Three Crucial Ingredients For Leadership Success

As a leadership coach, speaker and trainer, I have the great opportunity to spend my time immersed in leadership.  I think about it all the time.  I notice leadership everywhere – good and bad.  I engage in discussion about it – at work with clients, on social media with leadership experts, in my community and home with people I care about.  I learn more every day about humanity, inspiration, motivation, vision, fortitude, determination, engagement and more…it’s a constant and passionate process for me.  (I’m so grateful to do this!)


In my exchanges with people, I often find that they’re looking for the quick solutions, silver bullets and the easiest path to success.  After speaking, people often ask me about “the one thing” I would suggest to them to improve their leadership and help them grow.  The simple answer is: it’s not just one thing, and there’s no single response for everyone.

What I can share, however, are three ingredients that are absolutely necessary for leadership success.  You’ll need to think about how they apply to you, personally – to your career, strengths and skills.

Ingredient #1: An accurate self-awareness.

Do you know your strengths?  Weaknesses?  Do you know how others perceive you (whether intentional on your part or not?)  Do you know when and how to ask for help?  Do you know if people would want to help you?  Do you open doors, bring down walls, draw people in?  Do you inspire people?  Do you bring people together?  Are you creating any kind of legacy?

Can you respond to these questions with clarity, confidence and integrity?  If not, seek out the answers through assessments, interviews, conversations and more.  Then, determine what you need to master…and add the next ingredient…

Ingredient #2: A (passionate) desire to improve and grow.

Certainly celebrate accomplishments, milestones and lessons learned, but never, never, never stop your pursuit of further growth.

Learning is a process, and it shouldn’t expire until you do.

The world changes at a rapid pace these days – new and different people enter your sphere of influence, technology innovations abound, research unveils critical data, and you draw upon life experiences.  All of these create an environment for learning, growth and improvement.  Surround yourself.  Soak it all in.  Desire to be a better leader and leverage these opportunities to become better.  Never stop.  It’s a big world out there, and you’ll never understand it all….but you can try, and you’ll grow as you do!

Ingredient #3: Humility and a desire to help others at least as much as yourself.

Leaders have willing followers.  They care about their followers.  They serve their followers.

Are other people better for having shared experiences, conversations and interactions with you?  Do you consider how you can add value in every exchange?  Do you desire (and celebrate) others’ success as much as your own?  Is the greater good your priority?

If your world revolves around you, that leaves everyone else out there somewhere else in space.  Bring them into your world and figure out how, together, you can make the world a better place for all.

These three ingredients may not be the only keys to success, but I know that you can’t be a great leader without them!!!  Regardless of your position, title or experience, you need these ingredients to excel.

Your own personality adds the extra flavoring to finish off this recipe perfectly!!  Always remember to add that extra spice – it’s what makes your leadership personal and memorable too!

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Latest Comments

Joseph Iliff (@SeekOutWisdom)   |   23 April 2013   |   Reply

Erin, thank you for this powerful insight. Indeed, I don’t think I could predict success for someone as a leader if they did not have all of these qualities.

I’ll add one more thing to your list of essential characteristics: A desire to connect with other wise and growing leaders. And your blog is an opportunity to do just that. Wisdom is meant to be shared, and you do it well.

Erin Schreyer   |   23 April 2013   |   Reply

Thanks, Joseph! Yes, I agree, connecting with and learning from other leaders is important…and inspiring!! Like iron sharpening iron…