Defining Successful Leaders

May 22, 2023
5 minutes read

Defining Successful Leaders

In this era of influencers, defining the qualities of a successful leader has become directly linked to the ability that influencers have to entertain, create content, communicate and represent the values that media pose as acceptable. 

In one sense influencers are successful leaders, who are affecting others with their abilities. But I feel that these qualities mentioned are the qualities of just a type of leader, and I don’t necessarily believe they are a true representation of what a leader is. With this post I don’t intend for you to feel that you have to agree, I want to present those important qualities that I have noticed in my life living in America, Europe and Asia that are key to being effective and successful.


Influencing your team

Going back to the influencers, the reason why I believe they can be highlighted as leaders is that they are followed by people; their ideas, their words, and their behavior make them an ideal material to be considered successful. So, how do we start influencing people? Content creation is not made for everyone but remembering a name (like Dale Carnegie said) opens the doors to being a likeable person, which earns you enough points to open doors to effectively lead others.


Caring for others as a leader 

I was wondering what has been the greatest gift that someone has given you? Surely you can think of a big, nice gift so dramatic that you couldn’t even think of getting it on your own any time soon. But let’s make it a bit more complicated, what if I added a few caveats (conditions): What if the person who gives you a gift is a person who was not alive? And if the person is not related to you? And, you don’t even know the person’s name? I am sure that the list of gifts you have received has been reduced. This is what makes another important quality of a leader, the person should care so much about others that he is willing to spend himself for the benefit of others even if those people are not related, or have not yet been born or even if the person does not match the gifter’s worldview. Although many leaders can be listed I want to highlight Sir Alexander Flemming, whose work as a scientist is probably the reason why you are still alive today after experiencing  anything from minor paper cuts to childbirth, which would have had the potential to kill through bacterial infection. His discovery and 20 years of work developed the first mass-produced drug, penicillin, to clear bacterial infections. This makes him an ideal person to represent this quality. We need to follow leaders who care and imitate someone like him.

Being a successful leader

Successful leaders taking risks

Successful leaders take steps in boldness and with courage even when they are not sure if the outcome will be positive. My uncle is an airplane pilot, and he loves to remind everyone that “if he is unable to make a decision while in the air, he dies and his passengers with him.” His favorite is backcountry flying. During his flights you can see that he is always looking out the windows searching for a great emergency landing place in case he requires it. That sounds exhausting,and  it probably is, but as a passenger knowing that the person who you are entrusting with your life is thinking of emergency landing places in case it is required, gives you the assurance that he is willing to make decisions that will probably have a better chance of keeping you alive. A leader is secure in his ability to make decisions and he is not afraid of its popularity, he is willing to make a decision and take risks with the best interest of his followers in mind. What Successful Leader’s risk-taking-decision made you feel confident that you wanted to follow?


Being a successful leader involves change

In a time where things seem to be moving at high speed, and where information flows from one end of the world to the palm of your hand through the internet, change has become so normal. What used to be homogeneous societies are now receiving people from different cultures, languages and beliefs, and have been moved to change policies and embrace the new people into their communities. I can only imagine what the leaders of these communities have to go through. At Rubico, our team is formed with people from different backgrounds and have noticed that our most successful projects are those in which the leaders are able to be flexible and quickly adapt to the circumstances that are facing, challenges with developers falling sick during a delivery push, or Technology challenges that require to find a new solution approach, or are able to adjust the speed so that we meet the client’s requirements. These are examples of how our flexible leaders can be successful.


Integrity as a  leader

The final quality of integrity is overlooked as being part of the character of the person. But without integrity, people will not trust a leader. A leader that sticks to his/her words is going to have loyal followers, and will be able to influence people. Lack of integrity in a leader is like you planning to go to your favorite restaurant, you think about the dish you were going to order, you think about how that dish made you feel or would make you feel, and you decide the time that you will go. Once you get there and order the dish, everything seems to be going ok, but when you take the first bite, the dish does not have the flavor, or the consistency, or the right temperature or even the presentation puts you off.  That might not change your opinion about the restaurant, but now it has left a mark on you. If you were to visit this restaurant one or two more times and the disappointment repeats, you are very likely to start calling another restaurant your favorite restaurant. With successful leaders it is the same. It is important to keep a consistency that is translated as integrity. What they say, the way they are, the principles they live by do not change and that is why people follow them. If you are wondering what you need to do to be a successful  leader, stick to your values, words and commitments. Without this, you may have all the above qualities, but you will not be an effective leader and you will not be successful because people will come and go like the waves on the ocean.



With offices in the United States and India, Rubico is passionate about building websites, web applications, and mobile apps. With over 200 professionals and decades of experience. Rubico is dedicated to providing high-quality custom programming software development within the latest technologies.

This article was written by Carlos Bernal. Carlos works with Rubico as a Relationship Manager. He is based in Dehradun, India with his wife and kids. For further information about Carlos, check out his LinkedIn.

Carlos Bernal Operations Lead