8 Secret Traits of Successful Leaders

8 Secret Traits of Successful Leaders

I am so blessed to be surrounded by entrepreneurs – in all kinds of ventures, in all stages of development, doing all kinds of things. These people sustain me, support and encourage me, and also play the role of sounding board (which means they provide wisdom and insight I don’t always want to hear).

Lately, I’ve been reaching out and partnering with new communities, and a common question in the world of small businesses and nonprofits seems to be: what do successful people have that I don’t? 

There’s the obvious and noncommittal answers you can tell anyone: ambition, drive, need, expertise…. but what are those secrets nobody’s talking about? I made that list here. From all the research I’ve done, people I know and have worked with, here’s 8 secret traits of successful leaders:

They’re notoriously impatient. Most leaders (much like myself) do not like to wait for anything. Need a printer fixed? These leaders are more likely to do everything they can right away and rope in the nearest human to fix it before they call support and wait.

They are imaginative. You can usually find these people asking “what if….” questions, and connecting absurd verbs, ideas and tactics.

They are insatiably curious. These leaders never know enough, and want as many perspectives as possible.

They are attentive to the smallest, sometimes most abstract details. Successful leaders are able to draw connections that others don’t always see. They understand cause and effect, and rather than focus on one variable will pay attention to a whole system.

They are strategic in everything they do. These people don’t just do for the sake of doing, or immediate gratification. These leaders are usually three steps ahead in what they’re thinking, doing, saying and planning.

They’re usually brilliant storytellers. Leaders, particularly entrepreneurs know the value of inspiring and empowering with a good story. They’ve been doing it so long with whatever is close to their heart that you just can’t help but listen.

They can live in ambiguity. This holds true for small businesses and charities – you’re never really guaranteed where your next dollar is going to come from, what gig is going to pay the rent or if a major gift will come in that saves a program. Dwelling in that space and moving strategically is a classic hallmark.

They adapt to change well. Whether it’s prospecting a new donor, learning about a new congregant, or “courting” a prospective client while changing marketing strategies and getting rid of out dated accounting practices, leaders adapt well to change.

About the Author:
Tim Campbell
created Relation Media (Canada), a social media, marketing and strategy agency specializing in churches, nonprofits and small businesses. Tim is best described as a left handed, Gemini artsy type with a knack for business and technology. You can learn more or partner with him at www.relationmediacanada.com

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