Are You Valued as a Leader?
A recent survey asked employees what qualities they looked for and valued most in a leader. The responses were interesting and worth examining.
Top of the list came trustworthiness. A clear majority of those asked put this as the quality they valued the most. Could this be, I wonder because they find that this quality is so rare? Recent examples of the behavior of some of the top men in industry and commerce suggest that this quality is rare.
2. A Good Communicator.
A close second was the ability to Communicate. Employees like someone who can tell them what is going on. They like to be told what the plans for the company are and how it is
performing. They like to have the aims of the company and their part in it spelled out clearly and unambiguously.
Then came decisiveness. Employees look to their leaders to be decisive. They don’t want to be subject to frequent changes of direction or imprecise goals. They don’t want to see any form of shilly-shallying in their leaders. They want clarity and action.
4. Motivation and Inspiration.
The abilities to motivate and inspire followed next. Maybe these came lower down the list because they follow from the qualities listed previously. They are the results of those other qualities rather than primary qualities themselves. After all, you are not likely to inspire anyone unless you are first a good communicator. You are not likely to inspire if you don’t know where you are going.
5. People Focused.
Being people focused as a desirable quality was next on the list. This amounts to valuing and caring about your staff and looking after their well being at all times. This also is a quality that sometimes seems in short supply when the going gets tough. But you won’t motivate or inspire without it.
6. Visionary and Strategic Planner
The qualities of being a Visionary and a Strategic Planner have been grouped since they came next in order and very close together in the ranking. They are also very similar. It does seem to me, though, that these qualities are vitally necessary if the higher ranked qualities of motivation and inspiration are to be of much use. You have got to have the vision before you can motivate someone to go after it.
7. The driver of Change.
To be a driver of change is apparently not so very highly rated amongst employees. Perhaps this is because change can often be uncomfortable. This is a quality that the top management of the company will probably value much higher than the majority of the staff.
This was ranked lower still, but I suggest that this is not something that exists in isolation anyway. You either have charisma (or you don’t) because of your other qualities. It
doesn’t exist on its own.
9. Entrepreneurial and Risk Taker.
These two were ranked lower than all those previously listed and at a similar level. Is this perhaps a reflection on the fact that it was employees who were asked rather than captains of industry? By the nature of things the majority of employees do not have these qualities themselves in large doses, and so they probably don’t want their leaders to take a lot of risks affecting them either. In uncertain times employees put a high value on stability and security.
So what can be learned from this survey?
If you want to stand out as a leader in business, you must persuade others to follow. That much is obvious. But to get them to follow you have to take account of what they think
themselves. You cannot ignore it. So you need to be an amalgam of what is popular with what is less popular but necessary all the same.
Aim For World-Class and Be Legendary,
Your Coach - Christian