Here are 11 leadership qualities and skills that aspiring and existing leaders should possess to be able to efficiently guide their company towards everyday success.
Time management is one of the factors that an individual should also master to be able to be efficient and productive. One of the qualities of leaders that separate them from the rest is having daily accomplishments. An individual who is developing leadership skills should familiarize himself with creating daily accomplishments that he should achieve before the day ends.
One of the leadership qualities and skills that a successful leader has is strategy – good balance of analytical point of view and human element.
Continuous implementation of strategies is also one of the qualities of leaders that make a company successful. A good leader is able to extend the motivation and responsibility to others so that everyone will feel important and appreciated in doing things for the sake of the company. A great leader can create ideas and strategies by getting ideas from all sorts of things and from every person in the team. A person developing leadership skills should learn how to think things over then come up with a decision that he will execute and follow-through once he sees a chance to do so. A good leader should give chances to his team to excel and perform their skills to be able to help the company.
One of the qualities of leaders that are hard to copy is being able to face and manage challenges – both internal and external ones.
A good leader should also be able to create a strategy and implement that strategy in a continuous manner to be able to achieve his and his company’s goals.
Proper motivation to one’s self and to the team is also an important trait of a true leader. Putting people first and encouraging their talents and skills to be exposed and appreciated is a great way to motivate people. While leadership can be defined as one’s ability to get others to willingly follow, most leaders must have the discipline to work towards their vision single-mindedly, as well as direct their actions and those of the team towards a common goal.
Leadership is developed from two perspectives, the business organization on one side and the individual on the other. As lead Business Strategist of Initial Design Group, Kevin provides a key perspective in organizational development, operational efficiencies and growth strategies. I wanted to speak to a topic that Jeff addressed in this prior post on confronting bad leadership. As I have thought about this over the years, it’s really come down to asking myself what kind of person I want to be. So here is my list of what I think makes a good leader, manager… and also a good employee. Is Accountable – pretty hard to accomplish in a world of big egos, pride and self sufficiency, but this one is really important. Is Consumed With Fostering a Positive Culture – here it’s about creating a place for everyone along common values and objectives. Loves to Get Results Through Others – someone who recognizes the important technical, emotional and spiritual contribution that every person can make and works hard to orchestrate them together. Is Kind – and can still be firm – who can be compassionate while guiding others through difficult situations.
Knows and Manages The Difference Between the Hard and Soft Sides of Management – one has to do with physical assets, the other with emotions, relationships and attitudes. Balances Life at Work and at Home – knows how to turn off work and focus on family and others while properly loving him or herself. Is Not Afraid of Change – someone who is a bit restless with the status quo, unless it is really working. Places Customers and Donors First In Organizational Design – this key orientation forms a basis for rallying employees properly toward the right focus.
Is Committed to Justice – valuing doing the right thing, valuing the “little guy”, valuing the person who got a raw deal and wanting to make things right. Finds Service is More Important Than Authority – is all about serving others and helping them find their way, careful in their use of authority, realizing that using authority is really the last way to lead, not the first. Has a Healthy Relationship To Money – understands that money is a way to transfer value, not an objective in and of itself. Is Driven by Opportunity – always looking for opportunity and leading others to think outside the box. Can See The Big Picture – has a way of seeing what is really going on and not getting consumed or swayed by the often conflicting details that surround them each day. Your blog is the best one I know of for fundraising professionals and I love that you post your updates on Facebook so that I never miss them! At our non-profit, we talk about your blog nearly everyday and are grateful for your posts. You guys have created the single most valuable resource for fundraising I have found in ~ 30 years in the field. I often forward your posts to colleagues and identify you as my "favorite fundraising bloggers." Keep being awesome!
Your advice has been terrific and a good fit with what I know to be true about building meaningful relationships with donors. I really appreciate your white papers and the blog -- so helpful to those of us in smaller shops building our major donor programs. My colleague and I both subscribe to your blog, and discuss each post when it arrives in our respective in-boxes.
Your abilities to continually write articles that cover important facets of the fundraising world never cease to amaze me! I am new to the Development business and your posts have helped me and my department tremendously! Your blogs inspire me every day to be better than I was yesterday in keeping my work donor-centered. Because I find all your articles so full of great tips I would love to have all of your White Papers -- I'm planning to write my CFRE this Fall so I appreciate everything! I'm a Marketing & Development Director at a small non-profit (5 full time staff, $900,000 budget). I learn a lot from the blogs I receive from Veritus Group - thank you for sharing your experience, knowledge, & wisdom.


Please keep up the great work - I make all my team read your post over coffee each morning and it is great for creating conversations at team meetings. Your website is such a huge help to me as the executive director of an education foundation. I love reading your emails, it inspires me and makes me realise that others have the same challenges. Thank you for your terrific blog--it is very helpful to me in my work as a Director of Development. Your blog consistently provides the most valuable content for me as a one-person fund development department needing MGO orientation. I "have coffee" with you every morning and look forward to your straight-up information -- always right on the money.
Finding higher level Development help is hard to find, so I appreciate your blog and public information. I've been enjoying and benefiting from your blog for the last two years - I was turned on to it by a colleague. Our partners at Veritus helped us to get better organized and approach our major gifts fundraising in a practical way. I want you to know that of the 5 or so development-specific blogs I subscribe to, yours is the one I read almost every day without fail - and more to the point, I read them with great appreciation.
I absolutely love your blog, it is really helping me get further in my job and in my work, thank you so much for all that you do. I enjoy and value your posts and try to gently share your words with my development officers. Your white papers are excellent, well written and invaluable as our organization is finally investing in some major gift officers.
I was recently promoted, and the main bulk of my time now will be spent on formalizing and implementing a Major Gifts program. I have served as a VP for Advancement for over 20 years and currently serve as senior gifts officer for my current university (where I served more than 14 years as VP for Advancement). I learned more about major gifts from your blogs than I have from a book, training, or a development leader. Thank you for your practical advice -- I see you as two very important partners in my work to raise funds for my organization. Although I've been in development for many years, my current position is the first one that provides the opportunity to seek major gifts. Through proper education and discipline in learning all the qualities of leaders, one can effectively lead his business into success. These should be studied by an aspiring leader so that he can possess all of these naturally; without faking and intimidation.
By creating a good management strategy, a leader can make his team dynamic, which would lead to success. Creating schedules that everyone in the team could benefit from is an effective management strategy that will enable the entire team to be productive in a continuous manner. This way, he is able to create innovative steps, on a daily basis, that could greatly help his company achieve something big.
Being pragmatic in creating strategies is helpful to avoid failure and unexpected negative results. Also, follow-through is one of the things that great leaders execute to effectively guide their team to success. By being ambitious in creating and implementing plans that will make his business successful, he is making his whole team motivated as well.
This is one of the leadership qualities and skills that true leaders show to their team so that everyone is constantly motivated and influenced to be always on the move. Creativity is the ability to create solutions that can effectively resolve issues and improve the administration of the whole team. He should learn how to apply positive encouragement so that each and every person in the team is encouraged to work hard and present innovative solutions to the problems that their company faces. But, a good leader should also know when to take the center stage and take care of the company when needed.
When developing leadership skills, an individual should learn how to determine and face challenges during tough times and occasions when something new is about to start, which could turn the company upside-down if the strategy itself and the strategies used in implementing the strategy fail. Because this is the foundation of a leader’s determination to do everything for the sake of his company and his team, he should have a strong vision and possess the resoluteness to follow that vision. By being able to motivate the whole company to work hard for the company, a good leader is guiding his team to success. A good leader makes sure that he is communicating well with his group not only to give instructions but also to provide guidance and encouragement to everyone.
That said however, in today’s business environment, companies are realizing that the perfect, flexible leader does not exist. Leadership needs to be appropriate for the situation and can range from completely dictatorial to collaborative to totally hands off, empowering others to make all decisions. He was talking about bad leaders and how we are seeing more of them; he suggested that I write about what makes a good leader and manager. I haven’t placed these in any particular order, as I think that each is just as worthy as the next.
And many of them are still goals of mine because it is certainly hard for me to measure up to much of this list.
In the world of fundraising and major gifts, being this kind of person will help you immensely as you relate to donors. It's not easy especially since I am working with very limited resources at a tiny nonprofit, but focusing on helping the organization build a major gifts program keeps me going.
As a new leader of a growing Individual Giving team, I am grateful for this inspiring resource you produce.
I stumbled on your site during a search a few moths ago and am SO thankful for the emails I receive from you!! Your wisdom, insight and experience in major donor relationships shine through your writing.
I can't tell you how much they help, motivate, and inspire me to strive to do my job to the best of my ability.
I regularly visit for refreshers on my strategy, it's a really great source of motivation and reassurance.


I wear many hats (including program at times), but your blog helps keep things in perspective and I really appreciate all that you share! I have learned so much from you and am constantly caught off guard by the feeling that you really know me and are writing these articles just for me. It is full of fresh ideas on how to approach donors and it has made a difference in how we manage the foundation. Sometimes they are just the jolt of energy I need when I feel like things in my organization are getting a little too crazy and no one understands what major gifts fundraising is really about.
I have enjoyed your blog posts and find the information you share very helpful to my position as a leadership gift officer. I've transitioned to a new charitable organization and am charged with building the fundraising program from the ground up. Your website is great as I help Major Gift Officers understand their role and give them tangible things on which to focus.
They really help not only in the major donor area but for fundraising in general.I tell all my colleagues to subscribe to them.
I am eager to read all of your white papers to learn more; I love the advice and strategies you provide. I find your writings to be so helpful in suggesting how I might organize priorities for starting to build major donor relationships while also keeping the many other aspects of this program in motion.
Makes me think things differently in our office and how we can make a positive change in the future. If every MGO or Development Team leader followed your advice and counsel, our ministries would flourish.
I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy reading the Veritus Group Blog.
Thank you for creating interesting articles and pep talks especially for those of us who love the profession of being a Major Gift Officer. Martin on Is CFRE Certification Worth It?Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels on How Do You Cultivate the Mega Donors on Your Caseload?Andrea on How Do You Cultivate the Mega Donors on Your Caseload? Also, one must be resolute in learning all the qualities of a successful leader, no matter how hard it may seem sometimes, so that he will yield all the benefits of being a true great leader that will guide his business to success.
They should be applied to the daily life of an aspiring leader so that he or she can take it to heart and gradually apply it to his individuality.
Proper management includes proper administration to issues which would make it possible for the leader and his team to determine problems and create solutions based in an orderly manner. He or she is always doing innovative decisions and steps to make his day as accomplished as possible. A sense of urgency and energy to every move of a leader sends messages that make the whole team energized and pleased to work persistently. A true leader will inspire and motivate others to speak up and voice out their opinions and suggestions regarding all sorts of matter.
Even though thinking things over is important, it is also significant for a leader to know how to be resolute in his decisions and act on those decisions at the right time – with conviction.
Also, showing a sense of urgency and energy is an effective way to have people motivated and encouraged to do their work and better it. Good communication among all the members of the team should also be encouraged by the leader to promote good relationship and proper exchange of ideas and responsibilities among all the members of the company, including the leader himself. Regardless of leadership style, every business organization needs leaders at every level and a good leader, whether they naturally possess leadership qualities or not, will be diligent to consistently develop and strengthen their leadership qualities in their leadership role.
Businesses need leadership that support the business’s culture, goals and mission statement. Yes, you have to manage structure and process, but the focus is doing it in a healthy way with fluidity and flexibility. There is a distinct set of values that anchor decision making and those values are, essentially, about making the world a better place. With 10 years of non-profit board and committee service and event fundraising, I still have plenty to learn. I think I know a few MGO's who might 'get' how this would provide a needed framework for their work and give them a push to actually create a strategy.
I'm also constantly amazed by how consistently your insights are spot-on (not that I should be amazed by this!) Thank you for all that you do to support the wonderful industry of fundraising! On bad days you lift me up and I can now put a plan in place that makes sense and will succeed. If I ever have an opportunity to recommend your firm in my associations, I will surely do this!
Though I have not had the luxury of working in a major gifts capacity, your articles and advice have helped shape how I will approach the role once I have reached that level in my career. I read your sage advice and get that gentle reminder that it's not always me that's the crazy one in this office.
I just completed a Certificate in Philanthropy Management and the blog is an excellent tool to all new people in this field.
I have no doubt that your white papers and your ongoing blog will be most helpful to me in my pursuits. My organization does not have a MGO and as Development Director, I am responsible for major donor cultivation. I have research, event and annual fund experience and some grant writing, but no major gift background so your blog is really helpful to help me learn. This makes the whole team efficient and accustomed on what everyone should do, without waiting for orders, which will make the management of the whole matter much easier. A leader must be able to communicate their vision in terms that Associates will accept and be willing to follow. 6 months ago I left a job after 15 years when I realized I did not have the same ethics as my new boss and that I would not be able to work with her. They are looking for hard numbers and don't utilize the more subtle information research uncovers. I'm not sure how I discovered you other than by clicking a link in another blog post but I am very glad I stumbled across your company.



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