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5 Leadership Qualities of an Effective Executive



Executive businessman at the back of car using a mobile phone

What leadership qualities do you want to build as an effective executive? Leadership skills are essential for anyone who wants to affect change on a corporate level. Having good communication skills, being a visionary leader, understanding high performance, being prepared to lean into trustworthiness and generosity are all qualities to be highly effective and make a lasting impact. 

An effective executive will build the pertinent character skills to accelerate growth while also mastering the ability to learn the leadership skills of others and how to nurture them into their own growth trajectory. In this article, I share 5 key qualities to work on and grow into when developing as a high impact executive.


There are many qualities that define a good leader, but none is more important than selflessness. A good leader must be able to put themselves in the shoes of others. They must be able to empathize and treat everyone with kindness and understanding. 

A good leader is someone who recognizes their faults and vulnerabilities, accepts them without question, and works hard to protect themselves from their own weaknesses. A good leader is also someone you can trust to be understanding in even the most trying situations.

A great leader knows how important it is to treat others with respect. They listen to their ideas and take them seriously. An executive, manager, director, or leader is there to help others learn how to listen, think, and plan out strategies for the future of the company or organization. 

Man sharing with colleagues

It is not about their ego or selfish desires, but they put the needs of the company and team members ahead of theirs. Ultimately, you know you are headed in the right direction as a leader when you have the ability to be selfless.

Communication Skills

Communication is the tool you’ll use most when interacting with others. It’s also an extremely crucial skill set to possess in leadership. Time magazine writes that great leaders communicate a compelling vision and a sense of purpose. 

They need to demonstrate respect for team members, create an inclusive environment and develop trusting relationships in order to hold people accountable and solve their problems. 

Having great communication skills is imperative in any relationship and as an executive you must master the ability to simplify complicated ideas. Not only do you have to communicate with the board or higher ups, other executives from other companies, but you also must be able to communicate at a certain level with your teammates. The level of mastery you employ in your communication skills will determine how effective you are as an executive.


As an executive, when you are able to cast a vision that motivates and encourages your team members, you know that you are on the right track. Oftentimes a vision for a company can be extremely intellectual or philosophical, which means many won’t be able to relate to it. 

“A great leader needs to be able to let go.”

A vision must be clear and simple to understand. It also must be powerful and emotionally charging, allowing listeners to attach themselves to the idea and essence of the vision.

An executive will have a vision for the larger purpose and objective of the company. However, there is also a place for them to speak life and cast vision into smaller exclusive departments. Once they set the stage, they can delegate to department heads to lead their teams according to the overall plan orchestrated by the executive. If you are a vision driven, passionate individual who cares about the bigger picture, you will do well as an executive.

High Performance Coach

There is a huge difference between the skills that are important to embody and how you actually perform. Maintaining the mindset of a leader is what separates the good from the great. It is up to you to provide your team with the required tools so they can achieve their own success. In fact, it isn’t about you; it’s about making your team self-starters.

Performance is something that can be cultivated at all levels of an organization. At the executive level, your mindset and attitude play a huge part in how you perform. It is then up to you to provide the tools and encouragement to those you lead. Your team is depending on you to lead them, and you can’t do that with the same old negative mindset. Technology has changed the game and it’s important for executives to know how to stay connected with their team.

Do you wish you could get into peak state more often? Do you want to create exceptional results in your business and life? Embracing your leadership and walking in your peak performance state will get you going. Grasp the “why” behind what you do and what motivates you and move with that in mind as you take action in your day to day.

Trust (Delegation)

One of the greatest qualities a leader can possess is the ability to trust their team. This doesn’t mean you will always be in agreement with your team, nor does it mean you must like what they do, but it does mean that, when you are delegating tasks to your team, you need to have faith that they will complete the task or project in a manner that achieves your overall goal(s).

It can be challenging to trust a person who has not proven themselves. If you are the leader of a team, you may have the challenge of what role to play in delegating tasks. How much control do you want them to have? How often will you check in to assess their work? Truth be told, it’s a difficult thing to do to give up the reins, but it is necessary.

A great leader needs to be able to let go. There’s more than enough to do that will keep you busy so you’re not overly concerned about what others are doing. This is why training and mentoring is key. The more you can mentor your leaders to be aligned with your approach to work and the more they understand your vision, the easier it becomes to trust them to do great work.

What Qualities Do You Want To Build?

Is there a specific set of qualities or skill sets that you desire to grow into? What area of your professional development are you looking to accelerate? When you master these 5 first, you will be in a much better place than when you started.

Zain has an uncanny ability to get to the core of what motivates executives, employees, and teams. As a leadership, executive, and employee retention coach, he has helped numerous people succeed at work but also at home. You can find Zain at Linkedin and Facebook but also contributing on other websites as well.