What do great leaders have in common?

3 min readOct 30, 2022

Not everyone can lead. Not everyone deserves to lead. As a Leader, Every single day, your job is to excite your team, have them buy into the collective mission, and really understand what it is you’re trying to accomplish. And the more your organization grows, it’s not just about the founders or executives being able to inspire, but about your managers, your department heads, even your junior employees being able to do the same.

In my over 15 years of leadership experience at firts-class global companies, and in my ongoing work teaching and coaching teams at various stages in their careers, I’ve developed a very clear point-of-view about what behaviors contribute to leadership that works. That point-of-view is gleaned from my own leadership journey as well as hundreds of books on the topic and my observations of the other leaders in the marketplace.

I’ve worked with many visionary, inspirational, and highly effective leaders. And I’ve been exposed to just as many who were out of their depth, short-sighted, or simply lacked the skill to get the job done in a quality and sustainable way. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.

Great leaders approach their work in a way that is tough-minded on standards and tender-hearted with people. Leaders who just focus on results don’t do nearly as well as those that also pay attention to relationships.

You might think that to be a truly effective leader all that is required is drive, ambition and more than a touch of charisma. Whilst these traits are undoubtedly important, they are not the only traits that a great leader needs. As a leader you are constantly being handed challenges. Whether your organisation is big or small there is one thing to note — great leadership is at the heart of any successful company.

What do great leaders have in common? In my experience, great leaders have ifteen important things in common. In those fifteen things, you’ll find an equal balance of practices that are people-focused, and practices that are performance-oriented.

  1. They Know Thyself and works on their strengths and weaknesses .
  2. They create other leaders, not followers.
  3. They know how to communicate well.
  4. They know what Makes Employees Stay And Leave.
  5. They say what they mean, and mean what they say.
  6. They invest in their employees growth and wellbeing.
  7. They are highly confident in taking the decisions and executing the plans.
  8. They have a positive attitude at all times.
  9. They know The Power Of Feelings and they treat employees well.
  10. They know how to align the organization, or their team, to get the results they want.
  11. They create a clear and compelling direction for people to follow.
  12. They lead by example. They take the lion’s share of the responsibility.
  13. They articulate a higher purpose — both for themselves and for the organization.
  14. They show their commitment and know how to cope with failure.
  15. They build trust, inspire and empower the people around them.

Real leadership goes well beyond skills.

Leadership is both a science and an art; it’s the finely-honed craft of influencing others. In these fifteen things that great leaders have in common, there’s a little from the art side, and a little from the science side. In life there are no guarantees, but when you put these 15 things together, in my experience, you’re in a good position to practice and excel in leadership that really works.

Do you have these 15 things that all great leaders have? If not, then think about the next steps you need to take in order to become one, if that is your goal for 2023! All the best!

References : ConantLeadership, Inc, Talentese & clinicallab

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Prawin is a Agile Delivery Manager at Medloop Ltd. London. Accomplished leader with over 15 years of a successful career in Agile & DevOps Transformation.