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The Great Five Traits of an Executive Leader - Qualities to Become a Leader in Your Industry

Friday, May 05, 2023

Do you desire to ascend to higher levels of leadership in your industry? If you have already achieved success in your career path and are aiming to progress to senior levels of executive leadership, there are five traits that must be developed.

If you examine the world's greatest leaders throughout history, you’ll discover they demonstrate these qualities in some way. These characteristics are what separate the men and women who lead others from those who simply do their job.

1. Mission-Oriented

If you’re reading this, chances are you have already achieved some major milestones and advancements in your career. You have worked hard to be great at what you do and be recognized for it.

Executive leadership is more than recognition of your accomplishments. A true leader has a clear understanding of their mission and life’s purpose. This internal North Star guides leaders as they move through the challenges of work, personal growth and relationships.

If you’re still discovering what that mission is for you, consider this: No matter what industry you are in, there is a service only you can provide, given the combination of your skills, education and experience. Think about what that service is. The character of a leader comes from deeply knowing the unique service that you can offer to contribute in a meaningful to the greatest numbers of people. Once you are clear on that service, it can become your purpose. That’s where executive leadership starts.

2. Masterful in Communication

We have been programmed by society and our education system that technical skills are the most important thing to attain. But in practice, communication is one of the most important skills for a leader to have.

If you observe senior executives or senior leaders, you’ll notice they spend most of their days in communication. Their days are spent speaking with investors, boards of advisors, other executives, collaborators, and the media. This is why honing your communication abilities is critical. Leaders must skillfully communicate with a broad spectrum of people.

What really matters is not just what you know or what you’ve studied, but how you communicate your ideas, values and vision to people who are around you. This applies to anything in life: business, politics or relationships. Learning to communicate well will always pay off.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that people who advance quicker in their career paths are those who are great communicators, and not necessarily great technical workers. This is because great communication draws opportunities which translates into career development.

Communication is the highest level of value in the marketplace. People gravitate towards those who communicate well and whose words carry weight with others. As an executive leader, it is crucial that you learn how to communicate with people in a way that creates bonds, builds trust, and attracts opportunity.

Perhaps you feel that you aren’t yet a skilled communicator. The main elements of communication, speaking, articulation and clarity, are all skills that are learnable. We all start from zero with communication skills when we are born, and we gain them as we grow older. With intention and effort, anyone can learn to communicate more powerfully and effectively.

3. Masters at The Art of Selling

Sales is not just another category of communication. The best leaders in the world are excellent at selling. Leaders have to have a way to persuade people to adopt their vision. This requires gaining trust from your team members so they will buy into your vision for success.

To know how to sell, it is important to understand what sales really is. Great selling is at its core giving the highest level of service to another person. Learning to sell requires taking the time to find out who people really are and what they need, instead of just trying to push your priorities on them. Uncovering other peoples’ values and needs requires strategic communication and good listening skills. It requires asking the right questions to know what is important to others. And once you know that, you have to provide something specifically tailored for them and their situation. This is essentially a sale.

If you don’t consider yourself a salesperson, but you desire to be an executive leader, change your thinking. Every meeting you’re a part of, or every time you’re building meaningful relationships, a sale is being made either way. It is often said that in every interaction, you are either selling or being sold to. In order to be the person who leads, develop the skills to persuade others and communicate how you can meet their needs.

4. Disciplined Investing to Build Wealth

One mark of a great leader is well-developed saving and investing habits to build wealth. Leadership seen as simply making a meaningful contribution without any component of financial success is missing a key element. To be a great leader requires building wealth. Building wealth allows you to make greater and more meaningful contributions in the world.

This means making wise decisions with your money: how to make it, keep it, and multiply it. Without financial wealth, people lack the security and freedom they need to live their lives confidently. But by making smart financial choices, you can build the wealth you need to achieve your goals. An individual who has taken the steps to build wealth definitely shows up differently compared to a counterpart who doesn’t have a strong financial foundation.

Great leaders are good stewards of the resources they have, and by leading by example, they can show others what is possible.

5. Specialized Knowledge

There's no doubt that accumulating specialized knowledge is a component of success in any field. Whether you're aiming to attain leadership status in the corporate world or simply wanting to improve your understanding of a subject, deepening your knowledge and expertise in a specific area is essential.

Executive leaders are willing to evolve and reframe their current assumptions. It's a key part of personal development as a leader to challenge your assumptions and remain open-minded.

It’s also critical to remember that knowledge is only one piece of the puzzle. Once leaders have acquired a certain amount of specialized knowledge, they seek to apply it in a practical way. Stepping up into higher levels of leadership requires not only a broad understanding of different disciplines, but also the ability to see opportunities and make decisions based on that knowledge.

People who take the time to study and cultivate these traits will be well prepared for a leadership opportunity even if it means creating opportunities that didn’t otherwise exist.

Surround yourself with people who exemplify the qualities outlined here. Seek out coaching to help develop these qualities and further magnify those where you have natural strengths. With intention and focus, you can attain the qualities to make you a remarkable leader.

Now it is time to move away from the knowledge-gathering stage and move on to the application. If you’d love to learn how to put the principles covered in this blog into action, join me in my executive coaching program where I’ll introduce you to a powerful self- and career-development process.

This is an implementation-to-results program for growth-oriented executives who seek greater career fulfillment through becoming a more skilled version of themselves. It is designed to help you master your mind, develop deeper insights, elevate your communication skills, and become inspired in your career growth.

If you’d love to find out how my methodology can help you with your career goals, apply HEREfor an opportunity to work with me.

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© Mastery Insights Inc. All Rights Reserved