Leadership Excellence: Attributes of High Achievers

Whatever your chosen profession, detailed below is a checklist of key attributes displayed by those who are at the top of their profession – as leaders of their people and a credit to themselves and their organisation.

LEADERSHIP. Develop and communicate clearly a vision of the future that is in line with the corporate vision, mission and goals. Top leaders challenge the status quo within their span of control and field of influence and seek innovative ways to move forward toward making the vision a reality. They take risks and inspire and empower others to be a part of making that vision a reality.

MANAGEMENT IDENTIFICATION. See themselves as a part of the management team. Work to establish and develop relationships with other managers. Use personal pronouns (we, us, your) in their communications. Show support for the management team’s decisions and dedicate themselves to making the decisions work. They avoid the use of other personal pronouns such as ‘I, me’.

COMMITTED TO THE GROWTH OF OTHERS. Identifies the skills and experiences subordinates need to further their professional development. Seeks out and uses training and educational opportunities, and guides the people through appropriate experiences to reinforce the learning. Uses counselling and coaching skills to assist his/her team to achieve the highest levels of self-motivated performance.

ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTED. Goal driven attitudes and behaviours that are self-motivating and create a motivational environment for their team.

PLAN AND ORGANISE. Sets goals and achievable objectives. Establishes measurable milestones, organises resources and develops a plan of action.

OPTIMISM. Recognises and focuses on strengths in both self and others. Promotes an enthusiastic and contagious ‘can do’ attitude.

ACCOUNTABILITY. Holds self and others accountable for achieving objectives. Maintains tracking methods to ensure milestones are reached. Understand the skills and knowledge required of others to reach objectives and does not set others up for failure, while constantly acknowledging the successes of others.

LISTENING COMPREHENSION. Concentrates and listens with intensity and respect. Gains a comprehensive understanding (not necessarily agreement) of what is being communicated. Maintains a constant dialogue with others to keep them informed, as well as to get feedback. Demonstrates willingness to take action on feedback gained.

PROFESSIONAL IMAGE. Holds his/her chosen profession in high-esteem. Affiliates with professional organisations. Models exemplary professional attitudes and conduct.

SELF-CONFIDENT. Know themselves well, knows their direction, and knows how they will achieve their mission.

Kevin Cahalane

Author Kevin Cahalane

Kevin has been involved in the fields of sales, service, management, retail, training, business development and marketing, for 30 years. As an executive he has worked for companies such as IBM, and The Age newspaper. Kevin has worked with some of Australia’s top Associations, Clubs and other non-profit Organisations including CPA Australia, Financial Planning Association of Australia, Kindergarten Parents Victoria, Deakin University and Zoo's Victoria.

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