All good leaders share a few traits that may not be obvious at the onset. However, these secret tools and skills allow them to navigate difficult situations, remain consistent in the face of adversity and keep things in motion! Here’s a closer look at some of those hard-to-quantify qualities:
1.Emotional Intelligence We hear a lot about emotional intelligence and the importance of it in the workplace, but what does it really mean for leaders? A leader with EQ, natural or developed, is able to discern between her feelings and those of others, to appropriately label and respond, manage and adjust emotions in different situations. Taken a step further, an effective leader is able to adjust her leadership style based on the emotional situation at hand – is there a crisis unfolding, is there a tough transition to manage, is this a stable environment where long-term coaching is required? While emotional intelligence is often hard to measure, it makes all the difference in building trust and influencing your team!
2. Executive Presence is another piece of the non-tangible, mysterious “je ne sais quoi” that successful leaders seem to possess. Some people have it, others just don’t. It’s the secret sauce that can take your leadership to the next level, and research has shown it can be deconstructed into three key ingredients – the way you act, the way you sound and the way you look. The way she acts, is the relaxed yet controlled manner in which a true leader carries herself. Communication, or the way she sounds, is her public and private speaking skills that portray clarity and confidence. Appearance, a polished, professional, well-put-together look goes a long way in making that first impression. A good leader has mastered control over these three ingredients.
3. Resilience The final secret that builds confidence and inspires productivity is the way in which a good leader carries on in the face of various challenges and adversity. Resilience is what allows you to pick yourself up and keep going, a necessary strength in a leader whose persistence and discipline will inspire the same behavior in a team. Resilience is a muscle that can be developed over time and with practice only gets stronger, giving the leader the endurance to go the long haul whenever necessary.
The best kept secret of all may be that good leadership can be learned and developed with training, coaching and self-awareness!