Each year at the canfitpro world fitness expo there is an Annual Women Who Influence Luncheon. At this Luncheon, women who have made a significant impact on the fitness industry share their stories and best practices. Leadership and how to be a successful leader is a topic that seems to be reoccurring.

In most industries, including the fitness industry, leaders are asked to do more, demand more and create more results with fewer resources and less time and money than ever before. They are expected to generate change at a rapid pace, making it vital for them to sustain their leadership skills.

Here are seven traits that great leaders possess:

Passion: A deep desire, driven by emotion, that compels you to serve the world in the way that you do. Passion produces energy and drives vision. A passionate attitude will ignite the fire in others, motivating them and influencing in a positive way. Sustainable and successful leadership must begin with passion!

Purpose: The reason for which something is done, or for which something exists. Your passion can lead you to your purpose. Great leaders know why they do what they do and they inspire others by bringing a sense of purpose or belonging to their work.

Perseverance: The discipline to do something despite fear or hardship. If you have a commitment to something, persistence will follow as they are sister forces. It requires that you believe in yourself and your abilities. A leader who demonstrates perseverance never gives up when confronted with a challenge, they simply work through it and advance to success.

Pathfinder: A great leader is someone who goes ahead and discovers the way (the path) and shows others the way (along the path). Innovative leaders are willing to take risks, be creative and explore the unknown. People follow leaders when they feel the leader will provide them with hope, a purpose and passion to change or move beyond the status quo.

Posture: Posture has to do with the way one holds themselves. It conveys a feeling about one’s self, the people and environment around them. It interprets the majority of what we communicate and the most important component of communication. 55 per cent of communication is through body language and our posture communicates to others how we feel. So stand strong, tall and proud to radiate a positive and confident energy.

Planning: Leaders are planners but they also have a bias for action so they plan specific, measurable, action-oriented, relative and timely or ‘SMART’ goals. They do not get caught up with details but they have enough to go on to stay on course. Successful leaders lead with their strengths, learn as they go and realize that failure is part of the learning.

Practice: Practice is performing an activity or exercise over and over until you improve or are proficient (or to maintain proficiency). Great leaders are doers and practice builds good habits. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

Successful leaders are not born. Success is something you attract by the person that you become. Successful leaders are created and sustainable leadership is a practice.