Junior Woman's Club

of Newport News

12 traits you need at the top


Executive coach Debra Benton urges her CEO clients to pay special attention to these traits:

  1. Attitude.  Good leaders stay positive and do not waver.
  2. Tenacity.  Nothing is ever accomplished with just one letter, one telephone call or one request.
  3. Risk tolerance.  Mistakes help you and others learn.
  4. Active honesty.  Carelessness with facts kills your credibility.
  5. Prudence.  Thinking before you speak helps build your purpose.
  6. Originality.  People like to sense that with you they are breaking new ground.
  7. Modesty.  It's better to have other people recognize your ability than to point it out yourself.
  8. Style.  It's not about your clothes, but about what you do while you are in your clothes.
  9. Willingness to admit mistakes.  If you are error-free, you are probably effort-free.
  10. Downward loyalty.  Leaders protect their people.
  11. Straightforwardness.  People support what is simple and direct.
  12. Inquisitiveness.  Curiiosity leads any organization into new areas.

-Adapted from "Executive Leadership" and How to Think Like a CEO, Debra Benton, Warner.