Do You Want to be a ‘Successful’ Leader? Here are 5 Surprising Tips

Woman smiling by computer

Do you want to be a successful leader?

Successful leadership doesn’t happen overnight; in fact, most of us have been groomed since we were small children to believe that we have to run ourselves ragged if we want to stand with the greats one day and change the world. Well, I’m here to offer you some different advice. And believe me, according to my research, being successful is a lot easier than we’ve been told.

If you’re tired of being stuck on the hamster wheel and stuck at work 24/7, take some time to read through this article and embrace these five characteristics of successful leaders.

Successful Leaders Ask for Help

person in black jacket raising right hand

Leaders also know that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

Being successful is not about being a superhero. Trust me. You don’t need a cape and a mask to be one of the legends. You only need one thing: the desire to learn and be taught.

We all need help. And successful people are the first ones to ask for assistance. They realize that they don’t know everything. But they do know who to ask for direction. Remember, it’s not about having it all together. Success is about knowing when to reach out and ask for buckets when the water starts filling your boat. Leaders know this is crucial to their success because they see failure as a way forward.

This brings us to the next characteristic.

Successful Leaders Embrace Failure

silhouette photo of a person running on road

When it’s dark and the world feels like it’s crumbling around you, successful people don’t stop walking. They continue to move forward even when they fail. They understand that when you fall down seven times, you have to get up eight. Leaders know that a sense of fearlessness comes from conquering their fears––only then can they truly lead others.

Think about it. When was the last time you saw a successful leader without any history of failure? Every single leader has had setbacks. But they’ve learned to take their lumps, learn from each one, and enjoy the lemonade. Leaders know that every failure brings them an inch closer to success.

Successful Leaders Know When to Recharge

woman leaning on top building rail during daytime

You have to know when it’s time to hit the beacg and get off of this crazy roller coaster ride for a while. Leaders are able to manage their time effectively, which means they understand what it takes to prioritize downtime––the best time to get away and recharge.

Repeat after me. I don’t need to work myself into the grave! Now, that might feel a bit awkward, but let those words resonate for a minute. For far too long, we’ve been told that God or the Universe, whatever you believe in, helps those who help themselves. Well, there might be some truth to that. But, there’s no reward for dying an early death because you’re afraid to set boundaries on your work schedule.

Achieving your goals happens with consistency, not lack of sleep. Successful leaders know when to throw in the towel and set their alarm for the morning. They know that resting is just as important as working.

Successful Leaders Are Not Afraid to Take Risks

man walking beside graffiti wall

Remember, successful people, understand that it’s imperative to push your limits every day. Leaders like Pope Francis, Barack Obama, and Kelly Clarkson are unconventional––and in many ways, that’s why they’re successful!

When Pope Francis decided to wash the feet of two young Muslim refugees during Easter Week Mass in Italy, he broke the rules, the internet, and the status quo. He challenged the world to lead differently and inclusively.

President Obama pushed boundaries and spoke out about everything from marriage equality to gun control. He led the way for change because he wasn’t afraid of controversy or backlash.

And Kelly Clarkson? Well, she took a risk speaking out against Clive Davis, who belittled Clarkson’s music, sabotaged her entire project, and along with other moguls, told her to just shut up and sing.

Leaders not afraid of failure or mistakes are the most successful because they’re willing to get back up and try again!

Successful Leaders Give Back to Others

woman in white t-shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on brown cardboard box

Successful leaders are compelled by more than money, fame, and prestige––in many ways, they are driven by compassion. Leaders who say they care about others are much more likely to be successful and maintain their position for a longer period of time. They’ve learned to be self-aware and not base their self-esteem on their opinions of others. And this is their superpower.

These leaders have learned how to walk in someone else’s shoes. they have taken the time to look at the faces of those around them and remember their humanity.

So, are you ready to be a successful leader?

All you have to remember is this: success means taking time off, risking big, giving back, recharging, and asking for help! If you can adopt these five characteristics, you’re well to becoming one of the greats!

Here are three more posts to help you on your journey:
Dr. Colleen Batchelder
As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.