It doesn’t matter what country I’m in or what management team I’m coaching and training, regardless of industry or profession. During my management coach training program, when I ask managers what makes a great leader, I would continually hear similar responses.
I’ve decided to take a moment and capture the top 80 characteristics of Epic Leaders (in alphabetical order) as defined by thousands of managers across the world. (I initially had a list of 30, then 50 and I thought I was done at 73 characteristics but then I kept on going, and continue to add to the list!)
I hope this list serves as a guide or a template for you to refer to that will ensure you are consistently modeling and emulating these core characteristics for your team and for your organization as you continue your ongoing journey to becoming an epic leader yourself.
Epic Leaders Are:
- 100% Accountable (for themselves and for the success and failure of their team/division/organization)
- Able to bring people together to focus on a collective goal
- Attracting the right talent for their organization
- Both result AND process driven
- Challenging status quo
- Consistent in what they say and do and in who they are (both at work and at home)
- Consistently coaching effectively (you can be a great coach but are you consistently coaching? (A.B.C. – Always Be Coaching)
- Detached from the outcome during every conversation. (I know, you may have a reaction to this one :-)
- Developing other leaders
- Driven by a cause/to succeed
- Ego-less (a new word ;-)
- Embracing and managing conflict rather than avoiding it
- Enrolling their team around change to create buy and alignment in rather than forcing change
- Fearless (Embrace their fears)
- Focused on the future, while engaged in the present moment.
- Great to be around
- Highly effective listeners
- Honoring their word
- Human (Vulnerable)
- Leading with a purpose rather than for popularity
- Lifelong learners
- Living in the present – They are mindful of the future while engaged in the moment
- Looking to make an IMPACT
- Masterful coaches
- Mindful of what needs to be measured so that it can be managed (quota, P & L, pipeline, sales, results, commitments, numbers, activity, skill set, mind set, sales process, customer experience, best practices, performance, etc.)
- Models the behavior they want to see in their team and what is possible to achieve
- More responsive (follow a consistent routine) vs. reactive
- Motivating people by their vision and individual goals rather than by fear and consequence
- Never compromising their values (especially when challenged to do so)
- Non judgmental
- Of high integrity
- Ones who have followers
- Ones with a strong presence
- Powerful communicators
- Process Driven
- Putting people first and the numbers/results second (You achieve greater results when you put your people first)
- Putting their people in the spotlight instead of themselves
- Rely on the facts, not costly assumptions
- Result Driven
- Seeking to understand the other person’s point of view
- Strength builders
- Subject Matter Experts
- Team builders
- Thinking BIG
- Unconditionally supportive
- Visionaries who lead with a cause
- Vulnerable (as in authentic/human)
Now, notice the common denominator. These are characteristics rather than competencies.
This is not a list of skills or activities a leader needs to DO. Conversely, it encompasses all the characteristics that embody WHO a great leader is; who they are as an individual, their make-up or the anatomy of a great leader. After all, beliefs precede experience and the quality of output and skill set.
Keep in mind, this is just one list of the characteristics that great leaders embody. I know there are more characteristics to add, so feel free to contribute to this list if there are any other characteristics that resonate for you.
What other characteristics would you add? I’d love to hear from you so feel free to comment below to contribute any additional characteristics of epic leaders!
I like how you have explained the qualities of a good leader and how he or she should cope with the problems encountered