5 Common Traits of Successful Leaders

What does a successful leader look like? Leadership can take many forms, but it’s been proven that many successful leaders have certain traits in common.

A successful leader not only inspires employees to work hard, but they also work alongside them. In the workplace, having strong positive leadership leads to higher workplace morale, customer satisfaction, and productivity. You’ve heard the phrase, “natural born leader” when referring to an outgoing charismatic person. That may describe you, if not, that’s OK too! There are different leadership styles that highlight different traits. You might naturally have some of those traits, but it’s important to remember that leadership is a skill that you can learn and grow in.

There are five key traits that many of the successful leaders in history and business have possessed: integrity, being teachable, delegation, empathy, and influence. To become a powerful member of your workgroup, evaluate yourself for these qualities and see where you can improve.

To hear the full episode and learn more about becoming a successful leader, listen here:

1. Integrity

This first one we hear a lot at Ritter, as it is the name and one of the core pillars of our partner, Integrity. Integrity means upholding yourself to a standard of honesty, respect, trustworthiness, and ethical values. People are more inclined to listen and follow someone who is rooted in shared values.

It’s important to use your authority to advocate for both your employees and your business because both are equally important. A leader who flip-flops on values and ethics, or constantly switches their viewpoint, will not appear trustworthy or reliable. Be confident in your values, while being open to listening to the values of others.

Accountability also goes under this umbrella of integrity. No one is impervious to error. Own up to your mistakes. It may be difficult to show that much vulnerability with others, but it’s important to share a level of transparency with your team. An employee who trusts their leader is a confident one.

2. Being Teachable

Being teachable goes in part with taking responsibility for your mistakes; that’s the first step. If you don’t learn from it, then it’s not beneficial to you or your team.

In any industry, especially the insurance industry, things are changing constantly. Part of your job is continuing education and getting ready-to-sell. A well-rounded leader must also adjust to the needs and changes that come their way. Be willing to learn new processes, skills, and perspectives. Cultivate a mindset of curiosity, about the people around you, your career — everything.

A well-rounded leader must also adjust to the needs and changes that come their way.

3. Delegation

Delegation is the act of efficiently allocating work and responsibility to your team. Your team will rely on your skill of delegation to get their work done.

Something we see a lot in less successful leaders is hoarding tasks. This could be due to personal perfectionism and or not trusting your team to do the job “right.” If you overload yourself with the work of an entire team, you’re paving the way for poor results and burnout. Take time to teach your staff the processes in place, create a welcoming environment where questions are encouraged.

Part of delegation as a leader is trusting your team to do their part. If your employees are properly trained and have access to guidance, they will successfully carry out their jobs.

4. Empathy

This quality is vital to any role where relationships play a huge part. Empathy is the ability to understand others’ feelings, perspectives, and experiences. If you don’t understand where others are coming from, their viewpoints and opinions, it can hinder creating a connection.

By connecting on a deeper level, your staff will see that you view them as real people, not just cogs in a machine. The people around you each have their own rich inner world. Discover what drives them, their strengths, how they solve problems, and areas to grow in. If you understand them better, the better you can lead them.

By connecting on a deeper level, your staff will see that you view them as real people, not just cogs in a machine.

5. Influence

We hear a lot about “influencers” on the internet, but you’re not trying to get your staff to buy designer clothes with an outfit of the day video or the latest tech. As a leader your influence is a powerful tool.

Using the traits we’ve already covered can help you lead with positive influence. Of course, one of the best things you can do is lead by example. By exhibiting your integrity and strong work ethic on a daily basis, it will make a positive impact on those around you. No one wants to follow a leader who does not follow the rules set in place or meet expectations — yet holds employees to a higher standard than themselves.

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We’re here to help you become the best leader in order to better advocate for your clients. Become a Ritter agent for sales support and educational resources.

Editor’s Note: This post is based on an episode from our ASG Podcast. We have modified content from the original recording. To listen to the full episode, visit RitterIM.com/podcast.

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