Qualities for Leadership Success and Failures

Amazon sells 7,918 books on “Leadership Qualities.” So how is it possible that 80% of all employee turnover is related to bad management?


People don’t quit jobs. They quit bosses. What leadership qualities are employees and corporations looking for? What makes a leader succeed or fail? These questions are important because hiring a new employee is far more expensive than keeping one you already have. Five times more expensive to be exact.


Take risks. Stay focused.


Harvard Business Review published the results of a research study analyzing the personality traits of 200 CEO’s around the globe. The results show successful CEO’s are far more likely to make risky decisions and will move more swiftly than executives in other positions. They are decisive and do not get bogged down in details, enabling them to visualize how their choices affect future successes.


Innovate. Let it go.


Great leaders assign projects to their teams and move on to dreaming up the next big thing. Micromanagement is a pitfall leaders fall into early in their careers and hopefully shake as time goes on. If a leader is busy doing the minutia on a project, that leaves little mental capacity to innovate new ideas and lead their company into new development.


Delegate. Give credit where credit is due.


Leaders assemble a team of talent and all too often, crush it by taking credit for their accomplishments. There are few things more demoralizing than spending weeks on a project only to have your boss walk into a board meeting and tout the work as their own. Did their vision play a part in the success of the project? Absolutely. But great leaders let responsibility trickle down and actively compliment the members of their team for a job well done.


Employee engagement.


Great leaders get to work early and stay late. This is not really a surprise. Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes at 4:30 a.m., checks and responds to email, exercises and heads into the office. This time spent on a disengaged activity allows more one-on-one time for employees.


Harvard Business Review researched how much time managers spent with their direct reports. Shockingly, the average shakes out to 30 minutes every three weeks. This lack of one-on-one time directly affects employee disengagement. Great managers mentor and provide on-the-job training, or their direct reports are two times more likely to be dissatisfied with their management.


Let us know what leadership skills you find valuable and what tools you use to grow and keep great leaders.


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