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Breakout as a Leader! 7 Vital Traits You Can Improve Now - to Succeed

September 27, 20236 min read

Who doesn't want to succeed at whatever they do? Especially when you're a leader.

As you strengthen any of these traits, your success as a leader will not only improve - it will also become far more predictable.  Way beyond your current goals.

It’s not difficult.  Each one is just a choice… 

A switch you can turn-up to improve, flip on and leave on - or leave off if you prefer to struggle.

You deserve to be your best.  And the world deserves the very best you have to bring. 

Grab the scoresheet at the end. Be honest, and see where you'd like to improve!

Here they are:

Positive Attitude

Having a PMA is always a good choice - and there are many ways to express it.

Here are the three versions of a positive attitude that I look for in leaders:

Can-do image

1.       Can-do:   These leaders see possibilities.  Ways to proceed.  Things they ‘can-do’ to make progress, rather than remain stuck and frustrated. 

2.       Will-do:  Can-do is only good if you ‘Will-do’.  A positive attitude is nice, but only if you’re willing to act on it.  There’s often a difference between what leaders can do and what they will do.

3.       Let’s-do:  These are the leaders that take initiative.  They don’t wait to be asked, or for some sort of order, or emergency.  They see what they can-do, what would would help in each situation, and take action. 

Which version are you?


It’s the lifeblood for any leader or team.  Try this quick self-quiz: 

  • Do you bring energy? 

  • Is it positive or negative?  (How many leaders bring negative energy, and don’t even know it?)

  • Do you tolerate or encourage negativity? (Whining, complaining, tantrums, sarcasm, cynicism?)

  • When negativity happens, do you join it; ignore it; or replace it with positivity?

  • Do you have a way to gauge energy (for yourself and your team), and amp it up if it needs a boost?

If you were honest, and scored yourself 1-10 for each of these (where 10 is great and 1 is not), how would you fare? Would you be happy and proud of your overall score? Or would there be a few you'd like to improve?

Now's a great time to start!


Yours matters.  And your team is watching. 

Problem vs Opportunity

Having good perspective will help you to make progress where others struggle and fail.

Here are a few examples from highly successful leaders:   

  • Seeing problems as opportunities.

  • Seeing people as investments – Picking carefully and developing wisely to improve their value.

  • Seeing short-term and long-term – Recognizing both, and prioritizing what’s most important.

  • Asking others for their perspective... To learn their viewpoint, and get them engaged.

 Your perspective on any subject is a choice. Are you mindful to choose the most productive one?


Wait... How is creativity a choice?  You’re either creative or not.  Right? 

Wrong!  You’re either open-minded or narrow-minded.  That’s a choice. 

Creativity develops from inspiration and a burning desire to make things happen.

Even if you’re not naturally creative, as a leader, you can ask others what they see or think. 

Productive leaders don’t stay stuck.  They don’t have to have all of the answers themselves.  And they don’t limit their options to just one thing

They keep an open mind, get creative, involve others, and innovate.  How determined are you to find the best way(s) forward?

Tip I heard today: "Constraints help you to be more creative." @Ayothewriter



You can’t win if you give up. 

Where is your melting point now? 

When do you stall, break down, or throw in the towel? 

At the first sign of trouble?  Or do you stay committed; determined to succeed as planned?

Develop resilience.  A willingness to persevere - and inspire others in the face of challenge.

Hang in there. Persistence beats resistance.

You can't win them all, but what's your recent record of persistence and success vs. surrender?

Would you like to improve?


Trust & Consistency

Trust is a key ingredient for leadership success.  It’s the glue that holds leaders and teams together. 

Without trust, things come apart.  So, how can you build it? Like this:

Success = Consistency

Trust comes from consistency. 

Are you consistently positive, helpful, supportive, energetic, responsible, and on-time? 

Or a devil’s advocate who procrastinates, makes excuses, blames others, and often shows up late?

Whatever you do consistently is what others trust. 

Even if they trust you to be difficult or screw-up. 

It’s your choice.

Are you consistent and trustworthy in the ways that will most help you and your team to succeed?

If not, where would consistency help you the most?


This brings us full circle.  Caring is an attitude.  And it’s the most important one. 

So important, that it deserves its own place on this list of leadership essentials.

Everything follows caring.  Everything. 

  • Are your communications clear?

  • Do you finish things on time?

  • Do you take care of your team? Do they feel valued?

  • Are they growing?

  • Do you set a good example and take care of your health?

  • Are you investing in yourself and improving as a leader?

The answers to these questions reflect whether, or how much, you care.

Chances are, you do care or you wouldn’t have read this far. So, check-off Caring. 

Or, level-up if there are items on this list that you know you should care about more. 😉



Care enough to improve any of these 7 traits and watch your success, and the success of your team, accelerate!

  • Improving even one can make a BIG difference with your leadership success.

  • There’s a compound effect.  Improving, even a little, with each one could double your success, or more!

  • You can become a leader who predictably drives success.  One who’s sought after and reliably inspires others to new heights.

It’s your choice.


Action Steps

Here are 3 options for you to improve any of these traits and your ability to drive success as a leader.

Grab the 7 Vital Traits Scoresheet.

(It's free. I won't even ask for your email!)

  1. Score yourself. Make plans to improve the traits that matter most for you, and focus on them for the next 21 days. (You'll feel better doing it!)

  2. If you're really brave - Give the Scoresheet to your team. Ask them to score you, and offer their ideas on what you can do to improve. It's a humbling shortcut to leadership success - if you respond well.

  3. Make it a Team Challenge. For the greatest gains, give the Scoresheet to your team to score themselves. Have everyone add an idea for the one or two they'd like to improve most and then share their commitments. Work on them together - as a team challenge for the for the next 21 days. Watch the culture and productivity blossom as your team members develop these vital traits together.

Here’s to your success! 


7 Vital Traits Scoresheet


There are certainly other important leadership traits. And I'd like to hear your thoughts. What other traits do you feel are essential for success as a leader?  Send your replies to:

I look forward to hearing from you!

Leadership successFinding CourageBe VulnerableResilienceTake Actionsuccess traits
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Tim Rhode

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