The Three Essential Traits of a Great Leader

In a recent interview with The CEO Magazine, CEO of the Australian-based financial services firm La Trobe Financial Greg O’Neill identified three essential traits of a great leader: authenticity, passion for the job and stakeholder care. All three boil down to the same thing: Showing up 100% as the human being that you are truly matters.

Authenticity, or being a “real person”, is a cornerstone of conscious leadership. We have our
good and bad days, but overall when we are real with people, they respond in a positive manner. Authenticity involves displaying acts of courage and instilling trust in everyone around you, which, in turn, require a certain willingness to be vulnerable. As it happens, vulnerability is an opportunity to be the best human beings we can be.

Brené Brown is well-known for her research on vulnerability and courage in which she identified that every human being struggles with feelings of shame and a longing to belong and be loved. When we step outside our comfort zones, drop the masks and present our true
selves to others at our organization, it affords our team the opportunity to do the same. Human connection, whether it is with your suppliers, customers, employees or shareholders, is essential for operating your business.

Having passion for your job is another key component to conscious leadership. When we are vested in our work, we show a level of commitment that inspires action in our team. You cannot have high employee engagement if you yourself are disengaged. 

Caring for others with a servant leadership mindset has a ripple effect throughout the organization and beyond. Conscious Leaders define success not by material standards, but by the amount they give before taking back.

Conscious leadership is a philosophy on which we base our life’s journey. It is not a destination, but a means by which we can live and lead sustainably.

Conscious Action Step: Why do you show up to work every day, and how? Ask yourself that question consistently this week. Your answer may vary from day to day, but the inquiry itself is an exercise in consciously thinking about the leader you want to be.


Please enjoy my free eBook, A Quick-Start Guide to Conscious Leadership
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I will plant a tree in your name when you download a copy.