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Traits and Attributes of a Successful Leader


Organizations create goals and objectives that enable them to develop suitable strategies for success. The vital component in ensuring that a company becomes successful is having a visionary leader who believes in the importance of the team. Leading influences all the processes that align together towards meeting the final goal. When an organization realizes they have the wrong person as a leader, they often make changes to facilitate a smooth process toward achieving success. This indicates that people have different traits and qualities that differentiate them from a good leader. One can be a good manager while at the same time becoming a poor leader. Managers and leaders apply different approaches to achieve their goals. Managers often demand people to comply with rules and procedures while the leaders thrive or challenge norms through their vision. This assignment focuses on outlining the key issues in understanding Leadership.

The art of leading

Leadership is an attribute tied to an individual to signify seniority in rank, which means it is developable over time. Another thing is that Leadership is an individual’s ability to influence and guide members of an organization or society toward achieving their goals and objectives. Leadership is a significant body in an organization because it plays a vital role in the success and direction of the company. Successful leaders understand the business environment and, therefore, offer insights that communicate the strategies and approaches towards achieving the mission, vision, goals, and team building, which are significant capabilities in times of crisis.

Success is an end product of hard decision-making, which depends on leaders with emotional intelligence and high competencies to make these decisions and deal with emerging issues that affect the normal business environment. The company gives them a high level of trust. It builds a positive business environment that encourages employee well-being, strong cultures, and attractive top talent. Leaders have the authority to design the process on how to achieve success (Wang, Ou, and Song, 2022, pg. 147). Their attributes and traits complement this authority. Some characteristics that will define a successful leader include self-confidence, strong communication, creative thinking, innovative thinking, management skills, reactiveness, perseverance, and willingness to take risks. The art of Leadership is, therefore, built on the traits and attributes of an individual. They can be referred to as inborn characteristics that influence others to follow them because they are doing the right thing, unlike managers who are more concerned with doing things right.

What is involved in being a successful leader

Effective leaders ensure that they build their followers to execute their duties efficiently. They take a personal interest in the development of their employees by using communication skills, motivational skills, and other skills that enhance their training and help them achieve their best. The foundation of Leadership is based on this group of individuals’ influence on their followers. Steve Jobs managed to influence and impact his followers through his visionary thinking and effective communication and motivation skills, which helped push the company forward and increase its market share. The most significant factor that made Steve Jobs a successful leader is his ability to have a clear vision and values and communicate effectively to his followers.

Strong communication skills are crucial in becoming an effective or successful leader. Strong communication involves active listening, Clear understanding and articulation, and having the ability to adapt different communication styles for different audiences. Leading involves ensuring that people get the right message at the right time, which means that the communication style does not lead to miscommunication that could discourage progress in the company (Guzmán et al., 2020, pg. 546). Leaders are managers who connect well with the other employees through the bond created to complement each other. The environment created is positive and allows everyone to participate by communicating their thoughts and adding more to the pool of resources required to achieve an organization’s goals and objectives.

Furthermore, effective leaders must be able to make timely and informed decisions considering all the factors involved. In times of crisis, people avoid more problems when they have an effective leader who is not afraid of taking calculated risks that help reduce losses and ensure that the organization deals with emerging problems on time(Guzmán et al., 2020, pg. 549). To become an effective and successful leader, one has to have the ability to make hard decisions by considering all the factors involved and becoming decisive despite the risks.

Leaders should also be able to quickly adapt to change due to the dynamic business environment. To become a successful leader, one must be flexible, open to ideas, and navigate through the uncertainties that arise daily. Having the mindset or the skillset to adapt to change is a critical component that ensures success when unlikely scenarios occur in the business world. A leader must be able to change the leadership and management styles according to the changing situations. Failure to adapt to these changes could derail the company’s progress and make it impossible for the organization to succeed. This involves revising plans and adjusting the strategies because of the changing environment.

Successful leaders focus on creating a positive work environment. They ensure that all the employees are team members and are motivated to execute the responsibilities with due diligence because they have built trust and helped their leaders achieve the organization’s goals (Sang, 2021). This is possible because successful leaders have empathy, which means they understand and empathize with the team members, which helps them connect with the team on a personal level. This trait enables others to admire and aim to use their energy to enable their leaders to achieve the set targets.

Another important characteristic that makes one a successful leader is the ability to act with honesty and integrity. Trust is key to building positive relationships, and with honesty and integrity, leaders can build the trust that is vital in creating positive connections. Effective leaders want to create an environment where their followers do not require any motivation to follow. Still, instead, they follow the instructions and even contribute to executing tasks effectively.

Effective leaders build positive relationships with others, but what is most important is being able to delegate duties. Knowing when and how to delegate duties is significant in becoming a successful leader. This skill allows the leader to focus on the high-priority tasks when other people are completing all the other tasks. By empowering the team members to become efficient through the trust bestowed on them, a leader can motivate and train others to become efficient in other areas. Successful leaders build a team that understands what needs to be done and does it without supervision. Leading requires the support of those below you in terms of rank so that tasks are completed when delegated.

Motivating and inspiring others is essential for a successful leader (Stein and D’Innocenzo, 2021). This means that leaders should be able to recognize and appreciate the efforts being put in by their followers. They must know they are part of the wheel driving the company to success. The appreciation of the team’s efforts creates a positive workplace culture by allowing the employees to feel that their leader is leading by example and therefore should be emulated. Inspiration skills create positive-minded individuals who will participate actively in meeting the company goals.

Also, successful leaders do not stop learning, and they have to be informed on the changing market trends, leading, and management techniques. And other changing dynamics that may affect the business environment. In other words, successful leaders consider self-improvement as a step towards success. Introducing new industry trends requires an individual who is up-to-date and can find real-time solutions to emerging issues in the business environment. This is only possible when the company has a leader who never stops learning.

Lastly, to become a successful leader, one must be resilient because the job often involves setbacks and difficulties, which means that failure to deal with these challenges and learning from previous mistakes will halt progress. A leader has to respond positively to these issues and maintain a positive outlook, which is crucial for long-term success. Leadership is a journey of growth and success, and this path is filled with ups and downs which requires an individual with strong personal traits and attributes to enable him/her to become resilient and learn from failures.

To become a successful leader involves the combination of the above traits and attributes. This is a group of individuals able to build strong relationships with their followers by ensuring that they understand their duties and responsibilities without forcing them by ensuring that they are passionate through the empathy, inspiration, and integrity possessed by the leader (Spurk, Hofer, and Kauffeld, 2021). A Leader does things the right way without coercing members but through inspiration and motivation. Integrating their aspects can create a positive culture that leads to organizational success.

Can good Leadership be developed?

The traits and attributes that make an individual a successful leader indicate that these values can be developed and make one a good leader. The innate leadership qualities involve the possession of certain qualities that can be refined over time. Some ways that this can be done include;

  1. Self-awareness- this is a process of understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses. This understanding creates ways of dealing with their shortcomings and enhancing improvements. Self-awareness is the basis of personal growth.
  2. Practicing communication- communication is a foundation for creating teamwork. With this exercise, it is possible to adapt to different communication styles, which helps build one’s ability to become an effective leader.
  3. Setting goals- it is important to identify specific leadership goals and plan how to achieve them. This will help enhance the ability of an individual to deal with challenges and expand his/her knowledge base, which helps in learning.
  4. Developing emotional intelligence- Leaders understand and manage their emotions and know how to deal with people by employing different strategies from one person to another through the skills achieved from emotional intelligence training. It is, therefore, vital to develop these skills to become a successful leader.
  5. Taking on new leadership opportunities- This is a new way of developing critical components of successful Leadership. The process involves taking a chance to lead by participating in leadership roles in the current role. This is an opportunity to add invaluable experience which helps build leadership skills.
  6. Staying adaptable- adaptability is a critical component of Leadership, and being adaptable makes it possible to develop the skills necessary to deal with change in the industry.

It is important to note that Leadership is a process or a journey and not a destination which involves reflecting on past experiences and identifying the areas that need improvement. An individual willing to evolve can enhance self-awareness and refine his skills toward becoming an effective leader. In summary, we are born with the traits that influence our abilities to become successful leaders. We can refine our abilities and create good and effective leaders with a good approach. The willingness to evolve forges one to become sufficient and create a following.

Transformational Leadership focuses on the types of relationships that exist between the leader and the follower. The positive change in the followers arises when there is an attempt to create them into leaders. In other words, the theory of transformational leaders is built on the morale, motivation, and performance of the followers who attain these values from those leading them. Leaders are, therefore, created by those above them, and when they are successful, it is possible to create a new generation of leaders who possess the right skills for the task. Transformational Leadership connects the followers’ sense of identity to the company’s mission and collective identity; these leaders are role models who inspire and challenge them to take greater ownership of their work. Transformational leaders align the strengths or weaknesses of their followers with tasks to optimize their performance. Through these exercises, they can become successful leaders when allowed to lead because they learn from those above them.

Leadership Vs. management

Although Leadership and management are interconnected, their primary focus diverges within the organizational context. Leadership is more concerned with the positive that it has on the stakeholders in that it focuses on the impact of vision, inspiration, and the development of a positive culture or environment in the workplace. It is a belief that by influencing people well in the workplace, we stand a chance of being successful, as opposed to the concept of management, where the manager gives the rules and procedures to be followed to complete certain tasks.

Leaders identify a given vision for the future far beyond the immediate objectives and can only be attained by tapping into the aspirations of the team or organization. This visionary thinking present in Leadership creates a sense of direction and purpose. Leaders are a group of individuals who motivate and build a web of teammates who are motivated and inspired by the leader’s vision, hence creating a sense of belonging through a shared vision and belief that they can make it happen.

In other words, Leadership is people-oriented, which means that Leaders understand the significance of relationships and emotional intelligence, which is obtained by investing time and effort in understanding the needs, aspirations, and strengths/weaknesses of individuals within the organization. The leadership approach focuses on building a team where those in higher positions play an important role in developing a pivotal role in creating an inclusive environment that improves the chances of succeeding. Empathy is one of a leader’s most important traits as it facilitates understanding of team members. There are a variety of personalities and talent levels among these individuals. A good leader must establish a rapport with these individuals in order to comprehend them and provide direction for achieving the objectives of the company. Effective communication, which facilitates mutual understanding and enables personal connections, is a defining characteristic of a successful leader.

The capacity to adjust to the changing corporate environment is another quality that sets leaders apart from managers. Leaders will find a way to get things done correctly even in the face of uncertainty. In addition, managers will be more focused on adhering to organizational convention than they will be on adapting to the ever-evolving commercial landscape. Effective leaders are often adaptable, receptive to new ideas, and strong in the face of adversity. Managers, on the other hand, will not welcome change as a chance to advance and become better; instead, they will uphold the status quo.

Moreover, leadership has less to do with positional power between a manager and subordinates and more to do with the effect that a leader has on those under him. This enables the leader to draw on the wide range of abilities of his followers, motivating and inspiring them to succeed. Instead, than stemming from their position of power, leaders’ influence is based on their ability to inspire and motivate their team, as well as their willingness to lead by example. Leaders that possess this influence are able to direct their teams toward a common objective. On the other hand, management is concerned with the protocols and procedures followed in achieving the organization’s goals. The process is optimized and cannot be changed, meaning there is no concentration on teamwork, but one must follow the given process to arrive at a given result. Management does not allow the team to become creative. The management process follows three distinct steps: planning, organizing, and controlling resources according to a given set of plans. Managers have one single job: to ensure that all the operations in an organization run smoothly, that goals are achieved within a given timeframe, and that the resources are utilized efficiently.

The most important element of management is control. The managers are responsible for ensuring that plans and processes are executed, which requires a larger focus on problem-solving within immediate operational challenges. At the same time, leaders will set direction and identify strategies or approaches to guide them. Managers will navigate issues arising when they implement their set strategies, hence making decisions on the problems that arise on the spot to maintain operational effectiveness. Also, management is more concerned with the short-term perspective because they operate within defined timelines and will struggle to meet the desired goals within some constraints. This contrasts with the long-term vision of Leadership, where the focus is more on the company’s future and not on the short-term goals. In summary, the relationship between a manager and a leader is that management is doing things right, and Leadership is doing the right things. A successful organization will blend these two facets where leaders will use their visionary thinking and managers will use their skills to navigate daily operations challenges.


Successful leaders are instrumental when it comes to achieving company goals. This group uses their visionary thinking skills to identify future goals and, through influence, create a following passionate enough to achieve these goals. Leaders understand the significance of building a positive business environment. With this in mind, they develop an emotional intelligence coupled with empathy, which is significant in influencing the team to work together. A leader thrives by forging a personal relationship with his followers. Leaders have strong communication skills, making it possible to deal with a diverse team and avoid creating problems that could affect their progress. We are born with the traits that influence our abilities to become successful leaders, and with a good approach, we can refine our abilities and create good and effective leaders. Leadership and management may look interconnected, but they possess certain differences. Leaders are more concerned about the long-term vision and will build positive relationships and develop approaches to meeting these goals. On the other hand, managers will focus on short-term goals and deal with challenges that may result immediately through the use of designed strategies.


Guzmán, V.E., Muschard, B., Gerolamo, M., Kohl, H. and Rozenfeld, H., 2020. Characteristics and Skills of Leadership in the Context of Industry 4.0. Procedia Manufacturing43, pp.543-550.

Sang, T.K., 2021. Leadership Capability:“What We Do as a Leader”. International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology12(1).

Spurk, D., Hofer, A. and Kauffeld, S., 2021. Why does competitive psychological climate foster or hamper career success? The role of challenge and hindrance pathways and leader-member-exchange. Journal of Vocational Behavior127, p.103542.

Stein, D.E. and D’Innocenzo, L., 2021, June. So, you want to be a leader? In Seminars in Colon and Rectal Surgery (Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 100810). WB Saunders.

Wang, D., Ou, A.Y. and Song, L.J., 2022. Stay humble and fly high: The roles of subordinate voice and competitive work context in the linkage between leader humility and career success. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies29(1), pp.147-166.


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