There is no set definition to what a good leader is. However, most successful business men do agree that there are certain key elements that are found in all excellent leaders. This is why Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, has come up with a list of those 10 traits. For Phillips, inspiring others to be the best they can be, is a personal life goal, and he believes that these traits can be applied to all types and styles of leadership.
10 Key Attributes to Successful Leaders
- The must be versatile communicators. They have to be able to communicate through various methods, and to various audiences, never coming across as either arrogant or condescending.
- They must be ready to innovate. Innovation should be at the heart of any successful business, and is the only way a company can survive in today’s competitive business world. Innovation also means engaging everybody, across the board, regardless of their position.
- They must have an open door policy and even go beyond that. Charles Phillips himself, for instance, doesn’t even have is own office. Rather, he shares a single large table with his entire team, enabling them to speak to him whenever needed.
- They must be focused on the future and going forward, while at the same time keeping the present under control. Others should look towards them for inspiration, as people who know where they are going and how they are getting there.
- They must be consistent with their rules and expectations, and have great clarity on what those actually are.
- The consequences they impose for poor or good performance should be respectable and fair.
- They should always act with care and respect towards everybody else, including the competition. Being respectful instills trust in others. This is particularly true if someone does not respect the leader, which can happen, for instance, from the competition. If a leader shows that they do not take things personal and react respectfully at all times, they will again become inspirational.
- They should be able to manage their time properly and set an example when it comes to having an appropriate work life balance. Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, will not allow his work to become his mistress, for instance. Rather, he ensures that he gives his all at work, while at the same time spending plenty of time with his wife Karen, engaging in philanthropic activities, and simply enjoying himself.
- They must believe in themselves and have a great deal of confidence in their own abilities, without becoming arrogant. If a leader shows themselves to doubt in their own ability, they won’t instill the confidence in their team necessary to go to the next level.
- They must have real personal integrity. A good leader is a role model towards all others, in their personal and professional life, and people must be able to count on them to be consistent and fair at all times.