The five most important leadership qualities
Do I have what it takes to be a leader?
The leadership qualities that are needed in a company in general, or perhaps specifically at a certain point in time, depend of course on a number of factors, such as branch, company size, success, challenges, and many more. Nevertheless, I would like to describe my top five, to answer questions like:
- Haber ich das Zeug zur Führungskraft?
- What makes a good leader?
- What do I have to learn and be able to do to be considered as a leader?
- Gibt es ein praxisnahes Fortbildungsangebot?
Strategic and creative thinking
Nur weil wir es jetzt gerade so machen, oder, weil wir es schon seit Jahren so machen, heißt noch lange nicht, dass es auch gut so ist. Die Möglichkeit aus der aktuellen Situation herauszusteigen, eine Vogelperspektive einzunehmen und die richtigen strategischen Fragen zu stellen ist eine Fähigkeit, die gute Führungskräfte ausmacht. Strategisch zu arbeiten kann man lernen, es benötigt aber inneren Antrieb um ständig auf der Suche nach neuen Möglichkeiten zu bleiben. Und die Flexibilität und Veränderungsbereitschaft, das auch ständig zu tun.
The ability to make decisions
On the surface, this requirement seems easy to fulfil. All of us make decisions all the time, so you may ask, what’s so difficult about that? But this is not just about reacting or deciding through gut instinct. When you are making decisions for a team or a company, the consequences can be extensive.
Being aware of your own values, using them as a benchmark, and then putting yourself in front of a team, whilst having to possibly defend yourself against other opinions and showing the right amount of flexibility on one hand, but also staying on track on the other, is a leadership quality that is deeply rooted within your own personality. With the strong trend towards responsible and thus sustainable action, and increasing transparency and comparability, leaders nowadays are in the spotlight of the integrity stage.
Leaders play certain roles in companies, and we all know that you can’t, and shouldn’t, hide anything. So, one leadership quality is to communicate authentically, clearly, and with social intelligence. Furthermore, it is not only your spoken word that has an impact, but also your clothes, body language, setting, and environment etc. A lot can be studied regarding this, but a certain outward effect represents a great advantage when first starting out.
Willingness to change
We all learn over the course of our lives. We build up experience and thus become more confident in dealing with new situations. Putting what we have learned into practice then becomes easier too. But preparing for unprecedented possibilities and anticipating possible news is what ultimately makes a good leader. We describe this ability as “intuition,” and even if no one could have known what changes the internet, the invention of smartphones, or the global Coronavirus pandemic would bring, there are still companies that were better prepared and continued to compete. Then there were others who have not done so well.
In summary, leaders need the ability to work and achieve results not through their own work, but through their team. Those who succeed in the long run, even under adverse circumstances, can claim to possess leadership qualities. Talent and potential are also a good basis here, but they can not replace knowledge, practice, and ambition.
Zum Schluß noch ein letzter Punkt: Man kann Talent als Führungskraft haben und Potenzial zeigen. Dennoch muss Führung gelernt, geübt und ständig verbessert werden. Gute Führungskraft zu sein, fällt also nicht vom Himmel.
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