The keys to being a successful leader

Leadership comes from past learnings. Whilst some may be better suited to leadership naturally, everyone can be a leader. It is the accumulation of past experiences, both successful and unsuccessful, that combine to form leadership.

Leaders are able to make good decisions under immense pressure. They understand the situation before others do and take the opportunity. A good leader understands his or her team’s behavioural patterns.

They will always be in control, understanding each and every state. The keys to being a successful leader do not involve extraordinary traits, but simply personable traits that enable one to get the best out of themselves and their team in any given circumstance.


Knowing and understanding the functions of your team members is important. You need to know how they will react to different situations, how to provide effective feedback and how to get the most out of them. Recognising how a team member feels at any given time will benefit both the individual and the team.


Regular communication creates an open environment, improving confidence and creativity. Providing constant feedback, updates and goals for your team members not only structures their approach, but also provides a strong support base. Encouraging communication between members will help to further build this.

Honesty and humility is essential to effective communication, encouraging mistakes to be made (in the right way and with the aim of learning) creating a positive environment and this fosters growth. Understanding your own mistakes and passing on knowledge to your team improves overall performance.


business leader delegation
How will you delegate the work that needs to be done? Photo: Ismagilov, Bigstock

Placing trust in your team is pivotal to output. Delegating roles to the relevant people is crucial to growth, success and proper time management. This is the most important part of the delegation process – knowing your team.

Knowing your team ensures that each person is allocated a task in accordance with their strengths. This ensues trust and further builds it through successive tasks and goals.

Team First attitude

Putting your team first creates a sense of power within the team. By putting your team first, you are showing them that you are equal and not abusing your own power.

It also further builds trust and confidence in the team, knowing that they will at no stage be left to fight on their own. It again, provides a solid support base and structured team approach.

Confident & Positive

This again links in with good communication. Confidence and positivity are crucial to maintaining a team’s morale and therefore efficiency and quality of work. Making the tough decisions with a distinctive direction and reason exudes confidence and also builds trust within your team.

Whilst criticism is necessary for improvement and development, it is important that this is done in a constructive and positive way. By building a constructive and team orientated environment as mentioned above, criticism is seen as a positive for the team with the view of improving and reaching better results.

Inspire & Empower

business leader inspire
For the team’s success, you will need to know how to inspire them. Photo: Pavel Ilyukhin, Bigstock

A single vision is essential to team success. Making your team feel invested in the accomplishments of the process, helps to inspire and drive motivation and work ethic.

Generating enthusiasm and providing your team members with key responsibilities will aid in both inspiration and empowerment so that everyone in the team feels an equal contributor.

This will also challenge people to think. A good leader will constantly be challenging his or her team to ensure that they are getting the best out of them. This keeps people on their toes, producing an ever growing environment.

Empowerment will increase everyone’s will to work hard and achieve the envisioned goal of success. Additionally, acknowledging people’s work and rewarding them accordingly is critical to empowerment and inspiration.

Lead by Example

This may sound easy, but it is often the hardest of the all. Successful leaders are always aware of their surroundings and know that everyone is watching them. They practice what they preach to encourage a team effort and team values.

Not only are they meticulous in their actions but are also the first to accept a wrong doing and admit it to the rest of the team. Leading by example fosters an open environment and encourages everyone to speak up – not just those who own a title.

Invest in Relationships

business leader building relationships
Build strong and lasting relationships with your team. Photo: Vector Fusion Art, Bigstock

A good leader doesn’t just invest in their own domain but is continually looking to expand it. Developing relationships is often a mutually beneficial exercise as it allows both people to learn and grow.

Investing in new relationships with help to broaden ones influence and build momentum around success. New relationships will not only aid in achieving the desired goal but assist in the advancement of others creating growth and development around them.

Ultimately, successful leaders are able to sustain success because they are constantly following and engaging with these traits. These key characteristics allow leaders to not only grow themselves but also grow those around them and foster a positive and motivated environment. They serve as enablers of success as well as achievers.

Zac Fyffe
Zac Fyffe
Passionate about writing and sharing my experiences with others. Zac has a keen interest in sport and politics in particular. Contact: [email protected]
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