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What do the best leaders look like?

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

On your way to becoming a leader, success is all about proving your business capability and growing yourself. When you become a leader, it’s about being engaging, strategic and growing your team. The best leaders care more about their people than themselves. They value feedback and are open to learning.



Leadership competency is driven by personality, intelligence, experience, and behaviour choices. Based on extensive research and benchmarking there are four meta competencies for highly successful leaders and two significant opportunities for all levels of managers.


The development of these competencies should form the foundation for any investment in leadership programs within an organisation. The four meta competencies and two opportunities are:


1. Achievement Focus

  • Competitive and determined

  • Assertive and energetic

  • Is Driven

  • Sets high performance expectations

  • Sets clear goals and drives results

  • Has strong influencing and negotiation skills


2. Strategic

  • Thinks about new long term opportunities

  • Visionary and strategic

  • Communicates a long term vision effectively

  • Sets long term stretch goals

  • Often suggests new and original ideas

  • Always looks for improvement opportunities


3. Inspiring

  • Has the passion to make a difference

  • Motivates and inspires others

  • Works hard to improve morale

  • Brings a positive attitude to work

  • Is customer-focused

  • Creates a positive work environment


4. Emotional Intelligence

  • Calm and even tempered

  • Seek personal improvement and self development opportunities

  • Manages emotions maturely and intelligently in stressful situations

  • Possess excellent people skills

  • Makes people feel valued

  • Is friendly, warm and thoughtful in relationships with others


5. Workload Management

  • Balance working ‘in’ the business and working ‘on’ the business

  • Possess a high level of strategic self-awareness and discipline

  • See the team as more important than themselves

  • Build teams with a strong brand around both performance and culture

  • Able to effectively delegate tasks to subordinates


6. Challenging poor performance

  • Able to have difficult conversations in a timely manner

  • Communicates expectations and consequences clearly and concisely

  • Understands the impact of poor performance on the team and the organisation

  • Able to get agreement on a way forward

  • Holds people accountable – is fair but firm.

For more information on how to identify personality traits across your team - and how to support each individual, please click here.