Do You Possess These 5 Traits to Become a Great Executive Leader?


Although there is no exact formula for becoming a “great executive leader”, there are many common traits, strengths, and skills that the majority of great executive leaders possess. Learning how to acquire, develop and utilize these attributes can dramatically improve your career performance and help you to stand out among other executive candidates.

In order to set yourself apart and excel as an executive leader, you must be:executive leadership

A Strong Communicator

Central to becoming a great leader is your ability to communicate. Not only must you be adept at communicating your thoughts, ideas, mission, needs, and goals, communication is also key to boosting team morale and productivity.

In addition to articulating your own thoughts, being a strong communicator is about listening and being receptive to the ideas of others. Great leaders do not come up with all new ideas themselves.  Successful leaders will be able to seek out and identify great ideas from others, and so must create an environment of trust and encouragement.

A Skilful Networker

Networking is a difficult art to master, but those who do invest their time in building strong professional relationships certainly reap the rewards. Creating mutually beneficial relationships with clients, co-workers and search consultants can improve your personal brand image, endorse your leadership skills and help you advance to new leadership opportunities.

A Fast Learner

We all make mistakes, even great executive leaders. But when they happen, rather than shy away from the error, great leaders must take charge, and implement preventative measures and learn valuable lessons along the way. New ideas cannot flourish without the freedom to fail, but great leaders will be able to respond swiftly failure and avert crises.

An Approachable “People Persons”

To be considered a great leader, you must demonstrate sensitivity, compassion and understanding with those you work with regarding both personal and professional matters.

They must also present themselves as people of credibility and humility. Be open and honest in your communications, and be mindful of the line between self-confidence and arrogance. Those who can master this are far more likely to be respected and appreciated in the workplace.

A Calculated Risk Taker

Sometimes executives need to take risks in order to progress forward. Being able to accept responsibility and make decisive, strategic decisions and calculated risks helps to display confidence and leadership. Great executive leaders have courage in their convictions and are prepared to make those tough calls, when others are not.

If you would like to learn how to cultivate your own leadership style and advance your executive career, join this month’s complimentary webinar “What Makes a Great Executive Leader?” 

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About the author

This article was written by Lisa Marsh, Marketing Manager at the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC).

About the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants

Since 1959, the AESC has set the standard for quality and ethics in executive search and leadership consulting worldwide. Because AESC members must commit and adhere to the AESC's industry and government recognized Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, clients can be assured that AESC members are able to serve as trusted advisors for their most important engagements. As the voice for executive search and leadership consulting worldwide, today the AESC is comprised of more than 350 member firms, representing 8,000 executive search professionals in 75 countries. To learn more about the AESC and its membership, visit www.aesc.org.

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Share your thoughts


What qualities and behaviors do you believe define a good leader? A good leader must have tenacity and vision in my opinion. He must lead from the front whether through good or bad times.
- How does emotional intelligence and self-awareness fit into leadership development? All leaders must have emotional intelligence, due to the fact that they are dealing with different personalities in their workforce.
- Are leadership assessments still important to the executive hiring process? I do believe that it is still critical. However, in my opinion, I am still of the view that executive leaders should be constantly learning new ways of leadership.
- How can modern leaders make the workplace better and inspire their teams? Modern leaders make the workplace fun by including their workers to be the best at any task given.

Thank you for your comments on the article above.

We agree that a great leader must have vision, tenacity, self-awareness and emotional intelligence too. To learn more about the traits and skills of exceptional leaders, including how to nurture them within yourself, join us for our upcoming complimentary webinar "What Makes a Great Executive Leader?" The webinar, led by leadership experts, will also include a live audience Q&A.

You can register for this free webinar here: https://www.bluesteps.com/products/Executiveleaders.aspx

Great leaders never boss around their members. They treat everyone as their equal. I am happy to be a leader in my own company. I learn some cool leadership skills in almentor.

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