Being a good leader entails a lot of positive traits, but some that you’ll find in all great CEOs are likely to be perseverance, vision, social awareness, and charitable attributes.
Desire to Give Back and Social Awareness
Bill Gates, as a young man, envisioned that eventually, every living person would have a computer with at least one Microsoft designed program. Following his vision has placed him at the top of the richest men in the world for 12 years running. But as part of his story, his efforts have changed the world. As we started this millennium, Bill Gates and his efforts topped the list of the most influential accomplishments in the previous 1000 years. One of the other greats on that list was the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, making books easily accessible to the general public in the process.
But if Gates and Microsoft have changed the world in one way, Gates and his wife have contributed huge amounts of their wealth to help others in various charitable organizations and third world countries. He is an initial founder of a group of other top CEOs who have pledged to give away (for charitable and humanitarian purposes) as much as all of their personal fortunes by the time they die.
Perseverance can be seen in the lives of so many great CEOs. Gates and Jobs both started from nothing, both of them also faced some huge challenges in their work to improve and grow their businesses. They are not alone in this either.
Ursula Burns became the first female African American CEO of a Fortune 500 – Xerox, where she first started as a summer intern in 1980. She climbed slowly through the ranks to become CEO in 2009 and in 2016 shifted to the Chairperson role. All of that while starting out as a child of a single immigrant mother living in Manhattan’s poor neighborhood.
Truly great CEOs and other leaders are visionaries, and they have the ability to lead and manage others while keeping their vision clear and helping others to see and join in the march forward. Steve Jobs was an example of these traits. He was never considered to be conventional, but he had a big vision of where he wanted to go, and he never gave up on it.
He also managed to fire his team with his goals. More than that though, he brought it to fruition through building that vision in consumers. So much so that now, several years after his death, Apple products still are held in highest regard, bringing people to pay top dollar for the opportunity to use what he started from his parent’s garage. How can you build more of these attributes into your present and future?