The 10 Strengths You Need in Your Leaders Right Now
Not so long ago, being a business leader meant figuring out what had to be done and telling staff what to do, and how to do it. Today, a new style of leadership is emerging. The driving force behind this shift is coming both from outside, and within.
The pandemic hastened the end of the outdated command and control leadership approach. This old, standardised model has collapsed.
A crisis has a way of revealing what leadership really means and what organisations need in their leaders. It also reveals what employees require from their managers to be motivated, engaged, and focused on positive outcomes.
Astute leaders know that how they got their role initially won’t necessarily carry them through to continuing success. Faced with overwhelming challenges and expectations, they need to simultaneously produce short-term results and have the ability to see long-term possibilities.
Here are the 10 highly valued strengths you need in your leaders right now:
1. They set clear communication expectations.
They involve everyone to determine the best way to communicate with each other. Regardless if an employee is working remotely or in an office, today’s leaders take the time to develop a consistent method and rhythm of communicating. They set the example by ensuring frequent communication takes place, as planned.
2. They ask, ‘How can I support you’?
Knowing the knowledge, skills, and abilities their employees have, leaders ask them what is needed, provide necessary guidance, and then get out of the way. By letting staff and teams own the problem and the solution, they demonstrate trust in their people and their decisions which motivates and strengthens individual self-development.
3. They speak openly and honestly about what they are working on.
They share what they themselves are working on and ask for input. They don’t pretend to know all the answers. Leaders understand that brilliant ideas and better solutions can come from anyone. Their transparency empowers staff to open up thereby strengthening their personal commitment to their work and to the company.
4. They promote psychological safety.
They ensure all voices are heard without any fear of repercussion. Ideas are suggested, questions asked, and concerns raised all within a safe environment. This is particularly crucial during a crisis so everyone can assess the situation and discuss how to handle it through a healthy debate.
5. They are highly observant and flexible.
They have the ability to distill complex situations and issues. To ensure the best decisions are made, they consider multiple perspectives and are open to receiving information from even conflicting sources. Their mentality enables them to seek out and see the big picture to help drill down to viable solutions.
6. They welcome personal feedback.
Feedback, even if it is not positive, is crucial if a path or behaviour is to be changed. Leaders solicit feedback and take the time to carefully listen. They process what they’ve heard and focus on the issue. They express appreciation and let the team know how they acted upon their thoughts and suggestions and then ask for feedback again.
7. They recognise good work and deeds.
Recognising good work and deeds has a powerful impact. Not only does it create an environment for creative ideas to emerge, but it also inspires and motivates. Expressing authentic and sincere appreciation creates happier and more productive environments. Emerging leaders also encourage people to share success stories and to recognise each other to strengthen teamwork and collaboration.
8. They have the ability to navigate uncertainty.
When the future is unclear, they understand what they can and cannot control. They have the ability to deal with rapid change. With an open mind and willingness to learn, they lead their teams with purpose and help them see the future. They stand out for their empathy, humility, and transparency.
9. They help employees cope.
At all times they understand the importance of ensuring their employees are o.k. They check in regularly and listen to their concerns. For example, they ensure there are no technological work issues if employees are working remotely and ensure they are resolved if there are. They place an emphasis on explaining to employees how and why their work is meaningful. Their goal is to build trust with support and optimism.
10. They invest in their own physical and mental well-being.
Leaders know that the well-being of their employees starts with themselves. Their own self care is essential if they are to lead successfully. By understanding their personality traits and recognising any burn out warning signs, they take positive action to reorient themselves. They take breaks and switch off, and in doing so, create a workplace culture that makes wellbeing a priority.
Today’s emerging leaders
When a crisis hits, a true character is revealed. Going forward, organisations will need to depend on leaders who are as empathetic as they are capable and who demonstrate an inclusive style of leading. This is even more critical for companies facing fragile futures.
Promoting someone who has had some successes or seems to fit the mold of a leader is not enough. With a workforce and work environment that is today radically different and demanding, leaders need a full set of the right capabilities. Those who are less than stellar need to be filtered out and emerging leaders brought in.
Companies are in the spotlight and need capable leadership to drive them forward in today’s world.
Leaders who have the personality traits and the abilities to develop resilient teams will positively influence financial outcomes and your overall organisational success. Let us help you identify the best leaders for your business today.
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