The Top Attributes of Successful Leaders: How many do you have?

Top Attributes of Successful Leaders

I found it hard to know whether I was doing a good job or not when I took on my first leadership assignment – in fact, scratch that – it was hard to know even when I was leading large teams and had been doing it for years.

I tended to measure myself on how much people “liked” me, and by that, I don’t mean how many BBQs I was invited to….but more how much people listened to me, how many fires I could put out successfully…that sort of thing.


No, I know that really is Level 2 Leadership – the RELATABILITY level. It’s important; it’s where relationships and trust are formed, BUT there is SO much more.

Throughout my time coaching and training senior leaders, and based on The Coaching Institute’s extensive research, I find that the following attributes are successful in framing what it means to be a truly successful leader.


  1. Love setting the vision, values, standards and REALLY BIG goals. And then insist on them
  2. Have emotional intelligence – study it – get coached on it, because without it you cannot achieve a culture of trust. And without trust, you will remain alone
  3. Create a culture where disciplined people love to be. Reject those who do not share the values of the organization (quickly)
  4. Develop an environment where the truth is expected of everyone. Not better than it is, not worse than it is, simply as it is
  5. Lead with questions, not answers, engage in debate, not coercion
  6. Being strategic thinking and sound decision making to every decision, so there are no last-minute fixes or rushes
  7. Have the ability to select, develop and inspire the best team of people
  8. Systematically innovate to constantly improve current practices
  9. Be relentless in demanding progress towards tangible goals
  10. Have a complete belief that the business will survive and be healthy (if you don’t, who will?)
  11. Demonstrate personal consistently and commitment to 10 (above), despite the inevitable challenges
  12. Let results do the talking, everything else is background noise
  13. Do not get bogged down in process, but be uncompromising in creating momentum towards forward progress
  14. It’s not about you…ever. Have a sense of purpose beyond own successes*

They make sense, right? How many do you embody…and how many are you deleting, distorting and ignoring? Be honest. The above list is based on the best performing 400 leaders globally…we don’t need to re-invent the wheel, simply model those who are successful.

To help I am offering you the chance to understand what KIND OF LEADER you are; what YOUR THINKING STYLE IS, and where you are supporting the team, and where you are holding them back, without you even knowing it.

This changed everything for me and has for the hundreds of leaders I work with when – and it can for you too.

Complete the Questionnaire

Click on the download questionnaire button now to find out.

*(with thanks to Sharon Pearson and The Coaching Institute)


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