The world economy is getting more complex and unpredictable. Companies are constantly searching for top talent with the best leadership qualities to be part of their organization to deal with this challenge. The best business schools are going beyond the traditional classroom education for their leadership development programs in order to maximize the learning experience for executives and ensure effective leadership.
Industry experts teach both the academic and practical side of running a business, even providing continuous consultations when leaders have returned to work. This is because business management schools acknowledge that organizations continue to demand better leadership traits and qualities from their personnel across all levels. Organizations want their leaders to not only be experts in their fields, but also to have the right mix of leadership styles that fit their organizational culture and lead their business to success.
The bar of job qualifications is constantly being raised higher. As an executive, you want to enhance your leadership traits and industry know-how to continue to shine above all others in your field. This article will show you what leadership qualities are the most sought-after by businesses in today’s volatile and multifaceted business environment.
Here is Part 3
15. Emotional Intelligence (Be An Architect Of Your Own Experience)
In an article entitled “Are Leaders Born Or Made?” , the author shared that only about 25% of the leaders she has coached in over 20 years are truly self-aware. Self-awareness requires emotional intelligence, because you need to be able to communicate from within. In order to connect with others and engage them in the thoughts you wish to convey, you need to be aware of all the elements in play professionally, emotionally and intellectually.
Effective leaders need a level of emotional intelligence in their long list of “must have” leadership traits. Leadership development programs help you get in touch with your inner strengths and enhance them to heighten your emotional intelligence and become better leaders.
Identify Emotional Patterns.
Take note of your default responses to similar situations. What situations make you react and what are your responses? Once you isolate these triggers, make a mental note and ensure that you consciously identify them the next time it happens. See to it that you respond thoughtfully instead of reacting instinctively.
16. Resilience (Strive To Stay Calm During Turbulent Times)
Many similar dot com companies pop up like mushrooms, but very few survive and emerge as leaders in their industry. The changes in the economic environment have become more difficult to keep up with. There are higher stress levels for executives to face each day in the workplace. Effective leadership is evident in organizations that are able to cope amidst all the stress.
The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress”. Every business will go through difficult situations that will test its leaders. The test of their resilience is not the ability to avoid difficult situations, but how they face distress and bounce back from it stronger than ever.
Carve Out Quiet Time In The Morning.
Even a two-minute period of quiet time in the morning will get you better prepared for the long day ahead. If you have a long commute to work, listen to music that relaxes you to get a good headstart. You can also use that time to plan out your day and set priorities on what to tackle first once you reach the office.
17. Diplomacy (Essential For Successful Collaboration)
Being in business means that you have to go through a number of negotiations every single day. Be it internal negotiations with different players in the organization, or external negotiations with suppliers, stakeholders or customers, a leader needs to be diplomatic. This is one of the leadership qualities that a leader cannot do without.
Diplomacy will get you out of difficult situations when played right. This leadership trait yet again ties in with other leadership qualities – emotional intelligence, confidence, decisiveness and good communication skills. You have to have a good balance of these skills to exercise effective diplomacy. When done right, you will resolve issues amicably while increasing engagement. A win-win situation is always possible with the right diplomacy.
Always Do Your Homework.
Have the important facts at hand when you go into a meeting or a negotiation. Listen to all points even if they oppose the idea being presented. If you are prepared with the facts, you will be able to present your case confidently and weigh the opposing ideas against your facts intelligently. Always back up your sources with facts so your case will be accepted with lesser disagreement.
18. Problem Solving Ability (Tackle Challenges)
Problem solving is probably at the top of the list in a leader’s job description no matter what industry you’re in. This is just one of the leadership qualities that is non-negotiable for organizations in hiring or promoting an individual to a leadership position.
Every organization will want to make sure that their leaders can solve problems; because problems are inevitable. To be a great problem solver, you must use your emotional intelligence well whilst being very rational about the problem at hand. You may also find yourself exercising every single one of the leadership qualities mentioned above when you’re trying to solve the most complex of problems.
Maintain An “Idea” Notebook.
Note down your ideas so they will not be forgotten. They may not be implementable right now but, those ideas may come in handy at one point in the future. Our gadgets as well as our brain, no matter how amazing they are, can run out of memory – so it is really helpful if you have ideas written down as they come to you.
19. Ability to Initiate (Have The Power To Change The World)
The word “initiate” is synonymous with the word “lead”. This is an understated leadership trait. It is easy to assume that leaders encourage their employees to initiate new ideas and innovation. Employees then get the credit for taking initiatives in their performance reviews.
But the reality is that leaders need to be the ones who initiate creativity, innovation and development by challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries to then spark ideas and creativity in his subordinates. Employees show initiative “as a response” to their leader’s initiative. Moreover, an effective leader must develop strategic initiatives. This is how he brings his organization’s visions into reality. This distinguishes average and extraordinary leaders.
Invest In Yourself.
Invest in yourself so you can advance in your field and be able to make significant initiatives for your organization. You will be setting an example to your team that you need to continue learning as you go up the corporate ladder. Your team members will also appreciate that you stay updated with current business trends.
20. Reliability (An Essential Virtue)
Every organization wants leaders that are reliable, especially in stressful situations. Reliability is a combination of having clear vision, honesty, ability to solve problems, and confidence. It is an essential leadership quality because when the going gets tough, reliable leaders get you through.
Your organization will look for a tough leader that they can depend on to find solutions. Your staff will look up to your leadership during difficult challenges. And as a reliable leader, you do not back out of problems but use your leadership abilities to find solutions.
Don’t Leave People Hanging.
Make sure you get back to people. Even if it means asking them to give you more time to get them the answers. It is important to set expectations, if you know you can’t do what is asked of you, you need to be upfront, and you need to know when to ask for help.
21. Empathy (Put Yourself In Other People’s Shoes)
The last, but not the least, of the leadership qualities needed in business management is empathy. This comes from leaders who are self-aware. Empathy is certainly one of the leadership traits that makes an effective leader. It is not an easy character to trait to come by in today’s pool of leaders. You need to be perceptive of people’s emotions, experiences and abilities in order to connect with them and get your message through successfully.
The best leaders are those that can influence their team, not merely command them to do things. With good communication skills and the understanding of another person’s feelings, you can lead with empathy. Your employees will appreciate that you see them as human beings and value their individuality. You will be rewarded accordingly with commitment from a highly engaged team.
Make it a point to actually listen to every detail. Do not just choose to hear what you want. Listen even to the non-verbal gestures. This will help you really understand the situation and be able to clearly think of the right and complete response. Your employees will also feel that you care because you have heard and understood what they said.
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