What Traits Do Successful Business Leaders Have In Common?

There’s no single formula that defines whether or not someone can be a successful business leader. However, many of the people at the top of their game do share certain traits that make them good at what they do.

If you’re hoping to emulate these leaders, you might want to consider adopting some of these qualities yourself.


Nobody’s perfect, and that includes the world’s most successful business leaders. While it might seem like nothing could touch them, they all have their weaknesses. What makes a lot of them stand out, though, is the fact that they’re aware of this and take the necessary actions to counteract them.

Self-awareness is an excellent trait to have because it helps you identify your strengths and limitations, and then work within those boundaries. Business leaders with this quality will hire those who succeed where they falter because this counteracts their weaknesses. That way, there’s always someone who can make up for their pitfalls, thereby covering all bases.

This isn’t to say that all business leaders are perfectly self-aware, especially as the prevalence of this trait is quite rare. However, the best out there are often willing to learn and improve because they understand its importance.


Selflessness is a good trait for any person to have. It shows that you put value on other people’s lives, which can make them more inclined to take an interest in you.

For business leaders, this selflessness is often demonstrated in their philanthropic endeavours. Plenty of success stories like Tej Kohli, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates have all invested a lot of money into charitable organisations with the aim of helping the planet and its inhabitants. Tej Kohli, for instance, has done a great deal for treating poverty blindness, while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been enhancing healthcare for years now.


What good is a business leader who reacts poorly under pressure or doesn’t take the time to think things through? There’s a reason that most successful people in this position don’t act this way, and that’s because they understand the value of self-control.

When you’re able to keep calm and focus, no matter what situation you’re in, you tend to find the best solutions more often than not. You don’t typically opt for quick fixes or fly off the handle because you know these will only make things worse. Instead, you take a step back and evaluate things thoroughly, never letting your emotions dictate what you say or do. These traits are exactly what executive recruiting firms look for in potential leadership roles.


In a world where angry people on social media can destroy a career, you have to be careful about how you behave. Treat people poorly and lie through your teeth, and eventually, it’ll come back to bite you.

That’s why many successful business leaders nowadays are often authentic and honest. They treat their employees with respect and act in the office the same way as they do in the media. Given that authentic leadership is believed to have a substantial impact on overall job satisfaction, it’s no wonder that employees celebrate those who have this quality. Plus, it’s not like leaders can afford to have their reputation tarnished in this current climate, especially not if they rely on investors.

You don’t have to be a carbon copy of the business leaders you admire if you want to succeed. However, it certainly pays to have these traits if you’re going to be at the top of your game.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.