Leadership Motivation Organisational Culture Positivity Research

Leadership traits all organisations should focus on

Last time, we discussed a report put out by McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, regarding the most popular leadership traits exhibited in 189,000 individuals from 81 organisations across the world. The purpose of this report was to assess the type of leadership behaviour organisations should aim to cultivate through the numerous leadership development programs they invest in this year. After all, to develop the most effective leaders possible, emphasizing the attainment of particular traits would maximise an organisation’s potential.


Due to the popularity of that article, today’s blog will be devoted to examining some of the ‘Top 20 Leadership Traits’ that McKinsey & Company developed as a result of their research.  Why this matters: 90% of CEO’s invest in leadership development programs to better their organisations and leverage the talents of their team members. However, if a development program is too general, broad, and inexact, leaders may certainly gain valuable insights but not the specific strategies that can propel them to more pronounced (and quicker success).


Below, you can find the full list of McKinsey & Company’s Top 20 Leadership Traits:




The traits highlighted in blue are the ones that were frequently displayed in organisations with strong leadership performance.  You can learn more about them in last week’s blog.

Today we will discuss: motivating and bringing out the best in others, giving praise, and recovering positively from failures.


Motivating and bringing out the best in others: A great leader can motivate their team to accomplish objectives while keeping performance and morale high. One way to achieve this is to set realistic goals. If you are uncertain about your team’s ability to accomplish a task, your employees will sense that uncertainty. Your body language and demeanor will betray you no matter what you say. Set objectives that you believe in and readjust goals that seem too lofty. Additionally, it’s imperative you model the behaviour you want your team to exhibit—whether that means staying after-hours right along with them or demonstrating the company’s values through professional and courteous behaviour.


Giving praise: Extending praise to team members who deserve it can work to your benefit. You’ll not only encourage the team member in question to continue on the correct path, but you’ll also encourage other team members to improve their own performance. For this reason, praising in public (in team meetings, for example) can prove rewarding. Be aware though, that not all people like public recognition and may find it embarrassing, so tailor your praise to the individual. Be specific with your praise as opposed to general, as generalities are largely unhelpful. Focus on the action the team member took and how it benefitted the group at large.


Recovering positively from failures: We all make mistakes. Even large companies and brands can take the wrong step from time to time. But a great leader knows how to rebound from a failure and keep the team’s morale high. Communication, as always, is key. Leaders communicate to their people to keep everyone on the same page and to maintain cohesiveness within the team. They own their mistakes without making excuses and without playing the blame game. Then they work together with their team stop any losses and to find solutions, all the while steering everyone’s energy to a positive position. Finally, they learn from mistakes and failures and reflect on how they can apply this new knowledge to future decision making.



Whether you plan on investing in leadership development programs this year to better your organisation or simply want to improve your own leadership performance, focusing on these traits will help you reach greater levels of success within your company.

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