13 Qualities of Successful Business Leaders

A few years ago I attended a keynote speech from Pat Williams, Senior VP of Orlando Magic. His topic was the “Thirteen Qualities of Winners”.

Williams has had an amazing amount of leadership experience in the sports world at different levels within multiple franchise organizations. Perhaps his biggest venture was establishing the Orlando Magic NBA team, which is where he was at the time of the speech.

After I reviewed his list, it became very clear that the 13 qualities he identified equally apply to business leaders. If a business leader does not have these 13 qualities, they and their business’ potential, will be limited.

I took the liberty of replacing the word “Winners” with “Successful Business Leaders” in the list of 13 qualities below. This list describes the attributes of a successful business leader!

13 Qualities of Successful Business Leaders

  1. Successful Business Leaders have a dream and a vision. “If you can dream it you can do it.” ~Walt Disney. Put your dreams into action!
  1. Preparation leads to confidence. Successful Business Leaders are confident because they spend time preparing.
  1. Successful Business Leaders are focused. Focus on the task at hand. “Make each day your masterpiece.” ~ John Wooden
  1. Be passionate about what you do. Be full of zeal and zest. Love what you do and have fun doing it.
  1. Successful Business Leaders work hard.
  1. Successful Business Leaders take responsibility. Ask yourself “What is the wisest thing to do based on past experience and where you want to go?”
  1. Successful Business Leaders set specific goals – be self disciplined (short term, medium term and long term)
  1. Persevere in all things.
  1. Deal with adversity – learn from it. Learn from your sufferings.
  1. Successful Business Leaders have a positive attitude (exercise your brain by reading 1 hour per day, attend classes, keynotes, lectures, webinars).
  1. Successful Business Leaders pay attention to the little things (this avoids big issues). Be a top down leader and a bottom up leader.
  1. Strive for perfection. Successful Business Leaders are not discouraged that they can never reach perfection but they still strive for it as the only other option is mediocrity – which is unacceptable!
  1. Successful Business Leaders welcome competition – it propels progress and innovation. Teamwork is the key to success.

Do some soul searching this week. Are you really the best leader you can be? Are there any of these qualities that are lacking in your life as a business leader? What can you focus on to become better?


Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy


Leave a comment below on what you think are traits of successful leaders.


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