Nine Common Traits of a Successful Business Leader


Career aspirations are something that many people have. While not everyone has dreams of heading a company, others have becoming a leader in mind, playing a large role in determining the future of a company and the path it takes. If becoming a leader is something that you aspire to be, then you’re probably well aware of just how much work and experience is required. But on top of that there are certain traits that can help determine your success. Here we’ll take a look at nine common traits that successful business leaders tend to possess.

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1. The Desire to Go Above and Beyond

One of the most common traits that a leader seems to hold is that desire to really go above and beyond and that willingness to always do more than that is required of you. Rather than just doing enough to get the job done, successful leaders usually strive for more and want to push themselves that extra mile.

2. A Strong Sense of Innovation and Creativity

Sure, your experience will help you reach a leadership role, but those who are really successful in the role have a knack for innovation and creativity. As the saying goes, you need to be able to think outside the box and come up with products, services, and techniques that are unique, new, creative, and innovative in order to push your company forward.

Recommended reading: Leadership In Business: What Makes People Gravitate To Others?

3. A Calculated Risk Taker

When you hear the words “risk taker” it can seem a bit scary and daunting, but we’re not talking extreme sports here. A successful leader is one that recognises when it makes sense to take a risk, and when that risk can be worth it. It’s all about calculated risks.

4. The Desire to Succeed

How can you possibly head up a company if you don’t have that desire to succeed? This trait just goes with the territory, and means you’re not willing to settle for anything less.

5. Excellent Communication Skills

Becoming the leader of a company isn’t a one-person show. Along the way you’re going to need to work with a lot of different employees, customers, vendors, and partners. You need to be able to work well with others. What this means is that communication skills are of the utmost of importance.

Recommended reading: How to Become a Better Leader

6. Excellent Listening Skills

Just as communication skills are a common trait, so are listening skills. A successful leader needs to be able to listen and really hear the information that is being shared with them. This information can be vital to the company’s success, so it shouldn’t be brushed aside. When a leader shows respect through listening to what others have to say, it also prompts people to come to that leader and share as much information, insight, and ideas as they have.

7. Open to Learning New Things

A successful leader is also one that is open to learning new things. That willingness to hear people out, do research, ask questions, and always look to peel away the layers is essential. 

8. The Ability to Learn from Mistakes and Missteps

No matter who you are, how much education you have, or how much on-the-job experience you have, mistakes and missteps are bound to happen. A successful leader is one that can look at those negative situations and find a useful lesson in them. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s what you do moving forward that really matters.

9. The Ability to Build Professional Relationships

Successful leaders also excel in being able to build professional relationships. This refers to the relationship with co-workers, clients, customers, partners, vendors, suppliers, etc. This quality attracts the brightest and best people to the team, so you end up being surrounded by an “A-team” if you will.

At the end of the day, a successful business leader is a person who puts in the work, builds excellent professional relationships, and possesses that combination of traits that make them ideal to head up a company and lead people.

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