The most effective executives don’t accept mediocrity. They can’t accept the idea that good is good enough and they never let others adopt that belief.
To give job seekers – a full perspective on how leaders operate, our sales recruiters have listed 15 behaviors and traits of the best executives.
1. Learn continuously. Leaders are never satisfied with what they know. On a daily basis, they allot time in order to become familiarized with new business aspects. They understand that learning is the best way out of any trap. Through consistent learning, they have the confidence to try lots of new things, keep those that work and quickly discard those that do not.
2. Listen intently. Leaders know what questions to ask and understand how to apply those lessons to their everyday life. They partner with people who can do things they can’t.
3. Have the ability to see things from other people’s perspectives. Truly great executives possess the ability to look beyond their own interests and can consider an issue from every possible angle. They are judgement free when analyzing a situation which affords them the ability to understand complex situations to their fullest.
4. See the big picture and, by understanding the overarching goals of the company, they are able to allot their time to only those activities that forward the organization. Leaders eliminate tasks that need not be done at all and can effectively delegate work that can be done by others.
5. Leaders learn from every experience. They try new things, take a lot of chances and take time to learn after every defeat or victory.
6. Consistently expand their world. While most people in corporate America are married to the status quo (i.e. think small and safely), they consistently find new, innovative ways to conduct business.
7. Acquire focused thinking. By removing distractions and mental clutter, leaders possess the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time and, thus can concentrate on a single issue and think with clarity. Effective executives focus on outward contribution. They gear their efforts to focus on results rather than on work itself.
8. View problems as temporary and surmountable. One of the defining characteristics of a leader is that they tend to believe that defeat is a temporary setback. Instead of turning setbacks into disasters, they view hurdles as challenges to be overcome and, thus try harder.
9. Effectively deal with disapproval. Leaders do not allow the approval or particularly disapproval of others to unduly influence them. When they encounter rejection, it doesn’t send them in a downward spiral because they see rejection for what it actually is – simply the opinion of another person who may or may not know what they are talking about.
10. Focus on continually improving their subordinates. Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach and build self-confidence. To the effective manager, every day is about growing people. Moreover, the best leaders care passionately about their people.
11. The leader has a clear idea of what he or she wants to do professionally and personally, and has the strength to persist in the face of setbacks and even failures.
12. Possess self-confidence. Self-confidence and conviction should be rampant in today’s leader. These traits make a manager bold and decisive, which is absolutely critical in times when you must act quickly. Great executives are comfortable in their own skin which promotes decisive behavior.
13. Leaders have an uncanny ability to energize others. Positive energy gets other people revved up. They understand that people who energize can inspire their team to take on the impossible – and enjoy the hell out of doing it.
14. Heavy-duty resilience. Every leader makes mistakes, every leader stumbles and falls. The question is whether they can regroup and then get going again with renewed speed, conviction and confidence. One of the ways that Jack Welch deciphered leaders from followers is that he would look for those who had the wind knocked out of them, but proved that they could run even harder in the next race.
15. Have passion for their job and life, in general. True leaders know that the goal isn’t worth arriving if they don’t enjoy the journey. They love what they do.
In the End
One of the best parts of leading is that you get to become better everyday at your job. Always challenging yourself is how leaders approach their career.