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I’ve written several blogs on exponential leadership and exponential organizations and often get asked, what’s the difference between leaders and exponential leaders. There’s a fine line that differentiates the two, however, the line does exist. And that line is mainly drawn by some key and essential traits that exponential leaders possess, giving them an edge over just about any other leader. And with this edge, exponential leaders have the ability to be more successful, build a resilient leadership brand and are able to navigate through the rapidly changing environment with much ease.

What are these essential traits that exponential leaders possess? Here’s an outline of 6 of them.

1. Adaptability

The business world is so fluid that what makes sense today does not have to make sense tomorrow – every day is different. To succeed leaders must be agile – they anticipate and adapt to different circumstances. Government policies change regularly, security situations can cause lack of access to large swaths of customers in the blink of an eye and currency fluctuations can render your imported goods inventory worthless in weeks.

2. Networkers

Getting things done is more personality driven rather than process or systems driven. There’s much strength in the business world that can be drawn from the people you know. These can be powerful and useful allies, partners and associates to further your cause and promote your business. Getting the right talent in the organization is linked to who you know, getting licenses is linked to who you know. You must have the right contacts and keep developing your network to succeed.

3. Street Smart

Leaders who have a strong understanding of how things work at an operational and basic level can grow their companies exponentially. Conceptual frameworks are limiting in today’s workplace. Even if you work from a conceptual framework successful leaders know they can only succeed if they translate them in how the ‘rubber hits the road’ and the impact it has for people.

4. Imaginative

One of the core characteristics of exponential leadership is the belief that everything is possible (this is different from everything is easy!). Leaders who understand this have the ability to imagine a bold future and are able to translate how to get there. They’re the ones who are truly able to capture the growth potential that their company and talent have to offer.

5. Take and Hedge Risks

Huge growth requires you to be able to take large risks, understand the potential pitfalls and take measures to hedge your bets. You have to be willing to take the risks and accept that there may be consequences to pay. Successful exponential leaders aren’t afraid of failure. If it’s to come, they accept it, get over it and move on quickly to their next adventure. Fear never slows them down.

6. Perseverance

Whether you call it willpower, perseverance or grit you need a huge dose of it to succeed in these rapidly changing times. As much as everything is possible, everything can go wrong. In order for you to stay the course you have to be obsessed, intense and willing to sacrifice other things in order to make it work. Working in today’s business world isn’t for the faint-hearted. Finding success (and exponential growth) is only for the strong-willed.

Getting the job done is easy. Creating a successful business, isn’t all that hard. However, exponentially growing your business is a real challenge. By incorporating these 6 essential traits into your leadership style you’ll ensure your company does just that.

Read more: Qualities an Exponential Leader Must Embody