Top 5 Underutilized Leadership Traits to Develop

Top 5 Underutilized Leadership Traits to Develop
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Many Debate Which Leadership Traits to Develop
Thousands of books have been written about good leadership and the best leadership traits to develop. They make the case that great leaders have integrity and are generally self-aware, collaborative, inclusive, adaptable, courageous, authentic, and good communicators who can inspire others to follow them. We know from our leadership simulation assessment data that there is no arguing that these are the fundamentals of sound and effective leaders.

What About The Outliers?
But there are some popular leaders who display different attributes and still produce outstanding results. You only need to consider the leadership style of Steve Jobs. Love him or hate him, most would agree that he produced great results for Apple’s shareholders and users. In fact, there was little that was ordinary about him. And what would seem to fly in the face of leadership fundamentals served him and his shareholders quite well.

5 Leadership Traits to Develop for Your Unique Situation
While there will always be outliers and well-known leaders who the media report to have a dark side (e.g., Elizabeth Holmes, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Travis Kalanick), successful leaders seem to have five things in common that we think are worth a look to determine if they makes sense for your leadership development efforts:

  1. Be Passionate
    Passionate leaders spark innovation, inspire greatness, and disrupt previous norms. Effective leaders are extremely passionate about what they and their company does and does not do. They love and believe in what they do.

    They go for it, make things happen, and give it their all. They ignite the passion of those around them and motivate their teams to strive for more.
  2. Be Committed to the Vision
    If leaders don’t fully stand behind the strategic vision, how can they expect anyone else to? Effective leaders stay focused on where the company is headed and make sure everyone in the organization shares the same level of excitement commitment. They use clear and compelling future states to inspire their teams and keep everyone pulling in the same direction through good and bad times.

    While they are adept at adjusting to new information, they do not waver in face of adversity or naysayers.
  3. Hire High Performers Who Fit
    High performers love working with other high performers. We define high performers as the top 10% of talent for a given role with respect to their performance (the results they deliver) and their behavior( how they act along the way). High performers establish the foundation of a workplace culture that strives for more.

    But not every company culture is good fit for every employee. Ensure that candidates fit your corporate culture so that they, and those around them, are set up for success.
  4. Expect High Performance
    Low expectations result in low performance. Go for the gold and you’re more likely to find it. Set the bar high enough so that it is just achievable if everyone performs at their peak.

    Then give people the direction, support, resources, and empowerment to make it happen.
  5. Continuously Improve
    Top leaders never get complacent at work. They seek to foster ongoing greatness in their employees, in their products, and in their organization. Find ways to develop your employees so they are always learning, growing, and thriving.

The Bottom Line
Because every company and situation is different, there isn’t a single right way to lead a team or to develop leaders. But there are several leadership traits to develop if you want to lead others to higher performance. Effective leadership is about attracting, supporting, and connecting high performers with each other to reach new collective heights.

To learn more about leadership traits to develop, download How to Fast Track Your Leaders with Just-in-Time Action Learning

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