3 Underrated But Required Traits Of Every Leader

I have found that every successful entrepreneur shares these three personality traits.




These three qualities combined are a winning formula for an entrepreneur. AKA, the sweet spot.

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There’s nothing like curiosity. The less you know, the better.

I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who wasn’t essentially curious. They know they don’t know everything, and that scares them a little. Not knowing drives fear in them.

They ask questions like “how does this work?” “why does this work?” and, of course, “why isn’t this working?”

They think about what could be possible.

And this curiosity forces them to create a vision that others can cling to. Their vision starts with a lot of theories, hypotheses mixed with some data and a little gut feeling.

And as they learn more, they adjust their thinking and narrow their vision. With every step, the view gets better and better.

And eventually the vision turns into confidence. A strong vision backed by trust and evidence is unstoppable.

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Curiosity isn’t just a great skill for founders. It is also a great leadership skill.

Curiosity means being willing to admit you don’t know everything, and not stopping until you can confidently move forward.

There is a trick that works well. When faced with what seems like an insurmountable problem, ask yourself, “What would have to be true for this to happen?” Then, based on your answer, ask again, and again, and again until you find a solution small enough to bite off and the result seems achievable.

For example, in the early stages of building Blinds.com, we found that most people were hesitant to buy blinds because they were afraid to do the measurements themselves.

What would have to be true for people not to be afraid?

Have a guarantee so rock solid that the fear would be allayed. That’s why we created the industry’s first flawless warranty. Business skyrocketed.

What can you do now, not tomorrow?

I am as guilty of this as many others. Ambition is easy for me, but that gets me into trouble. I will find myself doing things that have nothing to do with me.

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So to find your sweet spot, you have to be realistic with your options. If your vision is to land on Mars and you’ve never seen a rocket scheme before, maybe, just maybe, you should ignore it.

A great entrepreneur is curious, but also understands their current skills and the skills of their team… their superpowers. But more importantly, their Kryptonite.

Challenge yourself, but never start with failure. Start by knowing yourself and what you can achieve.

What are you afraid of? Let paranoia prompt you to take action.

The ability to continuously evolve means that someone adapts, which means they are less likely to fear change, which is the one constant in business.

The more you don’t know, the more anxious you become. That’s where fear can keep you from doing what you need to do.

Like many founders, I was initially afraid to take on the responsibility of delegation, but no matter how adept you are at hiring, you will never be able to fully utilize your people if you don’t delegate. You have to give them autonomy with clear expectations, but don’t completely relinquish them until people have proven themselves.

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So delegate a little and then gradually more to those who meet your expectations.

I was afraid to delegate. But my paranoia was bigger than my fear. I was afraid that if I didn’t delegate, I wouldn’t be able to build a bigger company than I was capable of. The company would have come to a standstill.

So I let my paranoia lead me to delegate. You have to address your fear to take action. It’s the only way to move forward.

Combining your paranoia and curiosity while being realistic about what you can achieve is a recipe for something special. Start cooking now!

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not Inc.com’s.

This post 3 Underrated But Required Traits Of Every Leader

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