Seven Personality Traits of Great Leaders
Thom Rainer recently researched common personality traits of great leaders, drawing from history as well as contemporary examples. Here's what he discovered:
What then are the personality traits of effective leaders? Here are the seven I discovered in the order of frequency. I use the past tense in the seven items below since a majority of the leaders I studied were deceased.
- They had intense personalities. The list included both introverts and extroverts, so intensity is not the same as an exuberant personality. Rather, these leaders had a focus and determination that was evident even if they were quiet and calm on the surface.
- They had attitudes of gratitude. These leaders saw each day and each opportunity as a gift. They had the opposite of an entitlement mentality. As they rose through the ranks of their respective professions, they rarely complained or whined about their environment, pay, benefits, or lack of promotions. They were just grateful for the opportunities they had been given.
- They were intensely loyal. They were loyal to the organizations, to their superiors, to those who worked for them, and to their fellow employees and co-workers. Theirs was not a blind loyalty, but it was a deep and forgiving loyalty.
- They were joyous. Though their personalities were diverse, most of these leaders had a joy about them that was contagious. Some of the leaders manifest their joy with a winsome sense of humor. Others demonstrated joy by their ongoing contentment of life and its opportunities.