Throughout your career, you will collect a host of information, resources, and lessons that will go on to shape your leadership style. Above all, you’ll have to wade through the diverse approaches on morality, etiquette and best practices that set excellent leaders apart. Because corporate success does not depend on skill alone, it’s vital that your character is an asset to the company instead of an obstacle to overcome. There are many positive traits that every good corporate leader should possess. Here are three:
1. Humility: a modest or low view of one’s own importance
“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” — Jesse Jackson
Although leadership roles are often admired and viewed with pride, in practice, true leadership requires a mindset of humility. To be effective, you must be willing to sacrifice, listen, collaborate, and admit when you’re wrong. All four of these skills are rooted in humility. Humble leaders understand that: they don’t have all the answers, won’t always be the smartest person in the room, and don’t need to motivate through intimidation. In fact, humility inspires strong leaders to help others develop similar leadership skills, consequently elevating the culture of the entire company.
2. Lifelong Learner: A person who believes in an “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge
“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.” — Peter Drucker
With the ever-growing amount of available information, you should never reach a point of intellectual complacency. Leaders are learners. No matter where you went to school, or how advanced your degree, there’s always more to know. Studies are conducted and updated every day, further emphasizing the importance of lifelong learning. Great leaders are passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest developments, best practices, advancements and climate.
3. Maturity: the quality of behaving in a way that demonstrates advanced mental and emotional responsibility
“Maturity: Be able to stick with a job until it is finished. Be able to bear an injustice without having to get even… Do your duty without being supervised.” — Ann Landers
Maturity is essential. Leaders are entrusted with responsibilities that often determine whether a company thrives or struggles. It’s important that those who hold the most power also have the most restraint and can view matters from differing perspectives. Mature leaders are respectful, resilient, and level-headed. They put effort into delivering controlled responses and treating people fairly. Under mature leadership, team members can feel comfortable relying on their manager’s discretion and judgment calls.
Your everyday thoughts and actions become the foundation of your character. To put it simply, habits matter. Are you spending enough time investing into others? Do you believe in continuous improvement? Do you spend enough time reflecting to ensure that you are handling situations thoughtfully? If you want to be a good leader, the answer should be a resounding “yes.” By allowing these three traits to be a part of your corporate mindset, you’ll have a legacy of leadership that you’ll be able to look back on with pride.