Best Leadership Qualities List UK : What Makes a Good Leader?

Dealing with executives on a daily basis allows us to gain important insights about what makes a successful executive leader. We often get asked about what attributes underpin becoming an effective business leader. There is often no one single thing that makes someone stand out as an executive leader. Equally, many aspects are interdependent and rely on one another for success at the top level.

Executive Leaders (Overview)

Having considered different executive scenarios, it is usually exceptional people and communication skills that make a real difference, especially in the way executives are perceived and how they deal with others. Underpinning everything is the ability to build trust and confidence through communication, engagement and understanding to bring people on board and gain commitment to achieve objectives. So, we have collated a list of attributes that contribute in successful executive leader roles.

Some Executive Leadership Attributes

  • Member of the executive leadership team and becoming a company figurehead (leader)
  • Identifying business requirements (i.e. business, market, risk and competition analysis)
  • Giving clear direction and defining long-term vision in an often ambiguous environment
  • Defining core values, ways of working and sharing common goals (communicating values)
  • Strategic awareness by setting priorities, defining integrated plans and achieving objectives
  • Understanding business planning lifecycle needs and seeing how everything ‘fits’ together
  • Using industry knowledge to understand key drivers / risk factors to make better decisions
  • Bringing in specialist skills, decision-making expertise and something unique to add value
  • Consultancy expertise to guide companies through different phases and key milestones
  • Influencing and negotiating with fellow executives and building board-level relationships
  • Creating business opportunities (i.e. strategic partnerships; M&A targets; new markets)
  • Working in an international business context (i.e. global, regional and local factors exist)
  • Building upon a proven track record of success, career progression and decision-making
  • Benefiting from a relevant career background to give a strong blend of skills and experience
  • Executive leadership programmes and continued professional development always add value
  • Remaining focused, overcoming challenges (problems) and working in complex organisations
  • Driving change and adapting to a changing operating environment (i.e. evolving businesses)
  • Financial acumen – providing financial justification for plans, P&L controls and risk analysis
  • Having a ‘feel’ for the business by understanding complex issues and addressing key priorities
  • See our 12 essential executive leadership qualities for success at the very highest level

Successful Executive Leaders: Conclusion

Established executive leaders will have a blend of well-developed skills, expertise and experience, which have come to the fore during a successful career. There may be weaknesses in certain areas, though the most successful executive leaders capaitalise on core strengths, remain focused and adapt to changing operating environments by ‘taking everything in their stride’ as businesses evolve. We have also found that offers a good range of executive-level jobs and opportunities for high calibre people.

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