Modern leaders require many traits to be effective and as a current or future leader yourself, chances are that you are practicing a number of these already. It is certainly of no surprise that leadership development programmes have become so popular. As with any talent, as leaders we know that constant awareness and ongoing improvement of the talents that we have and how to best make use of these are key to the success such traits will have within our organisations. Herewith 7 of what we see as important traits for the modern leader together with some leadership examples.
1. Honesty and Integrity
If you think about leaders that you look up to, then its clear that one of their key traits were/are honesty and integrity. Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs and without ethics, this will not be possible.
Leadership example – Nelson Mandela
We recognise leaders by the followers that they have and when it comes to leaving a legacy, it’s those leaders with have not only had confidence in themselves but also confidence in the people who they worked with who are most likely to leave strong legacies.
Leadership Examples – Steve Jobs | Jack Ma
3. Inspire Others
One of t more challenging responsibilities of a leader is to persuade others to follow. This is often far easier if you walk your talk and show through your actions how you would like others to be. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” If you are successful in inspiring those who you work with, you can easily overcome any current and future challenge easily.
Leadership examples – Barak Obama | Richard Branson
4. Commitment and Passion
The people you work with or lead in the organisation, follow your example. They look up to you and take their lead from the way you behave, how you speak and the level of dedication and commitment you show. Great leaders show commitment and passion in everything they do.
Leadership exampless: Bill Gates | Jeff Bezos | Barak Obama
5. Good Communicator
the ability to clearly communicate your vision and how others firm into that. The ability to use communication to inspire and guide others is a treat that lies at the heart of most good leaders today. Of course, communication is not just about speaking but also about listening. Understanding others, allowing them to communicate their feelings, and acknowledging them for the part they play in success is a key part of communication for success.
Leadership Examples: Nelson Mandela | Tony Blair |Steve Jobs
6. Decision-Making Capabilities
In addition to having a clear vision for the future, effective leaders d have the ability to take the right decision at the right time. This also means that they have confidence in their own abilities and they can follow through on the decisions they are making.
A great model for leadership decision making is the WRAP framework provided by Heath in his book on – How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work (2013), that can help leaders become better decision-makers: WRAP.
- Widen Your Options: encounter a choice. Narrow framing can make you miss options (unduly limiting the options considered).
- Reality-Test Your Assumptions: analyze your options. Confirmation bias can lead you to gather self-serving info (information that bolsters beliefs).
- Attain Distance Before Deciding: make a choice. Short-term emotion can often tempt you to make the wrong one (being swayed by emotions that will fade).
- Prepare to Be Wrong: live with it. You’ll often be overconfident about how the future will unfold (too much faith in our predictions).
Leadership Example: Warren Buffett | Jeff Bezos
7. Creativity and Innovation
The ability to be creative in what you do, how you solve problems and overcome changes, and the what through which you support the business in being competitive will be ey to the leadership legacy that you leave. Great visionaries of our time like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk’s and Gandhi’s of this world all share a common trait ad that is creativity.
In order to get ahead in today’s fast-paced world, a leader must be creative and innovative at the same time. Creative thinking and constant innovation are what make you and your team stand out from the crowd.
Leadership Examples: Elon Musk | Steve Jobs | Mahatma Grandi
Probably one of the best examples of empathy is the visionary founder of the micro-lending movement and Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus. Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and perspectives of others, and to use that understanding to guide one’s actions. As Yunus found through his life – we humans are the same more than we are different. Empathy is key to making these human connections and finding powerful solutions to social challenges.
Leadership Example: Muhammad Yunus