Want the key to enter the ‘C’ suite?
Leadership has been in the news a lot in the last few years. ‘Fat cats’; not enough good leaders; the importance for a successful business of having a good leader. Who comes into your mind when you think about good leadership? Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Obama are often mentioned as being good leaders, but who would you choose from the business world?
So what makes a good leader? What leadership skills and leadership qualities are important? Is leadership innate or can it be learnt? If you aspire to the next rung of the ladder, have you got what it takes to be a leader or if not, can you become one?
To what extent do you;
- Orate so people listen?
- Inspire and influence others to voluntarily increase their effort for the organisation?
- Coach, guide and support others to higher levels of performance?
- Inspire ‘followship’?
- Possess humility?
- Have charisma?
- Delegate effectively and appropriately?
- Inspire the trust of others?
- Say ‘no’ when it is the right thing to do when it is easier to say ‘yes’?
- Possess honesty and integrity; do what you say you will do?
- Articulate a vision that inspires and energises others to be part of?
- Instil a positive energy?
- Show confidence but not arrogance?
- Maintain morale when things are tough?
- Possess good values and ethics and ‘walk your talk’?
- Use mistakes as an opportunity to learn rather than punish people?
- Stay calm?
- Lead by example?
- Be fair at all times?
- Show appreciation and respect for employees at all levels?
- Instil a hard working ethic in your employees?
- Not become complacent?
- Never let unethical behaviour go unchallenged?
- Encourage others to improve things and be rewarded for it?
- Balance local and global perspectives?
- Embrace diversity and managing risk?
- Possess emotional intelligence?
- Manage complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty?
- Manage diverse internal and external stakeholders?
- Think strategically and see the ‘big picture’?
- Seek out and value the views of others before making decisions?
- Address short term priorities with consideration for longer term needs?
- Possess open mindedness?
- Show critical thinking?
- Show courage and conviction?
Research and literature on leadership show that these are what you need if you want the key to the ‘C’ suite.
Leadership requires thinking and doing to the satisfaction of many others with diverse expectations. If you have aspirations to be a leader and get into the ‘C’ suite, scoring yourself and getting others to give you feedback on these skills and qualities is a useful starting point which will help you set learning and development goals.
Leadership is a combination of skills, knowledge and attitudes/behaviour. The good news is that many leadership qualities and leadership skills can be learnt. Leaders are both born, but also made. Coaching and mentoring are useful personalised approaches to help develop leadership capability, as well as company leadership courses.