How leaders rise above the rest

15 behaviors of successful leaders

1. Share the mission – The person at the top has to have a vision of where to take the followers. By sharing the direction, building consensus and allowing others to buy into it, all oars will row in sync.

2. Have a plan – There is more to just knowing where to go. Those that map out how to get there are most likely to arrive at the destination.

3. Stay on the path – It is easy to get distracted these days, but successful leaders stay focused on their top priorities.

4. Communicate well – To lead effectively, facilitate open two-way communications so the followers will not head off course and get lost.

5. Set measures – Routine measurement of desired objectives and outcomes allows an entire organization to know if it is moving in the right direction.

6. Be an influencer – At times leadership derives from the use of an individual’s power, whatever that may be (e.g. experience, skills, resources, etc.), to influence others to make positive changes.

7. Lead by example – The old saying “practice what you preach” has a lot of value for leaders. By being a role model, leaders are indirectly training followers how to act.

8. Be a problem solver – Life always creates hurdles, and the best leaders can take a step back, assess a situation and come up with a creative solution.

9. Love work and radiate it – By loving what they do, leaders often exude happiness, and that positive attitude is contagious. Cheerful followers and partners work harder and are often more likely to make personal sacrifices to make an organization more successful.

10. Be truthful – The best leaders do not hide the truth. Building trust is the key to any relationship, no matter what shape it takes.

11. Live the brand – Define the founding principles and practice them day in and day out, both inside and outside of an organization. By exemplifying that the core values are not just words on paper, it is more likely they will be practiced from the top down.

12. Take risks based on common sense – It is hard to win at anything if you do not take a chance, but gambling and guessing rarely deliver repeated success. Just remember, when something goes wrong, it is not a mistake if you learn from it.

13. Be a great listener – Most people can hear, but they do not all listen. It is a true talent for an individual to process information from the frontlines in a meaningful way. Plus, when it comes to hearing ideas for improvement, those that aren’t thin skinned treat feedback as a gift

14. Build resources – No general can win a war without troops. Leaders that surround themselves with the best of the best often have a much easier job at hand. The ability to listen is very valuable in a democratic setting, where several minds are better than one and a consensus is needed to achieve the desired results.

15. Create luck – Leaders have an uncanny ability to position themselves to be in the right place at the right time. Furthermore, when the opportunity arises, they know how to take advantage of it.

Read more about mission statements, core values and business planning.

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