5 Impactful Characteristics of Influential Business Leaders

If you had the opportunity to grab a coffee with the successful business mogul of your choice, what would you ask them about their empire? Would you pick their brain for business strategy? Discuss how to create or rise above trends? Or maybe how to bounce back after a market catastrophe?

What if we told you these questions serve only bite-size value in comparison to seeking out which personality traits one should develop to start, grow, and maintain a successful business valued at 7-figures and greater. So, that’s exactly what we asked and we quickly picked up on 5 impactful characteristics of every influential business leader.

Discover what it takes to mold your personality into one made for meaningful leadership.


Knowing and playing to your strengths and weaknesses could be the difference between scaling a company or leaving it vulnerable. Self-awareness is a critical and attainable skill mastered by every influential leader.

Self-awareness is an essential attribute for influential leadership, making it first on the list. In his Lessons in Leadership episode on Self-Awareness–Jason Paprocki, EVP and COO of Arizona Federal Credit Union shares how invaluable it is for a business and its growth to be led by someone who is “aware of how everything they say and do impacts those around them”.

Jason explains how his team members often present ideas to him. And if something strikes him as particularly inspiring, he will look out a window. He assures his team this is a good sign and not him ignoring someone.

It’s little quirks like these that his self-awareness allows him to express before others misconstrue his intentions. He even created a “user guide” for his employees. It describes how he communicates, pet peeves, and common misunderstandings others may have of his response style–like looking out of a window. He encourages his team to create the same.

By knowing how others see him and clearing the air right away, no time or opportunities are lost while working with others.

Exercises that will help you cultivate self-awareness:

  1. Try writing your own self-awareness “user guide”
  2. Take five minutes out of your day to analyze and record the day’s events in a journal
  3. Ask someone you trust for honest feedback
  4. Take personality tests to help you better understand your personality


Can you make sound decisions quickly? Or do you suffer from “paralysis of analysis” that sinks so many otherwise incredible leaders? An intentional life and business call for you to be in the driver’s seat, calling the shots with confidence. It shows you trust yourself and others can too.

Exercises that will help you cultivate decisiveness:

  1. Explore hesitations only briefly with prompts like “what’s stopping me?” “why am I second-guessing?”
  2. Abandon perfection, every decision will have an outcome, it’s okay if it’s not perfect each time. It’s more important that you trust your ability to choose and make the most of it
  3. Evaluate the best and worst-case scenarios. Let your imagination run wild. What’s the worst that could happen…what’s the best?
  4. Eliminate small decisions. There are only so many effective decisions you can make each day. Save your energy for the important ones
  5. Discover the impact decisiveness makes on an organization from one of our guests


Integrity is an integral part of being an influential leader and the backbone of any meaningful success. TheEconomist.com held a leadership survey and 3,200 CEOs and CFOs ranked integrity as one of the most desirable traits in someone they want to work for and with.

To have integrity is to be trustworthy, to have earned other’s respect, and not have demanded it with constant reminders of your position or title. It’s also about always doing the right thing and recognizing how conviction to the truth affects so much more than you and your immediate surroundings.

Exercises that will help you cultivate integrity:

  1. Address knee-jerk reactions that you don’t like. Understanding why you react to certain things negatively is a good reflection exercise that helps you become more aware so that integrity is maintained in even the toughest situations
  2. Keep your word. The value of what you say increased when people know you honor your word
  3. Stay in good company. If those around you maintain their integrity, it’s likely you will too and vice versa


This may not be an exact science, but we can say with a fair amount of certainty that it’s hard to be inspired, influenced, or led by someone who isn’t as enthusiastic about something as you are. It just wouldn’t make sense or feel great.

Leaders who bring a sincere amount of enthusiasm to the table have an easier time connecting to their teams, cultivate creativity, offer infectious encouragement, and breathe life into any successful venture.


Alas, knowledge is the fifth most common characteristic of every influential leader. The desire to obtain knowledge and share it is prevalent in leaders across every market in every nation. Never stop reading, discovering, exploring, and keeping your finger on the pulse that keeps your dream alive.

Here at STN, our community consists of businesses and leaders with the ability to make an impact in the growing Phoenix community. From businesses, sports, nonprofits, and elected city officials, they all gather at the table through STN to give the public direction and confidence in the decisions that they’re making for the greater good of Arizona residents. We are committed to learning, growing, influencing, and inspiring the leaders of our community.

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