Top Traits of Successful and Inspiring Leaders: Driving Business Performance and Engagement

4 minutes min read

By Mark  Beattie

Director - Automotive

Being an effective leader not only supports the engagement of teams within the business, but it also drives business results, growth and significantly contributes to talent retention and attraction. According to the European Business Review, the main benefits of a great leader increase efficiencies and productivity, reduce employee turnover, support good relationships and team communications while also reducing the risk of burnout. At CSG Talent we support business leaders with their talent attraction and hiring strategies, and also assisting them with their own career development when seeking new leadership opportunities themselves.

It was a difficult time for leaders both during and post pandemic with businesses having to re-structure and adapt to the ongoing challenge. Redundancies and business activity were low in the early stages, through to managing change and allowing businesses to evolve and adapt to the impact of the pandemic. Leaders admittedly have had to be more resilient and flexible than ever before, while also developing their empathy and people skills. Leaders have faced the ultimate test in recent years and there is greater focus on what makes a great and successful leader in today’s market. A leader who can demonstrate effective crisis management, change management and business growth will stand out as a leader who can truly add value to an organisation.

Throughout the hiring process of senior business leaders, our team of experts frequently discuss the essential criteria, experience and skillsets required when hiring new leadership roles within an organisation. With organisations struggling to attract talent across all levels, leadership talent is highly sought after. According to Forbes, only 14% of CEO’s have the leadership talent they need to successfully grow their business. Our team of consultants share the most desired traits of successful and engaging leaders who are in demand across the market.

Top traits and skills of a successful leader

Having a clear vision

To be a great leader, you need to have a clear vision. Without this, you and your team have nothing to work towards and aspire to achieve. An effective leader will be able to transform a vision into a reality by successfully driving teams towards the same goal. To achieve this, you need your teams to buy into you as a leader, respect you and feel motivated by you. This will enable people to buy into the vision and give them something to work towards with clarity and full transparency.



Great communication skills

Communication is key to successful leadership, having the ability to communicate effectively across all levels. By doing this, you need to be able to consider appropriate language and communication styles suited to everyone. Consider the language in which you communicate from an inclusivity perspective, avoid any bias and ensure you adapt your communication style to suit the listener, whether this be in a verbal or written format.

Engaging in honest and open communication is essential to building trust and credibility with your team and other leaders in the business.

“Being a successful leader is about being great with people. If you can effectively communicate and motivate while also gaining respect and credibility, you will keep your teams engaged and working effectively. An important part of this is understanding people and the different styles of communication they have, being able to adapt to this can make for a great leader. A lot of issues and challenges within an organisation can be a result of poor communication at a leadership level so it’s crucial leaders consider their communication styles when dealing with people.” – Christina Shiels, Marketing Manager at CSG Talent.

The ability to delegate effectively

Being a good leader is having the capability to delegate workload effectively, focusing on the strengths of individuals within the team and those best suited to take on tasks and ownership of activity alongside accountability. Effective delegation allows employees the opportunity to develop, problem solve and be given the autonomy to make decisions and work effectively as a team. An ineffective leader will take on too many tasks themselves, instead of recognising the skills and resources within the team that can take ownership, to allow you as a leader to focus on more strategic objectives.

Successfully influence and motivate

To be a successful leader, it’s important you are influential and motivational to your teams, so this filters through to all levels of business functions and engages all employees. Having the ability to inspire your employees to invest in you as a leader, and the business has a positive impact on work output and engagement. Consider your personal brand both online and offline, how do you present yourself to your teams and wider audience? Ensure your communications, actions and behaviours position you in a positive way to ensure you successfully motivate your teams.

Self-awareness

Another essential trait to have is self-awareness. How well you do you know yourself, your emotions, behaviours, values and the impact they may have on your decisions and actions? Having self-awareness as a leader allows you to focus on your own strengths and weaknesses and delegate tasks to those who can be more effective than yourself. Having the awareness and the confidence to recognise areas you could have done things differently and learning from past challenge and development areas is also a useful exercise. By having great self-awareness you will be in a position to make more informed decisions, handle challenge and inspire your teams to do the same.

Honest and integrity

An honest leader with integrity is an essential leadership trait to have. Having integrity relates to strong morals, principles and being an undivided unit as a business. This can be centred around company values and culture and if that filters through from a leader, it will reach all employees within a business so that everyone feels a sense of alignment and trust with the organisation and leadership team.

Empathy

Empathy is one of the most undervalued traits for any leader to have. Displaying empathy results in leaders having greater understanding and respect of individuals within an organisation, understanding their needs and having the awareness of thoughts and feelings of others. Tony Robbins, #1 NY Times Best Selling Author, highlighted how being an empathetic leader helps build trust, stronger teams, better decision making, increased influence and greater success!



Champion of diversity and inclusion

A great leader will be a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion within a business, championing all employees and ensuring an inclusive and supportive work environment. Encouraging diversity in all areas to bring together a wealth of ideas, opinions and interests.

A leader who promotes diversity and inclusion in an organisation is highly likely to have greater success overall. Diverse teams bring with them a wealth of ideas, approaches and behaviours. For businesses to succeed and grow, it is vital that D & I is encouraged and celebrated by leaders.

Focused on development and developing others

To continue to drive your business forward to achieve results, growth and to push innovation and overall progression, it is vital you focus on the development of employees. If employees have opportunities to develop and progress their career, they are more likely to remain with an organisation, effectively contribute and add value.



Seventy percent of employees in the US are unhappy with their jobs due to negative management, with many leaders struggling to engage with their employees. Having the ability to inspire, motivate and effectively lead a business are highly desirable skills in demand in the current market. If you can effectively demonstrate success and results because of these traits, there will be many job opportunities available to you.

If you’re looking to take on a new leadership position or a senior level opportunity, please get in touch with a member of our expert team to explore potential options within your specialist area. At CSG Talent we have teams operating globally covering a wide range of sectors, with specialist consultants highly knowledgeable on the market, activity, and the best opportunities available.