Successful leaders are the power and intellect behind their organizations. They are the visionaries charged with steering their brand around pitfalls. They must know when to seize opportunities and how to rally employees to work hard toward their company’s goals.
Effective leaders transcend the title of “manager” or “boss.” They have found a way to achieve the right combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance, probably with a healthy dose of luck and timing.
It may seem like some people are just gifted with these skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned and sharpened with time and practice. You can begin building your success by developing these 11 must-have traits of a powerful and successful leader.
It’s hard to manage others effectively if you can’t manage yourself. Self-managing means being able to prioritize your goals and being responsible for accomplishing those objectives. As an effective leader, you must be able to regulate your time, attention and emotions, while remaining aware of your strengths, weaknesses and potential sources of bias.
2. Acting Strategically
A forward-thinking, open-minded approach is necessary for today’s leaders. According to a Harvard Business Publishing report, Leading Now: Critical Capabilities for a Complex World, “Leaders must always be prepared to adjust their strategies to capture emerging opportunities or tackle unexpected challenges.” Thinking strategically is an ongoing process that involves assessing your business environment. You can cultivate strategic thinking by:
• Being curious and genuinely interested in your company and wider business environment,
• Being flexible in your mindset and trying new approaches and ideas,
• Focusing on the future and thinking about your company’s operational conditions, and
• Maintaining a positive outlook.
3. Being An Effective Communicator
Powerful leaders know when to talk and when to listen. They are effective communicators and are able to clearly and succinctly explain to their employees everything from organizational goals to specific tasks. If people don’t understand or aren’t aware of your expectations, they will fall short, so the more specific you can be, the better.
You need to be able to communicate on all levels: one on one, to the department and to the entire staff, as well as via phone, email and social media. Communication is built on a steady flow of verbal and nonverbal exchanges of ideas and information, so work on being approachable and involving people from different levels.
4. Being Accountable And Responsible
Successful managers know how to use power and authority appropriately without overwhelming or overpowering employees. Effective leaders hold themselves accountable and take responsibility for their own mistakes—and they expect others to do the same. They can work within established procedures, and be productive and efficient in their decisions.
They appreciate the importance of supporting and encouraging individuality while also understanding organizational structures and the need to follow rules and policies. They are able to balance different perspectives while taking appropriate action.
5. Setting Clear Goals And Persisting In Achieving Them
Here is a boiled-down version for acquiring charisma: Set clear goalsand be determined and purposeful in achieving them. Back it all up with unshakable self-confidence. If you radiate enthusiasm and are truly excited about what you’re doing, people will be naturally drawn to you.
Remember that writing your goals down is key to the success of both you and your company. But accomplishing those goals takes time. If you give up, so will everyone around you. To be a successful leader, you must be willing to keep going when others are tempted to throw in the towel.
6. Having A Vision For The Future
Exceptional leaders have the ability to look into their company’s future and make clear, concrete goals that will benefit their organization. They are confident and optimistic, inspiring enthusiasm in those around them.
Being a visionary is about managing change while striking a balance between stability and growth. You must incorporate new approaches without getting distracted from the main goals.
Being a visionary means understanding that continuous change is occurring all around you, so what worked in the past may not always work now. Practice being adaptable and agile as you implement new strategies and allow your business model to evolve over time.
7. Managing Complexity
Leaders must be problem solvers who can make decisions under rapidly shifting circumstances. Learning to lead in a complex environment is a vital skill for any leader. Even before any definitive information is available, effective leaders must assess a situation’s complexity and choose appropriate courses of action.
According to a Harvard Business Publishing report, that means being able to scan the environment in search of subtle trends and indicators of disruptive change, and establish practices that allow your organization to respond swiftly.
8. Fostering Creativity And Innovation
Leaders must have the courage to risk experimentation and encourage creativity. Doing this will foster the innovation that will steer your organization to new destinations and around the twists and turns of a changing business landscape.
The key is to always be persistent in pursuing your goals, and open minded and flexible in how you get there. Encourage the people around you to spend at least 15 percent of their time exploring new ideas through brainstorming and prototyping.
9. Team Building And Promoting Teamwork
Successful leadership is built on the people around you. Team building is essential to leading a diverse and unique group of people with distinct personalities, motivations and skills.
Strong teams and teamwork are key to achieving many of things on this list, such as fostering innovation, effective communication and achieving your organization’s goals. If you recruit and develop the right team, you will be creating an unstoppable force that will drive your organization’s success.
10. Creating Lasting Relationships
Compelling leaders do more than just inspire others to follow them; they know how to motivate their employees to strive wholeheartedly for their company’s goals. Employees who feel valued and appreciated, who feel like what they do makes a difference, will feel invigorated to push harder to achieve success for their company.
Outstanding leaders also understand that they need to be effective at networking, not just to advance their own careers, but for the benefit of their organization. By creating a vast and varied network of people, leaders establish impactful relationships with customers, clients, partners and even competitors.
11. Learning Agility
Truly great leaders know that the strength of their leadership is built on their ability to adapt to suddenly changing circumstances and to know how and when to seize on opportunities amid a changing landscape.
Having an insatiable curiosity will fuel your desire to constantly learn and grow. Learning agility hinges on developing critical thinking skills, being accepting of uncertainty, having social and emotional intelligence and always having the desire and determination to push forward.
A Product Manager with expertise in pharma marketing and sales operations