By Maynard Brusman
Four Uncommon Leadership Qualities
Are you working in an organization where leaders model the characteristics of inspiring leadership? Do the leaders in your organization display personality characteristics that lead to success?
One of the most powerful questions one can ask oneself is Am I working in a company where followers want to be led by their current leaders? Inspiring leaders consistently demonstrate the characteristics that lead to successful leadership.
Are you a leader who has great leadership qualities? Are you able to create a high performance workplace by creating a workplace climate where people are fully engaged and leaders are trusted by the workforce?
Everyone agrees great leaders have vision, energy, authority and good strategic direction. They must also have enthusiastic followers; leadership requires skills in persuading others to commit to company goals and embrace initiatives determined by others.
In or current work environment of Gen-Xers and Millennial workers, it is not that easy to engage empowered people.
For all the leadership training workshops and despite the thousands of business books published every year very few people can confidently explain how they take charge, engage others and develop their leadership skills.
Why should anyone be led by you? It is a great question, as well as the title of an excellent September & October 2000 Harvard Business Review article coauthored by Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones. It is worth summarizing here.
To be inspirational, leaders need four essential qualities besides vision and energy. These traits are probably not what you would expect, but they can be honed by those willing to dig deeply to find their inner values.
Few executives embark on the necessary personal-development journey because it requires painful soul-searching and challenging our assumptions and beliefs. Not everyone wants to undertake such intense personal work with an executive coach or consultant. Those who do, however, significantly expand their repertoire of leadership skills.
Inspirational leaders share four unexpected qualities:
1. They selectively show their weaknesses. By exposing some vulnerability, exceptional leaders reveal their approachability and humanity. The key is to be discerning and maintain a level of comfort, while acknowledging any inherent risks.
2. They rely heavily on intuition to gauge the appropriate timing and course of their actions. Their ability to collect and interpret soft data helps them determine when and how to act.
3. They manage employees with tough empathy. Inspirational leaders empathize passionately yet realistically with people, and they care intensely about the work employees do.
4. They reveal their differences. Effective leaders capitalize on what is unique about themselves. Some in top positions may not have the right kind of unique qualities, or they fail to share them. As a consequence, they never elicit the necessary energetic followership. Few people want to be led by them.
The focus here is not on financial results per se, but on how leaders capture the hearts, minds and energy of those who report to them. In truth, great results are hard to obtain without these qualities.
Working with a seasoned executive coach trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating leadership assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i and CPI 260 can help you become an inspiring leader who displays the qualities of good leadership. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence, and who inspires people to become happily engaged with the strategy and vision of the company.
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Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trustedadvisor to senior leadership teams.
We provide strategic talent management solutions to select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders and lawyers.
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Dr. Maynard Brusman
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