The 5 Qualities of Successful Leaders

Best practices from great managers

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Everyone knows a great leader. Someone who seems to effortlessly inspire, motivate and coach the best out of everyone they come in contact with. How do they do it? With a lot of hard work, says Dorothy Greenaway, a personal coach and president of Dorothy Greenawy & Associates in Toronto. “Leadership is so much bigger than what’s bestowed upon somebody,” says Greenaway. It doesn’t come from your title or the size of your paycheck, she says, rather it’s earned.

Here, Greenaway outlines five qualities of successful leaders:

  1. Vision — “At the centre of all purposeful leadership is vision,” says Greenaway. After all, ultimately, leading is about knowing your goals and mobilizing your employees to reach those goals.
  2. Alignment — This means having clear communication and definite actions. Greenaway stresses the 4Ps of communication: Purpose (What are we trying to achieve?); Picture (What will it look like?); Plan (How will we do it?); and Part (How will everybody contribute?)
  3. Influence — In order to have an influence you need to understand what is important to others. Great leaders make an effort to listen to others and establish a rapport with them. They ask questions to determine what people value. “Influence is so much more about listening than it is about speaking,” said Greenaway.
  4. Comittment to being their best — Great leaders are authentic, self-aware and responsible. They understand their limitations and take care of their physical well-being.
  5. Teambuilders — Today, people are looking for a sense of community in their work environment. Great leaders strive to foster a workplace where people are encouraged to contribute, be it by sharing information, voicing concerns or offering solutions.

© 2003 Jennifer O’Connor

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com