Moving into 2020, let’s talk about leadership. What are the qualities of a great leader? I’ve been an Executive Coach for almost 18 years, and prior to that an Executive in Banking and Telecom. This is a very broad question, and my initial reaction is “it depends”. However, it turns out that really IS the answer! The most important leadership skill to have is the ability to flex in whatever way is required by the situation you find yourself in.
This has been termed “Leadership Agility”, and a company called Changewise has developed an assessment which can help leaders become clear on their level of agility and the levers they can work on to favorably impact them. It’s designed for leaders facing a rapidly changing environment with a great deal of uncertainty…..which pretty much applies to what EVERY leader is facing today! In their model, a great leader is proficient in 4 key areas: stakeholder agility, self – management agility, creative agility and context setting agility. I’m happy to provide more information on this tool if it would help.
Back in June 2019, I had the pleasure to hear Julie Howard, Chairman & CEO of Navigant, speak to the PWCC about how she’s had to change as a leader over the past 30 years. She highlighted 6 key attributes of modern leadership:
- Be human – our people want to know us and our stories, so they can see themselves in us.
- Lead with a broad perspective – adopt a global scope and steer the firm to consider all constituents.
- Lead in a socially conscious manner – folks want to know we care about people and the planet, not just profits.
- Embrace technology as an enabler – Gartner found 60% of leaders don’t know the possible impact of technology on their company.
- Foster collaborative innovation – due to the risk involved, it won’t happen naturally. People need to be given the tools and permission to fail.
- Be inclusive – this creates well known benefits on every metric of success.