Successful Leaders have 4 Foundational qualities

feliciaarticles, Authentic Leadership, Leadership, success, TransformationLeave a Comment

Last week I wrote about how Digital Transformation is becoming the goal for many organisations. Yet Transformation efforts still fail due to the people component, especially quality leadership.  I believe there are 4 foundational qualities for successful leadership.

The 4 foundational qualities.

Good leaders develop their technical competencies. Successful leaders go beyond this, recognising that:

People follow leaders because of who they are, not what they can do

Successful leaders are self aware. They show up authentically through 4 foundational qualities; Passion, Personality, Purpose and Principle.  3 of the qualities are innate, and the last is learned.


I have a passion for helping Governments and Corporations execute innovative strategies.  Simply writing a report and seeing nothing change frustrates me no end!  I have seen how my passion has inspired others to come on board with projects or ideas. Employees that are inspired are engaged.

Few leaders articulate their passion as it’s personal.  It may be self-evident in the things they give their time and attention to. However, successful leaders are deliberate. They know, articulate and communicate their passion.

When you articulate and communicate your passion you can transmit it

If your passion doesn’t sound “worthy” articulate it anyway.  It’s how we use our passion, moderated by our Principles that make it worthy.



Our individual characteristics, i.e. our talents, behaviours and temperament are what makes each of us unique. In short, our personality.  I love the wisdom saying that says:

We are uniquely and wonderfully made

Assessments can help a leader understand their individual characteristics. These tools often identify those characteristics suited to leadership roles.

Leaders who know their individual characteristics can leverage those which are strengths and support those which need development. Support can be through building diverse teams with strengths the leader doesn’t have.


We were not simply born to work, play and die! We were born with a purpose, some call it out  “Why”.

I believe you can be ‘Purposed for Leadership‘.

A Purposed leader has an innate sense of wanting to achieve a vision or goal bigger than themselves to the benefit of others.

Being purposeful is not the same as having a sense of purpose.  Think Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson. Having a sense of purpose enables successful leaders to drive towards goals that will make impact.


The Principle quality is about character.  The business case for Character based-leadership is compelling for personal and organisational leadership effectiveness. A Harvard Business Review   article noted a study that found:

  • CEOs whose employees rated them highly on character had an average Return on Assets (RoA)of 9.35{4fe5bc4049378b305897ad03a99d012bacf55ef2bcc1e006dbc25a152c19d1f8} over a two-year period.
  • CEO’s whose employees rated them low on character had an average Return on Assets of 1.93{4fe5bc4049378b305897ad03a99d012bacf55ef2bcc1e006dbc25a152c19d1f8}.

Universal Principles

Assessing character leaves some people cold as subjectivity is a concern.  I believe we can apply a level of objectivity through Universal Absolute Principle’s (UAP’s). Examples of UAP’s are:

  • Respecting and caring for others
  • Taking  responsibility and being accountable .

At Kitch Consulting & Coaching Ltd we use a Character Assessment that is based on UAP’s.  Measurement and development of Character competencies (Principle) is possible. This is good news.


Take a Minute

I challenge you today to take a minute and think about your leadership capabilities.  Go beyond your technical leadership competencies.

If you would like support in discovering any of these aspects or developing them further contact me at or on Skype: KITCHLTD for a free 20 minute consultation and let us help facilitate a plan to ensure your success as a leader.

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