The Strategist

Five unexpected traits of successful leaders

12/27/2019 - 09:38

What is leadership? For some, it means creating a company that will change the world. Others identify it with the ability to make decisions in a large company that needs to adapt to change. Whatever your ambitious plans are, the key to success is not only skills, but also a way of thinking.

Ahead of all

To be a leader, you need to learn how to filter and analyze facts, feedback and even fears that attack you every day. When you see an opportunity, you must act quickly to understand the direction in the world is moving. If you wait until the trend becomes apparent, then you are already late. Inaction is much more dangerous than moving forward.

Think like teens

Although lines of their business and personal qualities vary, leaders are united by traits that you need to rely on today. Many modern leaders were so inexperienced and unprepared in their respective fields that critics and competitors easily dismissed them, believing them to be unintelligible, naive, and even immature individuals. But despite their inexperience, they have an insatiable curiosity and the ability to work with several blocks of data at the same time. Along with a bold, bordering on a dream vision of what they are striving for, they have a special talent to quickly switch to other topics and form a daring, fantastic idea of their company. These people act and think like teenagers - with enthusiasm, bold dreams and ambitions that are common to everyone at this age. Teenagers do not believe in gradual changes, and so do the best leaders. They seek to disrupt the existing order of things and defiantly believe that it is in their power to change the world. 

Be quick

Take risks and act quickly. Pioneers face enormous risks, but receive more attention, opportunities, and freedom of action to make mistakes.

Better to stumble first than to come last. Remember that failure awaits you. Sometimes you will fall. Climb up, draw conclusions from the mistakes and go forward. How you overcome failure is as important as how you experience success.


Be a magnet for talent. Become a person who welcomes innovation and drives change. And remember the famous words: “People will remember not what you say, but what you made them feel.” 

Comfort Zone

Abundance of information does not make us more enlightened. Perhaps you think it’s easier today to find data and identify patterns. In the end, now we have a huge amount of information and artificial intelligence. In fact, the solution to this problem has become more complicated.

Increasing access to information made it easier for people to find news that confirms their point of view. Instead of communicating with representatives of other opinions, we are increasingly contacting people who are like us and share our views. We filter the world through our "friends."

It is important to go beyond the comfort zone and talk with those whose path does not intersect with yours every day. By and large, we all need to remain as curious as in adolescence. Perhaps this advice seems strange in the business sphere, but curiosity about those things that you do not understand can be a decisive factor in your success as a leader.

Based on "Connecting the Dots. Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World" by John Chambers

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