How to be a Great Executive: Be a Good Person…and a few other things

What does it take to go from being a good leader to a great one?


There are many attributes that will help you have success in your career. You may be a fount of winning ideas or you may have unique expertise and managerial acumen. There are many ways to get to the top.

A long-term study shows that top leaders have a little extra: a high level of emotional and moral intelligence.

This article expounds on the attributes but here’s a quick list of differentiating leadership dimensions:

  • Attuned to others
  • Emotionally Self-Aware
  • Committed to putting the right people in the right roles
  • Able to live with discomfort
  • Strike a balance

From the article:

KRW International, a leadership consulting firm, conducted a long-term study of 84 companies to assess leaders’ character. Researchers measured character based on four principles: integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion. In the study, executives scored themselves and a random sampling of their employees also scored the executives.

What KRW found is that the companies with leaders that had the highest average score across all four principles typically had higher employee engagement, reduced financial and legal risk and a much higher return-on-assets than companies with leaders whose scores were lower.

“High-character people tell the truth and have appropriate failure tolerance. That’s what makes people want to run through walls for them,” said Kelly Garramone, a managing partner at KRW.