After more than a decade of researching, reading, studying and curiously seeking the best practices for leadership development, I’ve found a fascinating range of traits that many seasoned leaders possess.
Did you ever wonder how CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies become the CEO’s? Did they have a boss who encouraged them? Did they have an excellent role model that they followed early on in their career? Did they have a clear plan early in their career? How did they get on the leadership path to begin with?
With that said, how is your path similar or different from theirs? Are you where you want to be?
Of course, not all leadership paths lead directly to the C-Suite. However, they can absolutely lead to highly visible and influential positions within an organization or community.
What I’ve learned by asking questions, talking to trusted advisors and reading a wide range of bios and financial reports that measure a CEO’s performance is that they tend to share the following (not so common) traits:
1. High Personal Standards – Expect only the best from yourself early on! This can be accomplished through positive role models early in life. This foundation is essential to your long-term personal and professional success.
2. Willingness to Make Trade-Offs – Make sacrifices to get to where you want to be! The key trade–off is around time. At least in the beginning you will not have as much time to devote to a wide range of interests outside your work. Time is your most precious asset. Average CEO’s work 60 to 75 hours per week.
3. Open to New Possibilities – Have the courage to explore new possibilities! Many high performing CEO’s start their professional careers at an entry-level position, and then pursue a wide range of functions and divisions within the organization. These experiences help them to better navigate their career path in addition to helping them make good leadership decisions later in life.
4. Courage to Take a Risk – Take a risk for new challenges and fresh perspectives! Did you ever wonder why CEO’s would leave a great and high paying job after leading a company for 10 or 20 years? They were willing to take on a new risk by changing companies and even industries, in order to continue growing and challenging themselves as leaders.
5. Self-Awareness – Acquire the competencies, commitment and character to succeed! Knowing what are you good at, what excites you, and what is good for you. This will directly impact how fast you achieve what are you seeking to accomplish.
Further, it is essential to have a self-assessment and review of where you are versus where you would like to be. Here are some thoughts on the “how”:
- Take time to reflect on your interests – Know what you are passionate about in your work, what you are good at, and what you really enjoy doing
- Strive to achieve your best – Constantly stretching your abilities and core strengths
- Be bold – Go for challenging jobs and difficult tasks
- Embrace change – Go for breadth rather than specialization by tackling different kinds of jobs or by broadening your current position
- Surround yourself with great people – Friends, mentors and colleagues advice, input and support will assist you to overcome challenges
Massive growth, success and happiness to YOU in 2015!
P.S. Do you have topic or question that I can discuss in my next posting? I read each and every comment and would love to hear from you.
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Learn… Lead… Love… Izabela Lundberg (@IzabelaLundberg) is CEO and Founder of Izabela Lundberg International. She is an Executive Consultant, Trainer & Speaker for Fortune 500 and Professional Athletes & Coaches. She is #1 International Best Selling Author & Leading Authority of Leadership Transformation From Fear to Greatness. Drawing on her extensive global business management, diversity, and high-performance impact expertise through her work with people from over 80 countries, Izabela also writes and speaks on topics such us Strategic Leadership & Influence, Legacy Leadership, & #HighPerformance #Impact.