3 Traits That Separate the Best Leaders from Average Ones

3 Traits That Separate the Best Leaders from Average Ones. 3 Successful Leadership Indicators 1) They have a strong sense of purpose, passion, and urgency. The best CEOs move swiftly and decisively towards their personal and professional goals, never losing sight of their organization's core purpose or wavering in their desire for change. Passion keeps leaders personally invested in the success of their organizations. It's important to note, however, that the best leaders don't just make unreasonably impulsive decisions -- they take measured risks to move their organizations into the future and keep ahead of the competition. Their responsibilities are broad and widely varied, requiring them to simultaneously oversee a number of initiatives and projects without losing focus on their organization's core objectives. And this requires an innate ability to sift through information and make firm, confident choices about how to move their organizations forward. While it might seem like it sometimes, successful leaders don't exactly have a psychic power that enables them to make the best decisions -- but they do know how to examine many different sources of information and make clear, largely independent decisions they can proudly stand behind. This might conflict with the conventional view of the chief executive as an extroverted and wildly independent commander, but the Russell Reynolds Associates study found that these leadership qualities were related to favorable organizational results. So what does constant learning look like?

Transcript of Why Great Leadership is About Great Self Awareness
Why Great Leadership is About Great Self Awareness
How to Become a More Adaptable Leader

The best leaders seem to possess an elusive mix of qualities that resist precise categorization.

It feels like every week there’s a new study or book discussing what the best leaders do and don’t do, but what if there was a more data-driven approach to identifying pivotal indicators of successful leadership?

New data from Russell Reynolds Associates and Hogan Assessment Systems sheds some light on what separates the best leaders from average ones. By analyzing interviews, resumes, and multiple personality assessment questionnaires, researchers constructed in-depth psychometric profiles of 200 CEOs from around the world. They then validated the trends in an additional sample of 700 CEOs from Hogan’s global database.

The final results, published in Harvard Business Review, reveal three major indicators of successful CEOs. Although there is no single perfect profile of a successful leader, the following qualities are usually associated with high-performing chief executives. Check them out below to see where you stand.

3 Successful Leadership Indicators

1) They have a strong sense of purpose, passion, and urgency.

The worst thing a CEO can do, according to a related study on CEO transitions by McKinsey & Company, is “sit on their hands.” The best CEOs move swiftly and decisively towards their personal and professional goals, never losing sight of their organization’s core purpose or wavering in their desire for change.

Let’s break these specific qualities down to examine each individually:

Purpose

Think of purpose like an internal compass, guiding a leader’s actions and keeping them focused on the big picture objectives that impact their organization’s bottom line. The best leaders have an innate ability to understand how different components of their organizations contribute to long term goals, and they’re comfortable taking ownership of those larger missions.

Passion

How do you measure passion? It’s tricky, but researchers found that leaders who worked towards their organizational goals with intensity and genuine excitement were more successful overall.

Passion keeps leaders personally invested in the success of their organizations. It helps foster a profound sense of ownership over the changes they initiate, and motivates them to nurture those initiatives with enthusiasm and conviction.

Urgency

Researchers found that urgency often manifested in successful CEOs as impatience and a consistent eagerness to drive progress. Most quality leaders are…

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