7 Status Symbols of the Effective, Authentic Leader

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The BMW.

The Rolex watch.

The Armani suit.

We all recognize these as status symbols of success.

While there may be nothing wrong with owning nice things, for effective, authentic leaders, so-called status symbols look very different.

Effective leaders tend not to acquire expensive items in order to impress.

If anything, they simply find themselves surrounded by the inevitable results of their leadership.

If you want to project yourself was an effective, authentic leader, see how many of these status symbols you possess:

1.  An expanding circle of growing leaders in your orbit.

Effective leaders are marked by the way in which they are constantly pouring themselves into the lives of developing leaders.

2.  A remarkable track record of “wins”

When there’s an effective leader in the house, things just get done. Projects, and people, move successfully from one place to another.

Effective leaders carry this track record with them where ever they go.

3.  A heart of genuine humility

This is not a manufactured pretense of modesty. Effective, authentic leaders simply project a very real sense that “it’s not all about them.” They are far more interested in the success of those around them, and it shows.

4.  An infectious passion

This status symbol is easy to spot.

Effective, authentic leaders exude energy towards whatever it is they lead. You can spot this a mile away.

5.  A diligent work ethic

This is light-years away from being a work-a-holic. Effective leaders simply know that getting the job done requires just rolling up your sleeves and getting at it.

6.  A bright, positive demeanor

This is not the same as being naively optimistic. It simply means that one of the marks of an effective leader is an attractive winsomeness.

7.  A refreshing transparency

This doesn’t mean these leaders share everything with everyone all the time. But one of the status symbols of authentic leaders is a manner which conveys that you’re getting the ‘real deal’ from them; no guile.

As you look at your own leadership consider which of these are true of your leadership.

Believe me. Any of these listed above will do you more good than a fancy car ever will.

How many of these reflect the status of your leadership?


the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow, Olive & Charlie and John, Fiona, Will & Harvey. Lifelong learner.


  1. Thanks Joseph. It’s easy (and tempting) to get caught in the trappings of these symbols of success. But the leaders I most respect put a much higher emphasis on the kinds of indicators I’ve listed here.

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