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What are the 12 Characteristics of Successful Leaders?

In my previous article on “Leadership Matters” I discussed about the importance of leadership and I would like to continue to talk about the characteristics that of successful leaders. Great leaders from all over the world have consistent skills, talents, and characteristics that enable them to succeed. As you look at and study these skills, talents, and characteristics, you’ll realize that you possess many of them yourself. Some of these skills and talents are more dominant than others and will play a greater part in your being, or becoming, a success in life. These are the things you do well. The things you do easily and effortlessly. These are your strengths. When you find you need a skill or talent you don’t have, just go out and look for a person or group of people with the skills, talents, and training you need. Skills and talents that complement your own. These people will become your teammates, colleagues, partners, professional advisors, and friends. With these combined skills and talents, organizations grow, prosper, and become successful. The following is a list of the skills, talents, and characteristics you’ll find in successful leaders: 1. Successful Leaders Have a Dream. They have a well-defined purpose. They have a clear set of desired goals. They know what they want. They aren’t easily influenced by the thoughts and opinions of others. They have willpower. They have ideas. Their strong desire brings strong results. They go out and do things that others say can’t be done. 2. Successful Leaders Have Ambition. They want to accomplish something. They have grit, enthusiasm, commitment, and pride. They have self-discipline. They’re willing to work hard and to go the extra mile. They have a burning desire to succeed. With hard work come results. The joy in life comes with working for and achieving something.

3. Successful Leaders Are Strongly Motivated Toward Achievement. They take great satisfaction in accomplishing a task to a level they feel is appropriate. They’re resilient and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. 4. Successful Leaders Are Focused. They concentrate on their main goals and objectives. They don’t easily get side-tracked. They don’t procrastinate. They work on the projects that are important, and don’t allow those projects to sit until the last minute. They’re productive, not just busy.

5. Successful Leaders Take Responsibility for Their Actions. People who excel in life are those who produce results, not excuses. Anybody can come up with excuses and explanations for why he hasn’t made it. Those who want to succeed badly enough don’t make excuses. They don’t make justifications. They don’t blame others. They don’t whine and complain. They take full responsibility!

6. Successful Leaders Learn How to Get Things Done. They use their skills, talents, energies, and knowledge to the fullest extent possible. They do the things that need to be done, not just the things they like to do. They are willing to work hard and to commit themselves to getting the job done. Happiness is found in doing and accomplishing, not in owning and possessing.

7. Successful Leaders Look for Solutions to Problems. They’re opportunity minded. When they see opportunities, they take advantage of them. They are solution-focused.

8. Successful Leaders Make Decisions. They think about the issues and relevant facts, give them adequate deliberation and consideration, and make a decision. Decisions aren’t put off or delayed, they’re made now! For example, spend more time thinking and planning before you make your decision, and you’ll make better decisions. When you don’t get the expected results from the decision you’ve made, change your course of action. Decisions should never be carved in stone.

9. Successful Leaders Have the Courage to Admit They Have Made a Mistake. When you make a mistake, admit it, fix it, and move on. This is also known as humility! Great leaders don’t waste time, energy, money, and/or other resources trying to defend a mistake or a bad decision. When they are wrong, they just admit it to others and even take pride in their frankness and broad-mindedness.

10. Successful Leaders Have Specific Knowledge, Skills, and Talents. They know the things they need to know to be successful. And when they need information, knowledge, or skills and talents that they don’t possess, they find someone who does possess them.

11. Successful Leaders Know How to Build Relationships and Cooperate with Other People. They have positive, pleasant personalities with magnetism. They build great relationships with people and earn their trust & respect. They surround themselves with people who offer them help, support, and encouragement.

12. Successful Leaders Are Enthusiastic. They’re excited by what they’re doing, and that excitement is contagious. They draw people to them because these people want to work with them, do business with them, and be with them.


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