Leadership Qualities You Can Easily Learn…

Functional roles in organisations do not automatically foster leaders. To evolve from a lower to a higher level of leadership in business requires skills that are not learnt in the field. Over 70% of the clients I’ve coached over 35 years in business and the arts have struggled to reach their goals prior to coaching not because of the lack of commitment but rather in the lack of investment in the skills needed to operate under higher load.

Evolving Your Skills

An artist approached me for coaching, her career had reached a plateau. It was not the lack of effort or hard work that had caused this, nor the lack of yoga classes, meditation retreats, therapy, relationships, money or talent. In fact those had distracted her from the real skill development she needed to evolve herself in her field. Simply the problem was, “everything had changed, but nothing had changed.”

The skills required to handle an audience of 200 people 3 nights a week and do the occasional recording studio immersion are vastly different than those required for an international career of 200 bed nights a year in hotels, 2,000 people in the audience, 5 to 6 performances a week, press interviews, recording sessions costing upward of $20,000 a day and an entourage of managers, roadies and set designers. What my client had failed to do was to focus on the leadership skills she needed to be at the level of business she aspired to. In her Disney fantasy, all she needed to do was to be a better musician.


You’ll see below an article written about leadership qualities. And, with a team of 10 you might have it all nailed down. But what about 20… do you use the same “communication” with 20 people as you do with 10? Are there different skills to leading a $200,000 budget as CFO as leading a $2,000,000 budget?

Here are a few things that grow in intensity with size of leadership (budget, teams, client base, market size)….

  • Ability to Self-Lead (stay healthy and personally happy under stress)
  • Ability to engage rather than support others
  • Movement from motivation to inspiration as a foundation
  • Capacity to live with doubt and handle rejection
  • Core mental strength
  • Comfort with larger audiences (this is a huge inner purpose component.

The Role of Frustra

The growth rings of a tree are frustra. Bark protects the tree but must drop to allow growth. Growth usually occurs in a 360 degree form, hence as we grow in one area of life we grow in all. Some leaders forget this…

What becomes the self limiting growth element for a leader may not be the ability to do a great job but more, the unawareness that their whole life must expand in order to be fully present in the one area of life they choose as their career. Our mental and emotional state in each of the seven areas of life are not partitioned from each other and we do operate on average at the lowest of all seven.

Coaching Leaders

Often in a coaching session a leader will identity the one or two problem areas of their life and look for cherry picked solutions. This leads to stunted growth and ultimately, blocked evolution in all seven areas of life. Coaching must therefore be holistic in order to grow leadership traits in pace with, or ahead of demand.

What are Leadership Traits?

Leadership traits refer to personal qualities that define effective leaders. Leadership refers to the ability of an individual or an organisation to guide individuals, teams, or organisations toward the fulfillment of goals and objectives. It plays an important function in management, as it helps maximise efficiency and achieve strategic and organisational goals. Leaders help motivate others, provide guidance, build morale, improve the work environment, and initiate action.

List of Effective Leadership Traits

A common misconception is that individuals are just naturally gifted with leadership skills. The truth is that leadership traits, like other skills, can be acquired with time and practice. Below are seven traits of an effective leader:

1.   Effective Communicators

Leaders are excellent communicators, able to clearly and concisely explain problems and solutions. Leaders know when to talk and when to listen. In addition, leaders are able to communicate on different levels: one-on-one, via phone, email, etc.

2.  Accountable and Responsible

Leaders hold themselves accountable and take responsibility for any mistakes. Leaders support and encourage individuality while abiding by organizational structure, rules, and policies that need to be followed.

3.  Long-term Thinkers

Leaders are visionaries. This is evidenced by the leadership trait of being able to plan for the future through concrete and quantifiable goals. They understand the need for continuous change and are open to trying new approaches to solve problems or improve processes.

4.  Self-motivated

Leaders are self-motivated and are able to keep going and attain goals despite setbacks. In addition, good leaders try their best to exceed, not just meet, expectations.

5.  Confident

Virtually all good leaders share the leadership trait of confidence. They are able to make tough decisions and lead with authority. By being confident, leaders are able to reassure and inspire others, establish open communications, and encourage teamwork.

6.  People-oriented

Leaders are typically people-oriented and team players. They’re able to foster a team culture, involve others in decision-making, and show concern for each team member. By being people-oriented, leaders are able to energize and motivate others. By making each individual feel important and vital to the team’s success, they secure the best efforts from each member of the team.

7.  Emotionally Stable

Leaders exercise good control and regulation over their own behavior and are able to tolerate frustration and stress. Leaders are able to cope with changes in an environment without having an intense emotional reaction.

Traits of a Bad Leader

Listed below are the traits that bad leaders commonly exhibit:

  • Too bossy
  • Fearful of change
  • Unwilling or unable to communicate effectively
  • Dismissive of ideas other than their own
  • Lacking empathy
  • Inconsistent
  • Prone to blame others rather than accept responsibility themselves
  • Indecisive
Bad leader

Leadership Traits Personality Tests that Fall Short on Holistic Growth Development

Several tests are available to help determine your personality, strengths, and traits. These tests include the following:

  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • DISC profile
  • Strength Finder
  • Wealth Dynamics Profile