Top 10 Traits of a Good Leader

by | General

Our Utah Market Director, Sean McKeehan, gives us an insight into his management style. Which of these traits resonates with you the most?


Positive Reinforcement.

How great would it be if we all spent time “catching people doing things right”? So often leadership is looking for things people are doing wrong with the intention to teach them to be better. Look for what they do right to build on their strengths.



Not to offload work that we don’t enjoy, but rather use delegation as learning and growth opportunities for teammates around us. The number one reason people leave a job is due to lack of career growth and mobility. Use 1:1’s to find out what people are passionate about and how they want to grow, then delegate project work. Meaningful work that gets them experience and recognition and strengthens our teams and/or services we offer.



No one likes micromanagement. In fact, most despise it. No one wants to babysit anyone at work. Set clear expectations and give employees autonomy on how the job gets done. If things start going sideways then there will be time to right the ship.


1:1’s are key.

They are such a great tool to know what’s going on in your people’s lives. They are easy to skip or schedule over or seem unimportant. If you view them as a priority, and safe – so will your people and they will grow to love them.



We should always ask in every 1:1 from our leaders and from those that report to us. Many are uncomfortable sharing negative feedback. When we get it, try to act on it ASAP. It’s important to improve if we want to be better leaders.



It’s the key to any growth. First, you must define improvement. More sales, better culture, better listening, consistent 1:1’s? What is it that we are improving (what our baseline), and what will success look like? We need to know both answers before we can improve. Everyone likes recognition, so let’s ask for others to help hold us accountable and let us know when they notice we’re making improvement on our areas of focus.


Culture is extremely important.

If the culture isn’t good, it’s the leader’s fault. What will we do to improve the culture and it and make it more rewarding? This should be a constant effort. We can’t just hold one great contest, or one great activity, or have one great month of production. Culture is a never-ending work, and it is affected by every action or reaction made by the leadership team. The one key attribute that all great performers possess is positive culture! We’ve all had good salespeople fail to get the culture or teamwork part down. The key to culture is thinking of others first instead of thinking of ourselves.


Habits of a life-long learner.

Read daily. Read improvement and leadership books, market, or industry data. Set a goal for reading daily or weekly. Start with 10 minutes each day or 30 minutes a week to build the right habits and provide needed inspiration. Don’t forget to take notes, not just on what we like, but what we will change in our leadership approach.


Don’t dwell on mistakes.

Often, we are too hard on ourselves. Try not to repeat the same mistakes, but if you do learn and move on. If you repeatedly make the same mistakes seek help from your mentor or peers.


Have fun.

If we’re having fun, others around us will as well. Positivity is infectious. Make the choice to be happy and stick to it.


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — President John Quincy Adams


This is the way I try to lead and want to be led.


Sean McKeehan

Author Sean McKeehan, Utah Market Director

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