Guest Blog

The Uncommon Traits of Great Leaders

Leadership can be hard to define as a lot of the time it is those traits that you can’t put your finger on that matter most.  I think there is a general belief that leadership skills are something that you either have or don’t have but I’ve helped lots of people to develop them.  Even natural born leaders have things they need to improve on.

Over the last 8 years I’ve coached hundreds of people at a senior manager, executive and business owner level.  There are three things that I’ve found to be the most rare.  When developed, these traits make a significant difference to the person’s career and life. These are:

A High Level of Self-Awareness

When I started my coaching diploma one of my mentors said that ‘95% of the personal development journey is self-awareness’.  I didn’t quite understand this then but over time I’ve learnt to understand this more and more.  Our subconscious mind accounts for anything from 95-97% of our thinking so most of our daily thoughts and actions are automatic.  The more you are aware of your own thinking and thought patterns the more personal growth you will have.  The purpose of the coaching is to uncover these subconscious patterns.  The first step is to start thinking about your thinking.

Behavioural Flexibility

When I start working with someone of the first things we uncover is the person’s personal and professional behavioural style.  We do this utilising an Extended DISC unpack.  I’ve seen lots of people undertake EDISC but very few utilise it to its full potential.  The way I see it, the purpose of personal development is not just to know who are but to design who you want and need to become to achieve your goals.

I do believe that we should operate authentically and at the same time business is an ever changing world so behavioural flexibility is a must.  Behavioural flexibility means changing your communication style depending on who it is you are talking to and the elements of the business you are dealing with.  This would be in terms of speed, level of detail, tone and focus. People who stay the same no matter who they are talking to, will find it difficult to adapt in an ever changing environment and will likely have limited influence.

Emotional Management Skills

One of my first personal development teachers said ‘It’s easy to be positive when things are going well, it’s much harder to be positive when things are not going well’.  I think this is one of the most challenging areas of business.  As Dr Demartini says ‘If you can’t manage your emotions, don’t expect to be able to manage your business’.  Your business results and revenue will go up and down depending on your emotional state and the mindset patterns you have fallen into.

There are resourceful and unresourceful states and ways of being and these will determine whether you are being listened to or followed.  Stress and emotional management are therefore key.

Jade Varley, Suited To Business

If you would like to find out how well you are tracking with regards to your leadership and management skills reach out to Jade at

She is a Pay on Results Business and Leadership Coach who offers a free 30-minute consultation and can give you an initial indication of where you are at on your leadership journey.


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