A recent article by Ron Carucci in Harvard Business Review summarized the top four qualities of Executives based on a 10-year study involving 2,700 leadership interviews (see HBR article). In my work with hundreds of leaders and employees throughout my career with global and local companies for over 30 years, I find that these qualities apply to successful leaders at all levels of an organization.
Leaders know their whole business. They understand the interrelationship and importance of all areas of their business. They ensure that the people from each area such as Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance, Human Resources, and Administration to work as a team (and not in silos) toward a common purpose and goals.
Leaders are great decision makers. They are confident with the ability to use a balance of instinct and logic in a timely fashion. They communicate clearly with focused priorities that allow people to work together harmoniously with seamless execution.
Leaders know the industry. They keep a growth-mindset by knowing industry, global, technological and customer needs. They thrive in an environment of learning, innovation and continuous improvement to give great value and service for the customer.
Leaders form deep, trusting relationships. They are willing to be vulnerable, receive positive feedback with humility and constructive criticism with grace. They walk their talk, openly share kindness, sincere concern, and appreciation to others. According to Carucci, "Executives develop connection by investing heavily in their own emotional and social intelligence, actively solicit feedback about how others experience them, and learn to be vulnerable with their shortcomings to create trust with others."
The first 3 qualities involve knowledge and skills that you can expand through curiosity, higher education, continuous learning, and having a good team of experts and advisors.
Strengthening the 4th quality, the emotional and social intelligence of a leader, is more delicate. It involves deeper understanding and clearing of underlying beliefs, feelings and conditioning within yourself. This is where a leadership and life coach can help you.
On the scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being excellent):
How do you relate with others when you're feeling good?
How do you relate when you're feeling stress?
Do you take notice of what's going on around you and other people's feelings?
How are you really doing in your interactions and relationships with people in all areas of your life?
Your emotional energy impacts your ability to lead and work well with others. Take the time to take a pause, reflect and expand your emotional and social intelligence. Are you an effective Compassionate Leader?