When you conjure up an image of truly great business leaders, you may imagine CEOs with superpowers and capes. But the idea that leaders are born with most of their leadership aptitudes is an outdated one. Many of the essential qualities of strong leaders can be identified, making it possible for you to evaluate which recurring leadership behaviors you already possess, and which you need to cultivate and develop.
Because rather than being faster than a speeding bullet, or more powerful than a locomotive, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, great leadership, above all else, requires competence, character and empathy.
6 key requirements of good leaders
1. Anticipate changes
The business world is a necessarily volatile one. You should approach it with an eye toward the future by creating a culture of diversity. After all, a diverse group of people makes for a group that thinks broadly and takes into account an array of potential challenges and opportunities.
2. Don’t cling to the past
Instead, be courageous about letting go of you and your company’s past approaches and norms, no matter how ingrained they are. Doing this, and handling the criticisms it will provoke, requires emotional stamina.
3. Foster a culture of trust
Cooperation, teamwork, and a mutual sense of trust are required to overcome setbacks and failures, which you can’t do alone.
4. Contribute to society
Act responsibly and ethically toward society by contributing to the welfare of your community and society at large. Not doing anything wrong is not enough. You must proactively do right.
5. Respect each person
As a leader, you’re responsible for bringing out the best in employees who won’t all have the same personalities or be driven by the same things. Understand what makes each individual tick and what motivates them to excel.
6. Remember the 3 As
Anticipate. Adapt. Act. Stick to these basics and you will achieve great things.
IESE’s broad array of top-ranked Masters and Executive Education programs can help you become the leader you want to be.
To hear the characteristics of modern-day great leaders, watch this 3-minute video of Franz M. Haniel’s speech at IESE Business School’s Munich Campus.