A Fusion of Selflessness and Selfishness Creates Success

Look at successful leaders and you’ll see both selfishness and selflessness. It’s never just one or the other because the chemistry creates the difference.

Views on leadership easily become polarized. Some argue for the single-minded, charismatic approach while others emphasize a softer style of engagement, humility and collaboration. I see the importance of both.

 7 Qualities For Successful Leaders

1. Confidence
They know what they are good at and what they are not so good at. This means that they play to their strengths. At the same time they have the self-awareness to acknowledge where their weaknesses lie and understand what they need to improve on.

2. Connection
Successful leaders understand that you don’t achieve anything by yourself. This means relationships are a priority and they are especially focused on two things. First they avoid isolation because it reduces opportunity. Secondly they are generous with their time, knowledge and resources.

3. Vision
Successful leaders have an absorbing purpose for themselves; who they are, where they want to go and what they want to achieve. Their enthusiasm and belief inspires others to be caught up in something greater.

4. Clarity
To have clarity you must have courage. It means you pin your colours to the mast. You claim to stand for something and you say ‘This is who I am and this is what I stand for’. Successful leaders can make the hard choices because of the clarity they possess.

5. Talent spotting
Successful leaders know that you surround yourself with great people to succeed. And if they are not great now you have the desire and the skill to help others fulfil their potential. If they succeed you succeed.

6. Determination
Winston Churchill’s advice was ‘Never, never, never give up’. When you know who you are and where you are going you have perseverance. Successful leaders are committed to achieving what they have said they will even in the face of setbacks.

7. Adaptability
There isn’t just one way of doing things. Leaders listen and adjust. They have tactical flexibility and a desire to innovate. Successful leaders are problem solvers and solution finders.


Chris Wisdom is the author of BOOST – How to turn your talents and potential into lasting success.

Here’s A Tip: Do It All
Most of the time when I write and speak about development I advise people to work on one thing at a time. But to become an outstanding leader you’ll need to work on everything here at the same time.

And as a leader that’s definitely worth knowing.


Image: freedigital photos