Today’s competitive and fast-paced global business environment requires talented, multifaceted leaders at every level of the organization.
Leaders must possess the ability to create a vision for success, manage change, and energize the business. They can no longer rely solely on functional expertise.
Becoming a great leader takes a lot of practice. Developing the leadership qualities that will help you find innovative solutions to business challenges and inspire a team to new levels of performance is crucial.
With some commitment and persistence, you can learn the attributes, people skills, and execution skills that will result in positive outcomes for you personally, and for the business.
CMOE has worked with dozens of leaders, and we have found three attributes that lead to exceptional leadership performance: humility, courage, and curiosity.
Humility means leading with confidence, but without arrogance. Leaders with humility continually share credit and recognize the contributions of others.
They channel individual competitiveness towards the market, not others on the team. They create authentic, productive, and rewarding workplace partnerships with team members, which leads to higher performance.
Leaders with courage have the confidence to speak up, be honest, and have courageous conversations with others.
They take on new projects and move others to act despite risks and fear of failure.
They aren’t complacent about the status quo. They drive the entire organization to new levels of innovative thinking.
Curious leaders have the desire to learn and grow. They ask questions and are inquisitive and comfortable with new approaches and ideas.
When you commit to personal growth and lifelong learning, you approach every situation by asking yourself, “What can I learn?”
Leaders must also have the people skills to build productive relationships with others in the organization, engage direct reports, communicate effectively, and collaborate across boundaries.
A leader’s success ultimately depends on the people being led, so crucial leadership values must be demonstrated such as care, appreciation, and respect for all members of the team.
Good communication is the foundation of all successful relationships. Leaders who communicate well with others can use this skill to build trust, align goals, execute strategies, and ultimately achieve the desired results. This requires some patience and the ability to keep an open mind, listen, and build common ground.
The best leaders also realize that they are responsible for developing the next generation of talent in the organization. They help others become more engaged in their work, learn how to maximize their potential, and achieve greater results for the business.
Finally, leaders must possess the ability to drive the execution of goals and achieve results. They set direction, align their team members’ responsibilities with the needs of the larger organization, and hold themselves and others accountable for performance.
Developing these strategic leadership characteristics does takes some time and practice, but the payoff for the organization is tremendous.