There are 3 key leadership attributes that I believe will lead to effective leadership and high-performing employees. If you want to be a better leader, these would be the 3 attributes I would suggest you focus on. These 3 attributes are focused on by Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic. He’s the Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup, a professor of business psychology at University College in London & Columbia University. His book ‘Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders (and How to Fix It)’ is the base of his TEDx talk. He’s brilliant and he knows a lot about shifting your leadership dynamics.

Leadership Attributes

There are managers and there are leaders. Then there are bosses and they are the worst. Leaders show you what to do, inspire you to be better, and encourage you to grow. They don’t hold you down, they don’t point blame, and they don’t talk down to you. People who can set by example without being told. If you want to identify a better leader or become a better one yourself, here are the 3 things to focus on.

Curiosity

Leaders are always hungry for knowledge. They are eager for truth and are driven to understand why other people think the way that they do. This is an instrumental trait in developing inclusion into the culture of a workplace. Curiosity is the opposite thought process of one who wishes to be right. It isn’t about proving a point as much as it is about extracting information, providing details, and absorbing. I love mingling with people who are different from me. Different opinions have led to a lot of learning opportunities in my life. It’s not only about understanding what makes people tick but also how to connect with them. Connection is a basic human desire that we’ve lost the value of in digital times. The impulse to connect tends to occur with empathetic people, or perhaps it’s what causes empathy. Either way, these are all really positive traits.

  • Listen without judging
  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Present & self-aware
  • Will say “I don’t know”

Humility

The greats are humble. Peyton Manning, Lebron James, Simon Sinek. Being in charge doesn’t mean you are the only one with the right answers or with good ideas. Humble people know that. The leadership attribute I see missing often in work environments is humility, and it shows. It’s instinct to select a confident person for the job, which is why a lot of bosses are selected on their arrogance. I’m aware of my limitations and I’m only pleased with myself when my performance or effort has earned it. There’s no delusion about my talents or skill sets. In fact, I’d rather you decide what you think of me rather than me trying to tell you what I’m capable of. People’s feelings and views matter, not just when they boost my ego or validate an idea. Humble leaders are a true resource and support system for their people. They are a catalyst for growth. Their fires fuel healthy flames that inspire.

  • Show gratitude often
  • Not easily offended
  • Asks for help
  • Respectful

Courage

It’s hard to implement all of the things we already talked about without courage. To be a leader is to be an agent of change. Someone who is pushing themselves and others. I knew I had to get uncomfortable to gain a new level of comfort. Stepping outside of a box can be hard. Courage is certainly required. Leadership is not puppies and rainbows. It’s fighting for what you believe in, it’s being committed even when it’s hard. You will intimidate people, you may lose friends. It takes a lot to do what is right sometimes or to push someone who’s hard to reach. But if you have these leadership attributes, or develop them, you are well on your way to the challenge.

  • Self-Confident
  • Have a high level of integrity
  • Show compassion
  • Are transparent & authentic

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What are your thoughts? What leadership attributes do you believe are most impactful? Do you have anything you’d like to share on the topic? I’d love to hear from you, and let’s connect on LinkedIn.