A colleague and I sat down recently to discuss The Bailey Group’s point of view regarding the personality traits and characteristics of healthy, effective and successful leaders. Based on our experience and the most up to date research, here is our list:
- Self-Awareness: Moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts and feelings; the ability to manage your anxiety in a constructive way; awareness of the impact of your behavior on others and the ability to act with intention vs. out of habit.
- Curiosity: Openness to new experiences; willingness to be vulnerable and a beginner; commitment to reading and other means of continuous learning; cultivating the ability to listen to contrary perspectives vs. seeking to dominate and control others; commitment to radical inclusion.
- Humility: A respect for the value and uniqueness of every human being; respecting and valuing other forms of life and the environment; awareness that you are not always going to be right and willingness to change your mind; openness to feedback, even when it is difficult to hear; the ability to own and acknowledge your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
- Resilience: Being able to bounce back in the face of disappointment and overwhelm; the ability to persist in the face of criticism and resistance; being diligent and committed to attending to your physical and emotional health; showing concern for the physical and emotional well-being of your colleagues.
- Ambition: Being accountable for results; taking responsibility; valuing hard work; being committed to outcomes (not just activity); willingness to take the lead when necessary and to be a follower when others are wanting (and have the capability) to lead.
- Empathy: Trying to imagine what it might be like to be in the shoes of another; taking time to consider how your decisions and behavior might impact others; caring enough to modify your behavior (while remaining authentic) when required; when you don’t know how others are feeling or what they are thinking, displaying interest and curiosity by asking and listening to their responses.
- Courage: Inner directedness (knowing and acting on your values and beliefs and judging your own motives and behavior); making bold decisions with incomplete information in service of innovation and making the world better; rewarding experimentation and supporting others who fail with good intent; standing up to resistance and ridicule in the service of what you believe is right.
In an upcoming blog I will share thoughts about the most important leadership competencies enabled by the traits listed above. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts, additions and modifications to the list of traits and characteristics. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on LinkedIn or Twitter.