Countless books, studies and articles have been published about which characteristics great leaders possess. Some authors argue that it takes certain personality traits such as charisma, authenticity, etc. Others maintain the view that it´s all about skills and abilities. Another group of experts blends the two previous options and even adds behavior as a third key ingredient. In addition, to make things more complicated, there exist further schools of thought. In my opinion it boils down to the following 17 qualities and views which successful leaders have in common:
Fail young, often, and hard – Learn from mistakes, admit them, and stay humble.
Think the impossible to realize the maximum possible – Be bold and brave.
Exercise tough empathy towards your team – Give them what they need in your opinion, and not necessarily what they want.
Be effective and efficient at the same time – Do the right things in the right way.
Practice execution as an art – Be focused on making decisions and implement them until the very end in the best possible manner.
Embrace a Poet and Peasant approach – Have a strategic mind set and simultaneously don´t mind diving into details and rolling up your sleeves.
Stay human, approachable, and show respect – Choose being people-focused over task-focused, even and especially, when push comes to shove.
Be resilient and display a can-do-attitude – If something does not work, try something else. Be positive and radiate confidence and strength.
Over-communicate and you´ll over-perform – Teams, peers, business partners, etc. need clarity and transparency.
Recruit, develop and empower the best fitting ones – Make sure that there is a "cultural" and mental fit between company and workers built on a "psychological contract."
Work hard, smart and have fun – No output without input. At the same time you should love and enjoy what you do. Only then you can be highly passionate and committed.
Under-promise and over-deliver – Walk your talk.
Inspire – Think, behave and communicate beyond pure targets and figures. Stimulate people around you to play and to experiment.
Stay true to yourself and your core values – Adapt yourself, if necessary. Never bend yourself. If not, you might break and might lose your heart and soul.
Believe in the good – Stay always open-minded and curious without being naive.
It´s all about the long-term – If needed, forgo and sacrifice short-term profit and benefits for the sake of long-term growth and sustainability.
Lead a holistically fullfilled life – Life is much more than work and making career. Spend enough time with family, friends, and loved ones. Relish your hobbies and passions without bad feelings