Guest Article - The 7 Proven Leadership Characteristics

The world is full of articles, books, manuals and courses on what it takes to be a great leader. So why do you need another one?

With all of the hype around leadership and leadership attributes, sometimes it makes sense to get “back to basics” and really examine what, over three decades of hands-on experience, have shown us to be true.

Let me describe for you the seven know-hows that are the bedrock of success proven time and time again…

1. Positioning

You have to keep in sync with your customers at all times, and ahead of the external environment. Figuring out what to add, what to take out, what new opportunities might arise are among the most demanding requirements of the twenty-first century leader.

2. Connecting the Dots

Your success depends on your ability to detect emerging patterns of change clearly and precisely. You have to look at the business very broadly and from the outside in and have the tenacity and imagination to fill in the gaps until the foggy picture becomes clearer and more complete. This know-how is how you get ahead of the curve and on the offensive instead of constantly putting out fires.

3. Getting People to Work

Your biggest untapped opportunity for success is shaping the way people work together. Your own performance depends on your ability to get other people to coordinate their actions and work toward a common goal.

4. Developing Leaders

You need the right people in the job, but getting the right match depends on your ability to judge people accurately, based on the carefully observed patterns of their decisions, actions and behaviors.

5. Setting the Right Goals

Too often, goals are chosen by looking in the rearview mirror and adding some incremental adjustment. Goals must be set relative to the opportunities that lie ahead, and the organization’s ability to achieve them.

6. Setting Laser-Sharp Priorities

The right priorities keep the truly important things from being driven off the radar screen. When the priorities are unmistakably specific, people know what should be getting their attention and follow-through, and what distractions they should ignore.

7. Dealing with Forces Outside Your Control

Anticipate which outside forces might throw a monkey wrench into the forward movement of your business. Prepare for the issues outside constituencies raise, and judge the risks they may pose to your business model.


Jill McCrosky of Wealth Systems for Life, is an internationally recognized Wealth Creation Expert and Business Systems Developer working closely with Emerald Passport International to develop future business leaders. For more about this author visit or email Jill directly, at