What is it that separates leaders who are just getting along from those who are truly great? Great leaders have a tremendously positive impact on the companies they work for--and on the people who work for them.

Researchers have figured out just how important great leaders are to the organizations they work for. According to the results of their studies, organizations with the highest-quality leaders are 13 times more likely to outperform the competition in a variety of key metrics, including customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and overall financial performance.

All great leaders share these 5 C's of successful leadership.

1. Charismatic

Great leaders have outgoing, engaging, and enthusiastic personalities that inspire people to follow them. They honestly like the work they do--and the people they do it with. People want to work with great leaders, and they will leave mediocre leaders--and companies--behind for the chance to have the opportunity to do just that.

2. Convincing

Great leaders are masters at swaying other people's opinions toward their own. They are very persuasive, and they love to debate the pros and cons of different approaches to solving a problem, or converting an opportunity. However, they always listen to the advice and recommendations of others, and they factor this input into their own decision-making process--quickly pivoting as necessary.

3. Credible

Great leaders are honest, and they refuse to compromise their integrity. They build strong and long-lasting bridges of trust with the members of their team, and with customers, vendors, and the communities in which they work.

4. Capable

Great leaders are very skilled at what they do. They set very high standards--both for themselves and for the people who work for them--and they inspire others to stretch to meet them.

5. Creative

Great leaders are creative, and they find ways to innovate new solutions to problems--and new ways to leverage opportunities. According to General Electric's Global Innovation Barometer, which polled 2,800 senior executives on the state of innovation around the world, 92 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that "innovation is the main lever to create a more competitive economy." Not only that, but innovation creates more competitive companies.

Published on: Jan 16, 2015