3 leadership capabilities that make the best leaders
The final US presidential debate in Las Vegas focused more on policy issues than the first two, but that doesn't mean the candidates were successful in convincing voters why they would their best leader. In this week’s blog, we take a look at some core leadership capabilities, why they are essential and whether or not they were effectively demonstrated in this debate.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others” — Jack Welch
Motivation is a key component to being an influential leader, whether it’s inspiring others to a common goal or driving action through confidence. The reason motivation is so important is because it drives people, and therefore organizations to accomplish their goals and strategic objectives.
A major discouragement to motivation is the obvious dishonesty and melodrama that has been on display in the debates. It's incredibly hard to support a person or agenda you don't believe in. With so many millennials in today's workforce driven by purpose, using these types of tactics to recruit interest, are simply not working. Which is why this needs to be avoided in the business as well.
When knowledge and insight are turned into action, these are leadership capabilities that motivate. Whether it’s the free world or a global enterprise, a leader who can share experiences that helped them to the top, in addition to demonstrating how they can assist others, will be more likely to inspire faith in those around them.
Like motivation, accountability is another character trait shared by successful leaders. Accountability shows not only responsibility, but acceptance to own one’s actions and to lead by example.
Unfortunately, like many debates, the recent have involved a lot of blame and question dodging. Perhaps it’s the sheer magnitude of being elected to the most powerful position in the world, or possibly the it’s the consequences of accepting responsibility for the challenges left behind by previous candidates. Regardless, accountability for a leader is as important in the business world for a CEO, as it is for the next US president.
Innovation, in this context is about showing an adaptability for change. In today's world, being agile is one of the important skills you can acquire. The ability to recognize agility and being open to change course to achieve better outcomes, is also a respected and desired trait in leaders. To foster growth, a leader must be open to change, whilst adhering to the core values and objectives of the organization.
So how did this play out in the last debate?
There is one candidate who offers a complete change from the current mainstream political direction, which has left so many frustrated. The other represents what has been happening over the past 8 years. Innovation is not just change for change sake, it's demonstrating the adaptability to change for the better.
How to be open to change
One of the best ways to remain open to change is to plan for multiple scenarios, have a defined strategic vision, but be conscious that in getting there, there will be self-development including things like:
Understanding yourself (and others)
Knowing your strengths and admitting your weaknesses
Strategic thinking and vision alone though is not enough, there are many questions over the strategies that both candidates discussed to create change. This is a prime example of where outside of influence and vision, there are many more leadership capabilities on which leaders or potential leaders need to be assessed.
There is no doubt that both candidates policies are critical areas for consideration when electing the next president of the United States. What would be interesting to see however, is how the selection may or may not change if there was a list of leadership capabilities that each candidate was assessed on.
Motivation, accountability and innovation are only a few of what is required to be a successful. When looking into traits, characteristics and capabilities of a great leader, it's good to agree what success actually looks like and what areas of development the individual requires.
Are the managers and leaders in your business successfully demonstrating competencies to lead? Do you think they would they be elected if there was a race for their position?
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