Most people choose to become leaders, you can learn & develop leadership skills, traits and characteristics, we are not born to be leaders we develop this skill.

The first, and most important characteristic, of a leader, is the decision to become a leader. At some point in time, leaders decide that they want to provide others with vision, direct the course of future events and inspire others to success.

Leadership requires the individual to practice dominance and take charge. If you choose to become a leader, whether in your workplace, community or during an emergency, the discussion of these characteristics will help you formulate the appropriate mix of traits, skills, and ambition.

Successful leaders choose to lead. You get to decide whether you are a leader. The first characteristic of a leader is Choice – leaders choose to lead.

Traits & Characteristics of a Successful Leadership Style

Much is written about what makes successful leaders. I will focus on the characteristics, traits and actions that, I believe, are key.

  • Be the person others choose to follow.
  • Always have empathy for your team & customers.
  • Provide a vision for the future.
  • Make goals setting part of your professional culture.
  • Provide inspiration.
  • Make other people feel important and appreciated.
  • Live your values. Behave ethically.
  • Leaders set the pace through your expectations and example.
  • Establish an environment of continuous improvement.
  • Provide opportunities for people to grow, both personally and professionally.
  • Care and act with compassion.
  • Listen to what your team, business, customers and competitors have to say


Most if not all of these are mindsets, a choice we make, actions we choose to take, none of them are based on what school or university we attended, where we were raised, how much money we have in the bank, they are mindsets or traits and characteristics of a growth mindset

So if Growth Mindset is key to effective leadership how do we develop this part of our leadership style.

If we feel that our competencies and abilities are static, what we were born with, we won’t personally grow nor will our leadership grow. However, when we face difficult challenges and believe that we have the inbuilt (The Power Within) capacity to grow and develop, we’ll become more effective leaders.

So, how might we develop a growth mindset?

  1. Be aware of the stories we tell ourselves.

The term metacognition means to think about what we are thinking about. The next time you face a difficult leadership challenge, pause and listen to your self-talk (practice metacognition). Do the stories you are telling yourself reflect a fixed or growth mindset? Do the same when you work with others. Listen to the stories you are telling yourself about them.


  1. Recognize that an anxious feeling about a leadership challenge does not imply you lack faith or don’t have what it takes.

Our brains are wired to dislike uncertainty. When we face an uncertain leadership challenge, the fight-flight centre of our brain releases hormones into our bloodstream and neurotransmitters into our brain. This results in unpleasant emotions we feel, like anxiety. Remind yourself that leadership challenges are uncertain and to feel a bit anxious is normal. It has nothing to do with your ability to handle the challenge.


  1. Include learning as a goal when faced with a leadership challenge.

When we face a leadership challenge, we certainly want to solve the problem or overcome the challenge. However, the next time you face the challenge, include as one measure of success what you actually learn about yourself and the problem area. Learning may actually serve you better in the long term than solving the problem.


  1. Don’t fear failure.

The possibility of failure should never keep us from facing new challenges in life or leadership.


So, a growth mindset may not be the ‘holy grail’ of effective leadership, but it can make a profound difference in how well you lead.

What do you think about a growth versus a fixed mindset?    Where do you see yourself?

Too soon and too often, is better than too late and not enough, always remember is in the want to that we find the how-to in our personal & professional lives.

If you or your team are ready for the next steps of your sales & leadership development, ready to grow and develop a mindset to surpass your competition and create your own future, drop me an email or PM.

SOLD: Advanced Sales & Leadership Mindset Accelerator Program focusing on the Mindset & Peak Performance of success.

Change the game in your favour

Simply inbox me here or email me briefly detailing the hurdles and challenges you are facing. I will then happily arrange a FREE strategy call with you, after which you are free to choose the best course of action.


James Fleming

The Power Within Coaching