How to Become a Successful Leader, Whatever You Do

Leaders in every field want to be successful at what they do—but they don’t always know how to get there. The key to success is knowing the foundational principles of leadership. They’re the attributes that will help you stand out from the rest. Learn these principles and incorporate them into your work and life, and you will almost certainly grow to become the successful leader you want to be .

Here are the most important principles I have found in my work with successful leaders in all kinds of industries and organizations around the world:

Always recognize your people. If you don’t appreciate your people, they will leave you—it’s as simple as that, The US Department of Labor says that the number one reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. Most people receive very little workplace recognition, so it’s vital that you recognize and reward people for their efforts at work.

Leave your desk and become more visible. Being a successful leader requires being available and accessible. It’s not as simple as leaving your door open—you have to participate and engage and share and be present. That means leaving your desk, talking to people, and showing an interest in who they are and what they do.

Be vulnerable. Most people believe that a leader has to know everything and have answers and solutions for every situation. But the most successful leaders, the ones people remember the most, are those who are vulnerable and real about who they are, what they know and how much they need the team to help them succeed.

See yourself as a motivator and positive force. Every organization has problems, and people can get real negative real fast. Remember to always find the good, the positive, the path to a solution when things go wrong. It’s an approach that people admire and want to emulate.

Speak your mind and tell others what you think. I have found that some leaders don’t want to tell people what they are thinking. They are so focused on being an inclusive leader that they lose their own voice altogether. A great leader, a truly successful one, speaks their mind and tells people what they think. Be open to other opinions, but never hesitate to give others a chance to learn from you and become more confident in their own voices.

Build relationships with everyone. Most leaders manage up and across. But the best leaders manage up, across and down. They engage with people no matter what their position. A successful leader at any level engages people at every level.

Push the envelope. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat in senior leadership team meetings and heard a leader say, “If it ain’t broke, why do we have to fix it?” For me, that is not leadership. The most successful leaders are constantly pushing the envelope, asking, “How can we do better?” Successful leadership means looking for opportunities that you can bring more to.

Move through your fears. You may think successful leaders don’t have fears. They do, but they know how to move through them—that’s part of what makes them successful .When you’re fearful of something, try asking yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Then work on finding a solution from that perspective.

Challenge yourself constantly. If you find yourself in a position of leading, or wanting to lead, start right now to challenge yourself daily in your confidence, skills, and development. Never allow yourself to think that you’ve arrived and got everything covered. Every time you take a step forward, you have to challenge yourself to know more and do better.

Being good at what you do, whatever it is, takes perseverance and passion, and that’s especially true for those in leadership. If you love what you do, you will care about how you do it.

Lead from within: To be a successful leader you have to know the important principles that make people notice you, respect you and trust you.

#1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Ahmad Mushtaq

    17. Oct, 2019

    Great Topic, really like it and thank you for sharing.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Herman Prayitno

    20. Feb, 2020

    Dear Lolly,
    Thank you verymuch for sharing .
    A very good topic .
    Best regards
    Herman P .

    Reply to this comment

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