The Winning Combination for Great Leaders

There are a handful of people in my life that I look up to as leaders – I am constantly trying to emulate their best characteristics.  These people treat others with respect, are modest, are always friendly, work exceptionally hard, persevere through challenges, don’t make excuses and have achieved a great deal of success in both their personal and professional lives.  I’ve always thought that it isn’t hard to be a great person and it isn’t hard to be great professionally, however not many people are able to do both at a high level.  I recently came across a study that highlights this rare combination that great leaders possess.

The study I am referring to is from renowned management researcher Jim Collins.  Collins studied 1,435 Fortune 500 companies and found only 11 that achieved and sustained greatness – garnering stock returns at least three times the market’s – for 15 years after a major transition period.  His research showed that each of these companies had a “Level 5” leader at the helm – Collins found that each leader had the very rare combination of Personal Humility and Professional Will in their leadership style.

Let’s take a look at these two characteristics in action:

Personal Humility in Action

  • No Ego
  • Compelling Modesty
  • Never Boastful of Achievements
  • Calm Determination
  • Channels Ambition into Organization, not Self
  • Sets up Successors for Even Greater Success
  • Takes Responsibility
  • Doesn’t Blame Others

Professional Will in Action

  • Exceptional Work Ethic
  • Creates Superb Results
  • Unwavering Resolve to Produce Long-Term Results
  • Persevering Through Challenges
  • Sets a High Standard
  • Attributes Success to Others, not Self

To summarize, plenty of leaders have personal humility and plenty have the professional will to succeed; if you have the ability to combine these two traits you will THRIVE as a leader!

Tom Healy’s new book “Limitless Leadership” is now available on Amazon – click HERE to learn more!

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