Be Kind: 3 Traits All Successful Leaders Share

November 11, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

When it comes to leadership there is an outdated notion that good guys finish last and that greedy, power hungry mongers are the ones controlling the world. Think again. Not only does kindly rule best – when was the last time Bill Gates or Warren Buffet were framed as bad guys? – but also help you perfect the three traits you need in order to successful. In the end, there really is some truth to the saying: you catch more bees with honey.  

Sincerity. In recent years there has been a growing interest in how to be (or appear) more authentic in your intentions, comments or interactions. We’ve told about the importance of eye contact, strong body language and how a steady voice all play a role in the way in which our actions are perceived as authentic. But when it comes to leading sincerity – authenticities cousin – is really the star. By staying sincere your values and principles you are not only teaching them to your followers but strengthen your resolve every day. If you are not sincere about why you want to lead or what your bigger goal or intention is then soon the entire image will get blurry. This is why manifestos and vision boards are such important tools; a daily reminder of your initial intentions.

Honesty. The practical aspect of honesty is if you are always honest then you don’t need to keep track of lies and secrets all the time. More importantly, it also acts as every good leaders compass, making sure that you are constantly saying your course. Honesty is also crucial because it is the way in which trust in born among the followers. Trust is an inherent part of leadership and is the foundation that then leads to bigger connections like respect. Team members and followers have to trust that leadership is serving everyone’s best interest and that only happens if they know you are being honest with them.

Concern.  When was the last time someone asked you what you needed instead of what you wanted? Concern is the way in which we pay attention to others and show that we are listening and care about their needs and invokes a sense of responsibility towards that person. It also happens to act as a magnet because the more (authentic) concern you show for a person the more they will gravitate towards you and start to trust that you have their best interest at heart. It’s a bit crazy that we have to add “care about….” to our to do lists instead of it happening naturally but sometimes that best way to start flexing your concern muscles. Pick three people every week to focus on and ask if they need anything, send them a small gift or ask how they are doing. I once took my lunch break to buy Advil for a coworker who had been complaining of a headache since morning. She not only was incredibly grateful but it ameliorated our relationship right away.

How do these traits feature in your leadership style? Let us know below or email us at