6 Character Traits All Top Business Leaders Have

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John Quincy Adams said that if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. Some say great leaders are born. Others say they’re made. Whatever the case, there are common traits that all top leaders in business have. We’ve outlined 6 of them:

1. Visionary.

A leader must be able to look at their world today and envision a better future. If you don’t have the ability to see do something and improve on it, how can you expect people to follow your lead? All top business leaders are visionaries.

2. Culture First.

It’s not extremely uncommon for leaders to build companies. It is, however, unfortunately rare for a leader to build a positive culture that is the lifeblood of a company. If you haven’t read it already, the bus analogy for company culture in Jim Collins’ Good To Great is fantastic. You can buy the book by clicking here.

3. Listens (AND ACTS).

All great leaders are not only excellent listeners, but they respond to what is said. That does not mean that every single piece of feedback will be put into practice. It does, however, mean that leaders make people feel valuable because they spend the time to listen to what they are saying and not just brush them off.

4. Customer-Focused.

Value add over everything. If your business is not creating value for your customer, you will soon be out of business. All the top leaders understand that their organization’s decisions must consider the customer and do their best to give them what they want.

5. Inspiring.

When it’s all said and done, there are only 24 hours in a day. Therefore, top CEOs must utilize an entire force of people to accomplish the business’ goals. A good CEO is really great at inspiring people to get on board, even at changing others’ opinions.

6. Persistant.

Co-founder of AirBnB, Brian Chesky, often tells his story of starting his company. You can watch it by clicking here. Summary: it took 1,000 days for AirBnB to start working. Imagine if they gave up on day 999.

A few ‘extra credit’ character traits of top business leaders:

  • Honest. The very best leaders treat people the same behind closed doors as they do in public. “Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.” – Warren Buffett.
  • Nice. People don’t want to be around people who belittle them and don’t appreciate them. In fact, they avoid them. Mean people suck.
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