Leadership Perspectives Blog
Four Traits of a Great Leader

Four Traits of a Great Leader

Success comes in many forms. The concept is so complex that perspective point plays a major role in its definition. Yet it’s so simple that we all have a notion of what defines success.

A person with a temporary disability rejoices when his or her limitations are removed (a success), while an abled-bodied person usually takes it for granted (not a success).

A worker might feel highly successful as an individual contributor while another aspires toward (and gets) more and more organizational responsibility. Both are considered successful.

This dichotomy renders any definition of success flawed unless the eyes of the beholder can reconcile his or her aspirations with the aspirations of others.

With that in mind, the exact formula for professional success varies greatly from individual to individual and organization to organization. However, there are four behavioral commonalities that the world’s best leaders typically share … plus one.

1. Great leaders apply the “Four B’s of Business” – be brief, be prepared, be inspiring, be gone.

  • Be brief means understanding that extra time can be converted to other beneficial activities if well-utilized. If wasted, time consumes resources. Getting to the point quickly and succinctly drives organizational performance upward. It means the team will welcome your future visits. Deliver your message effectively and efficiently.
  • Be prepared means do your homework. Know and understand your audience/team/organization/customer/client/competitors and what’s important to them. Perform a risk assessment to identify possible obstacles and resulting courses of action and strategies. Laser-target your message in a way that resonates.
  • Be inspiring means deliver the high energy. If you’re not fired up about your work, then who will be?
  • Be gone means make promises and commitments and keep them. Innovate and add value to your organization. Remove obstacles for your team and facilitate their journey.

2. Great leaders know the language of business – finance. Understanding the impacts of basic financial terms such as bookings, net sales, operating profit, free cash flow and return on investment will level the playing field.

Learning this language enables EHS leaders to focus on growth and innovation within the organization by communicating in ways that facilitate understanding and collaboration. Learning finance demonstrates that you’re not only dedicated to your profession but also to the success of the organization.

3. Great leaders create and nourish partnerships at every opportunity. A leader’s ability to effectively encourage collaboration and positive influence is a commodity within the organization; something of great value. Awesome companies are made up of awesome people who join forces toward common causes. It is the amazing leader’s foresight that recognizes or creates the impactful moments in which partnerships flourish throughout the organization; your moments.

4. Great leaders build an impeccable, multi-faceted reputation for themselves, their team and their organizations. Multi-faceted in the sense that regardless of viewpoint, it all comes down to admiration, respect and performance. Everyone and every entity has a reputation – either by design or by default. Great leaders masterfully build impermeable reputations by design, one person at a time.

Off to the races, right? Well there’s one more thing.

Great leaders relentlessly soak passion, determination and unstoppable drive into every action, and then they help celebrate the one result that great leaders consistently experience: the fulfillment of their organization’s definition of success.

Dare to think differently.

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