Last of three parts
In this last issue, nine qualities that must be possessed by good leaders will be expounded (Anjan Pathak, 2021 – https://blog.vantagecircle.com/leadership-qualities/).
These are emotional intelligence, passion, resilience, accountability, supportive, tech savvy, empathy, learning agility and empowerment.
Emotional Intelligence is the capability to identify, manage, evaluate, and understand our own emotions and the people around us.
According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence has five components: 1) Self-awareness, 2) Self-regulation, 3) Empathy, 4) Motivation and 5) Social skills.
Good leaders are self-aware, act in control, can take calculated decisions without getting carried away. They understand other's perspectives without being cynical. They are self-motivated and have strong social skills, which help them build connections and healthy relationships.
These explain that good leaders have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence. This is why Emotional Intelligence is one of the essential leadership attributes.
Passion is a common leadership trait found in most effective leaders across the world. They are highly passionate about their goals and objectives. They know what they want and work tirelessly to achieve those. Their passion is infectious and also very inspiring. They are highly committed to their goals and also help others in achieving theirs.
Passionate leaders elevate productivity and ensure that the employees commit to the vision. Passion helps leaders to instill motivation in their employees and helps to achieve the desired vision.
"Leaders must be tough enough to fight, tender enough to cry, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them, strong enough to absorb the pain, and resilient enough to bounce back and keep on moving," said Jesse Jackson.
One must understand the self before taking responsibility for others. Resilient leaders are perceptive and also know how to handle themselves in any good or bad situation.
Resilient leaders are capable of retaining their energy level under strain and responding to disruptive changes. They also overcome severe challenges without destructive behavior or hurting others. Resilient leaders are high performing leaders who recover from any adversity positively.
Being an accountable leader is not an easy task. It means you can own up to commitments and promises you made. It means being answerable to the actions and decisions made by you and by those you lead. Accountable leaders establish clear goals and targets. They focus on the future and also own up to their mistakes. They ask for help when needed and provide honest and constructive feedback.
"Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result," opined by Bob Practor.
"Leadership without support is like trying to make bricks without enough straw. True leaders reinforce their ideas and plans with strategic partnerships, alliances, and supportive audiences," said Reed Markham.
Supportive leaders give the guidance that you need. Supportive leaders mentor you, guides you till you need little to no supervision in the future. They do not believe in delegating tasks and expecting results right away. They are with you in the process and support you with their knowledge and experiences. Supportive leadership involves building trust among the team members and encouraging dialogue to keep the team spirit high. The fundamentals of supportive leadership are, therefore, promoting teamwork, building relationships, and commitment.
For digital transformation, the world needs tech-savvy leaders. Today's leader needs to understand the technology sufficiently to sustain their business. The organization's technology decisions must be guided with a strategy and transforming its analog experience into a digital. The majority of the companies worldwide are digital today, and it will only grow exponentially with time. Therefore, it becomes evident that business leaders enhance technological skills for sustainability and making better decisions.
"Our future success is directly proportional to our ability to understand, adapt, and integrate new technology into our work," surmised Sukant Ratnakar.
Empathy is a core leadership trait that helps you nurture your team. Empathy is in understanding others' needs and what goes into their mind. We live in a world with a constant communication loop, and people interact with each other at much ease. But at the same time, people are less empathetic towards each other. Many communicate to express but not to understand others perspectives.
Empathetic leaders are perceptive, and they are aware of other's feelings and thinking. Being empathetic does not always mean to agree on other's views, but to appreciate and have a willingness to understand.
"Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives," Oprah Winfrey concluded.
Agile leaders make the best response to organizational change and uncertainty. Today we need leaders who are quicker in decision-making and who can take immediate action in crisis times. We live in a fast-paced world, and work trends are evolving in no time. Therefore, there is little time for all to take calculated decisions. Also, the strategies and policies that worked well in the past can be obsolete today. One of the visible examples is the Covid-19 crisis. The crisis had changed the landscape of work culture, and leaders had to find new strategies to fight the storm overnight.
The future of work will always be uncertain and ambiguous. Future events will bring new challenges. Organizations now will only thrive in the future under the supervision of leaders who can make sense of uncertainty.
Great leaders can empower their team members to achieve maximum productivity and organizational success.
Empowerment gives the team members equal decision-making opportunities and uses their power of judgment and expertise to develop solutions. This builds the sense of individual worth and also employees' commitment towards their organization. Every individual brings their skills and talents to the table that often finds a route to flow. Usually, you would have skillful team members, but lack of guidance and motivation fails to bring them the best.
It is, therefore, on leaders how they foster these skills by empowering them. Good leaders know how to unleash positive traits in others. They understand that the only way to do that is by empowering them. Therefore, leaders take it as a daily practice to continuously empower people and strengthen the team.
"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others," quotes Bill Gates.
Anjan Pathak said, "Every leader has an urge to lead, inspire, and contribute to the greater good. And this is why you need the right leadership qualities to guide you. No one can own all these leadership qualities."
Dr. Antonio G. Papa is currently a trustee of the New Era University in Quezon City. He is a retired university professor at the College of Economics, Management and Development Studies, Cavite State University in Indang, Cavite. In 2018, he served as a scientist 1 and consultant at Marinduque State College in Boac, Marinduque. He is a graduate of both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in extension education at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, College, Laguna in 1986 and 1991, respectively.