What Makes a Successful Leader Today

If you had to create a recipe of what goes into the making of a successful leader, what would you include?

Consider how Douglas MacArthur described a real leader:

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”

From that quote, we learn a leader needs to have confidence, courage, compassion, and integrity.

We believe there are a few more ingredients that can be added to the mix.

Self-Awareness – When an individual possesses self-awareness, they can understand their strengths and weaknesses. Understanding is the first step to any change or progress, which leads us to the next ingredient.

Humility – This quality involves having the appropriate view of one’s self and abilities. It can mean accepting when someone excels at tasks we do not or accepting when a situation does not happen the way we expect it.

Ability to Delegate – This can be a challenge for some as it seems to relate solely to giving up responsibility. Instead, taking the viewpoint of helping and encouraging the growth of others can shift the perspective to a positive level.

Communication – Great leaders inevitably embrace good communication skills. They can convey information concisely, provide constructive criticism without tearing down, and most importantly, they listen intently. Their empathy and compassion come through in the tone of the communication they display with the employees and team members.

Gratitude – We’ve spoken before about how cultivating a positive attitude can lead to better physical and mental health, less anxiety, and become a force for constructive change in an organization’s culture. Taking just five minutes a day to reflect on the parts of your life that you are thankful for can have a lasting and immediate impact.

We’ve now touched on several qualities or ingredients needed to make up a successful leader. It’s not an exhaustive list, but rather a tool you can use for self-assessment.

Leaders are not just those who oversee the helm but rather are those who possess the ability and desire to foster growth, change, and progression of others. If you are searching for how to develop these qualities within yourself or your leadership team, we would welcome the opportunity to connect. Please contact Akramoff at for how we can get started today.