Many aspire to be successful in business and their careers, but the truly great are separated by core competencies and behaviors that set them apart in an upper echelon in their industries. And all of those great business leaders must continually refine their competencies. Here are six traits that business experts commonly agree set great leaders apart.
The art of persistence. The ability to build thick skin and never quit, even when discouraged, allows the most successful business leaders to continue to grow and develop over time. Successful leaders do not tolerate being stagnant, because they are never satisfied.
Do not be afraid of failure. Many of the greatest business leaders failed at something before they succeeded at something else. Before he invented the Model T, Henry Ford came up with something called the Quadricycle. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently,” [said Ford.
An eye for building talented teams. Nearly all business experts agree the best leaders have an extraordinary eye for talent. The top leaders understand how to build and cultivate highly committed and engaged teams of talent through inspiration and influence.
Strategic perspective. Some will simply refer to it as “vision,” but successful business starts with ideas. Great leaders think big and have a [clear view and understanding of market, economic and social trends, as well as the ability to translate it into business decisions. “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds,” said Mark Twain.
The power of passion. The top business leaders all share the trait that they are simply passionate about what they do. You can’t be a great leader without it. “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out,” said Steve Jobs.
Willingness to take risks. Google, Yahoo and Facebook all started in dorm rooms. The top business leaders are willing to take risks that fall outside of their comfort zones for unrealized potential. They are fearless. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules,” said Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. “You learn by doing, and by falling over.”