What Are The Most Important Qualities Of A Good Leader

What Are The Most Important Qualities Of A Good Leader – Compilation. Research over the past decade has shown us that the most important leadership qualities revolve around soft skills and emotional intelligence. But do these abilities point to deeper abilities? A survey of 195 leaders from more than 30 global organizations shows that there are five key areas of competence that characterize strong leaders: · High ethical standards and providing a safe environment · Empowering people to self-organize · Promote relationships and belonging among employees · Open to new ideas and experiments · Commit to the professional and intellectual growth of employees Although many of these skills seem obvious, they are difficult for leaders to master because they require acting against your nature. People are not forced to give up control or be open to small failures. The ability to actively improve these skills should be a priority for leaders.

What makes an effective leader? This question is central to my research as an organizational scientist, executive coach and leadership development consultant. In search of answers, I recently completed the first round of a survey of 195 leaders in 15 countries across 30 global organizations. Participants were asked to select the 15 most important leadership skills from a list of 74. I have grouped the above into five key themes that suggest a set of priorities for leaders and leadership development programs. While some may not surprise you, they are all difficult to master, in part because improving them requires acting against our nature.

What Are The Most Important Qualities Of A Good Leader

What Are The Most Important Qualities Of A Good Leader

This theme combines two of the top three qualities: “high moral and ethical standards” (67% chose it as one of the most important) and “communicate clear expectations” (56%).

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Together, these features are all about creating a safe and reliable environment. A leader with high ethical standards communicates a commitment to honesty, instilling confidence that both he and his employees will respect the rules of the game. Similarly, when leaders clearly communicate their expectations, they avoid blindsides people and ensure that everyone is on the same page. In a safe environment employees can relax, inviting higher brain capacity for social engagement, innovation, creativity and ambition.

Neuroscience confirms this point. When the amygdala registers a threat to our safety, the arteries stiffen and thicken to prevent increased blood flow to our legs in preparation for a fight-or-flight response. In this case, we lose access to the social engagement system of the limbic brain and the executive function of the prefrontal cortex, inhibiting creativity and the drive to thrive. From a neuroscience perspective, making sure people feel safe at a deep level should be job #1 for leaders.

But how? This skill is all about behaving in a way that aligns with your values. If you find yourself making decisions that go against your principles or justifying actions despite a sense of discomfort, you may need to reconnect with your core values. I facilitate a simple exercise with my clients called “Developing Deep Speed” to help with this. Imagine your funeral and what people will say about you as a tribute. Is that what you want to hear? This exercise will give you a clearer sense of what is important to you, which will then help guide your daily decision-making.

To increase feelings of safety, work on communication with the specific goal of making people safe. One way to do this is to recognize and neutralize the feared consequences or consequences from the outset. I call this “clearing the air”. For example, you can approach a conversation about a project that went wrong by saying, “I’m not trying to blame you. I just want to understand what happened.”

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Providing clear direction while allowing employees to organize their time and work has been identified as the most important leadership skill.

No leader can do everything by himself. Therefore, it is important to distribute power throughout the organization and rely on decision-making by those closest to the action.

Research has repeatedly shown that empowered teams are more productive and engaged, provide better customer service, and demonstrate higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to their team and organization. Yet many leaders struggle to get people to organize themselves. They resist because they believe that power is a zero-sum game, they are reluctant to allow others to make mistakes, and they are afraid to face the negative consequences of subordinate decisions.

What Are The Most Important Qualities Of A Good Leader

To overcome the fear of giving up power, start by becoming more aware of the physical tension that arises when you feel your position is being challenged. As discussed above, perceived threats activate a fight, flight, or freeze response in the amygdala. The good news is that we can train our bodies to experience relaxation instead of defense when stress builds up. Try to separate the present from the past, share the outcome you fear most with others, instead of trying to yourself, and remember that empowerment is a great way to increase impact – something that builds strength over time.

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Leaders who “communicate frequently and openly” (ability #6) and “create a sense of success and failure together as a package” (#8) build a strong foundation for bonding.

We are a social species – we want to connect and feel a sense of belonging. From an evolutionary perspective, bonding is important because it improves our chances of survival in a world full of predators. Research suggests that a sense of connection can also affect productivity and emotional well-being. For example, scientists have found that emotions in the workplace are contagious: Employees become less emotional simply by watching unpleasant interactions between colleagues.

From a neuroscience perspective, making connections is the second most important task of the leader. When we feel safe (a feeling registered in the reptilian brain), we also need to be cared for (which activates the limbic brain) to unleash the full potential of our higher precognitive function.

There are some simple ways to promote belonging among employees: smile at people, call them by name, and remember their interests and family members’ names. Pay attention when you talk to them, and clearly set the tone for your team members to support each other. Using a song, slogan, symbol, song or ritual that uniquely identifies your team can also strengthen this sense of connection.

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What do “reluctance to change ideas” (skill #4), “openness to new ideas and approaches” (#7), and “offers the safety of trial and error” (#10) have in common? When a leader has these strengths, they encourage learning; if not, it risks suffocation.

Admitting that we are wrong is not easy. Again, the negative effects of stress on brain function are partly to blame – in this case, they inhibit learning. Researchers have found that reduced blood flow to our brain reduces peripheral vision under threat, making it easier for us to deal with immediate danger. For example, they observed a significant reduction in the peripheral vision of the athletes before the competition. While tunnel vision helps athletes focus, it exposes the rest of us to new ideas and approaches. Even when we are presented with evidence to the contrary, our thoughts are faster, which makes learning almost impossible.

To encourage learning among employees, leaders must first ensure that they themselves are open to learning (and changing course). Try to approach problem-solving discussions without a specific agenda or outcome. Withhold judgment until everyone has spoken, and let people know that all opinions will be considered. A wide variety of opinions will arise.

What Are The Most Important Qualities Of A Good Leader

Failure is necessary for learning, but our relentless pursuit of results can also discourage employees from taking chances. To resolve this conflict, leaders must create a culture that supports risk-taking. One way to do this is to use controlled experiments—think A/B testing—that allow for small mistakes and require quick feedback and correction. This provides a platform for building collective intelligence so that employees can learn from each other’s mistakes.

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“Dedicated to my continuing education” (ability #5) and “helps me become a next-generation leader” (#9) make up the final category.

All living organisms must maintain copies of their genes. They increase their children’s chances of success by nurturing and teaching them. As a result, those who receive it feel a sense of gratitude and loyalty. Think about the people for whom you are most grateful – parents, teachers, friends, mentors. Chances are, they have you worried or taught you something important.

When leaders show a commitment to our growth, those same feelings are transformed. Employees are motivated to give back, show their gratitude or loyalty by going the extra mile. While managing with fear creates stress, which affects higher brain function, the quality of work is very different when we are challenged with praise. If you want to inspire the best of your team, advocate for them, support their training and development, and go to bat to sponsor their important projects.

These five areas present significant challenges for leaders because of the natural responses that are drawn into us. But with deep self-reflection and a shift in perspective (perhaps helped by a coach) there are also huge opportunities to improve everyone’s performance by focusing on the self.

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