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The 4 Traits You Need to Be a Great Leader

You can work on them constantly


The MPW Insiders Network is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for, “What advice would you give to women who hope to make it to the C-suite?” is written by Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president, and CEO of the [f500link]Lockheed Martin[/f500link] Corporation.

My role at Lockheed Martin puts me in contact with extraordinary leaders in many fields—from science and engineering to philanthropy and government. And since we also work closely with our nation’s armed forces, we tend to reflect a lot on leadership and how we can inspire successful teamwork, cooperation, and partnerships. In my experience, it is clear that the most successful leaders—both men and women—consistently demonstrate four fundamental traits.


Leaders must exemplify integrity and earn the trust of their teams through their everyday actions. When you do this, you set high standards for everyone at your company. And when you do so with positive energy and enthusiasm for shared goals and purpose, you can deeply connect with your team and customers.

A culture of trust enables you to empower employees and lays the foundation for communication, accountability, and continuous improvement. For us, trust is critical to the customers we serve, especially in the defense sector. Our customers rely on us to help them protect their citizens, and expect us to deliver on our commitments by providing the most advanced products and services.

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