Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Sheryl Sandberg. These names bring to mind the picture of entrepreneurial success. But looking at these leaders, and others like them, makes us wonder: do successful business people simply do things differently? Many already have tried to dissect success in this way and found that there indeed exists several common traits shared by the most successful leaders out there. Without further ado, here’s 7:
Knowing who you are – likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses – can help you figure out in what aspects of the business you need help. Successful people maximize their potential and build unstoppable teams because they remain honest about the core of their being and act accordingly.
Respect for others
Admissions committee members at top business schools constantly tell stories of rejected applicants, who had stellar applications but treated someone connected to a program – an assistant, janitor, or student liaison – badly on a visit. Those who get ahead realize no one is beneath them and remain kind and courteous to everyone. Respect comes to those who respect others.
An ability to re-charge
While successful businesspeople have to work hard and stay focused, they are human. They will get burned out if they just keep going without taking a break. They also might lose momentum and the creative spirit necessary to keep coming up with good ideas. So, they exercise, take vacations, spend time with loved ones, go for walks, and keep up with hobbies. It’s good for the soul – and maybe even the bottom line.
While plenty of successful people have either been book smart or street smart, the ideal is a combination of both. People can run businesses without college degrees. But they still should understand how to reach customers and employees, basic finances, history (so they are not doomed to make common errors), and how to tap into creativity, for example. Common sense is must, too.
Unafraid of failure
Those worried about being judged will stay out of the race. If they stay out of the race, they might not ever lose but they’ll never win either. Instead, leaders take risks, own their errors, and learn from them.
This is about more than being one’s own worst critic. It is also about doing whatever it takes to keep getting better. The greats figure out what needs fixing and fix it rather than resting on laurels.
All leaders have to explain stuff with finesse. They also need to be persuasive and strategic in their communication. It helps the most if they are strong writers and orators. Most of all, they just need to be able to carry on a conversation. What separates those who are successful from everyone else is their realization that communication is as much, if not more, about being a good listener. Then, they take action based on what they hear. The rest is magic.
What traits do you think make for a successful leader?
This article was written by Francesca Di Meglio from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.