordinary leadership constructs propels leaders to achieve the extraordinary. Click To Tweet
Every leader will experience peaks and valleys while managing an organization. It’s during these periods of personal and economic volatility that a resilient leader is required to properly lead the organization. In addition, a core competency of the executive must be the ability to identify sources of resistance which demand the leader to captain the organization during this period of instability. Resistance is often seen as a negative force in the lifecycle of a leader and organization. However, if properly understood, is a positive force to be leveraged if guided by a resilient executive.Resistance is a positive force to be leveraged if guided by a resilient executive. Click To Tweet
A leader’s “hard” skills are often valued over “soft” skills. Successful leaders recognize the critical importance of trust as a necessary soft skill. Trust is the ability to cultivate and demonstrate integrity, honesty, and transparency within an organization. A successful leader is fully aware that trust is the foundation of every good relationship and a key commodity to building solid connections within the company.. Trust is not only constructed at the top of an organization, but built at the bottom, creating multi-directional relationships throughout the team. When a leader fosters trust, the team forms a powerful bond that helps people communicate more effectively and produce more efficiently.When a leader fosters trust, the team forms a powerful bond Click To Tweet
Leadership requires a delicate balance between rigidity and flexibility. Organizations should be agile and flexible as a matter of survival because companies today face an unprecedented level of change and volatility in the marketplace. While it may be tempting to take shortcuts to traverse the volatility, it’s during this turmoil that a leader must demonstrate a level of conviction to properly navigate the enterprise. A leader must be willing to take a stand and act according to organizational values and guiding principles.A leader must be willing to take a stand and act according to organizational values. Click To Tweet
Nobility is defined as a quality of being honorable, excellent, and of high regard; having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals. A noble leader provides direction and purpose in any corporation. When there is a sense of nobility within a leader, he or she will determine the conduct of the organization. When it’s anchored within the heart, mind, and soul of a leader, it will become embedded into the cultural DNA of the organization. Selfless service to the customer becomes the priority over a self-centered approach to conducting business in today’s economy.When there is a sense of nobility within a leader, he or she will determine the conduct of the… Click To Tweet
True leaders can achieve greatness without compromising their character or code of conduct. Ethical business leaders live according to their own philosophy which has been developed, sharpened, and perfected through leadership experiences. Before a person can lead the many, he or she must first learn to master him- or herself. If the leader stands for nothing, the organization will fall for anything.Before you can lead the many, you must first learn to master yourself. Click To Tweet
Eliakim Thorpe is a highly sought-after speaker, consultant, thought leader and entrepreneur. He is the creator of the T.H.R.I.V.I.N.G. Organization: A New Philosophy to Transform Organizations, which is both a philosophy and a systematic process to help businesses create frameworks to become transformational—internally and externally.