Being a successful leader requires having the right blend of qualities and characteristics.
Emotional intelligence, intuition, vision, team-building, and service to others are among the qualities strong leaders should possess. If you lack certain traits and skills, surround yourself with those who have them, advises “Why Leaders Fail,” a white paper from the CUNA CEO Council.
“When you find someone who can put the puzzle together, then the magic begins,” says Robby Glore, president/CEO of $10.5 million asset Combined Employees Credit Union in Warner Robins, Ga.
Evan Clark, president/CEO of $504 million asset Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C., follows three concepts to ensure he’s the most effective leader possible:
1. Ask yourself, “What do you want?” "It’s a simple but profound question that can indicate whether you’ll be successful or not,” Clark says.
If the answer is self-focused, such as “I want to be happy,” chances are you won’t be successful. But if the answer focuses on a concrete goal, such as increasing return on assets, “you can tell others what you want and often the people you tell will have the key you need to help you succeed,” Clark says.
2. Seek failure. While failure doesn’t feel pleasant, it allows you to grow. “Failure stretches the bounds of what is possible,” Clark says.
3. Have one expectation for your team. Mistakes will occur, but most of the time staff will exceed your expectations.
“If you have enough trust in your team to let them do the day-to-day heavy lifting,” Clark says, “it leaves you more time for what you’re really paid to do: Think.”