Getting There: A Book of Mentors, by Gillian Zoe Segal contains interviews with 30 business leaders (Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Anderson Cooper, Sara Blakely, Jeff Koons, Kathy Ireland, Les Moonves, to name a few). She says that there are seven things they all have in common:
- They understand their “circle of confidence.”
- They harness their passions.
- Their career paths are fluid.
- They create their own opportunities.
- They question everything.
- They don’t let fear of failure deter them.
- They are resilient.
To see more details about these seven “commonalities” check out her interview in this article in Fortune magazine.
Seems like the magic number is seven. If you’re interested in more research-based traits and characteristics of leaders, check out The Demands of Executive Leadership, by Barry Conchie. It’s a 2004 article (updated 2008). Here’s his list of “Demands” of leadership:
Building a Constituency
Making Sense of Experience
I often use both of the above in my leadership training sessions.