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5 Traits Contemporary Leaders Must Develop for Success

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Do you think the perception of leadership is merely limited to a title or designation in an organization? Well, there is a lot more to leadership than a position of power. The finest of leaders are those who lead from the front and inspire an entirely new generation of leaders to take over. In fact, in the contemporary era, leadership has different definitions and implications.

Speaking of leadership traits, leaders today need to be wholesome in terms of their qualities to cultivate high employee engagement, innovation, optimism, and enthusiasm. In this revamped corporate world we see today, leaders’ challenges and roles are quite different. So, what are the traits that make modern leaders stand out from the crowd?
This blog sheds light on the most salient leadership traits that make the real difference in the context of the modern enterprise world. So, let us get started without further ado. 

Leadership traits that matter the most in contemporary times 

1. Emotional intelligence 

Are you someone who has great control over your emotions? Are you good at managing your emotions and steering them toward positive results? If not, emotional intelligence is the foremost skill you should look to develop.

It is true that workplaces are more diverse than ever before. In fact, diverse organizations have a much better chance to penetrate new markets. However, as a leader, you also need to manage the varying emotions in the workplace. Especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees expect greater empathy from their employers. They want their leaders to respect and understand their feelings.

Besides, their satisfaction in lieu of this expectation has a direct impact on their employee engagement levels. Also, when you have emotional intelligence, you can retain your employees in a more successful way. Who would want to leave a workplace that acknowledges their emotions after all? 

If you look at the current corporate trends, EQ is one of the most sought-after skills in the modern workplace. Having said that, it is much more essential for people in leadership roles. Leading diverse teams where people have contrasting anticipations and emotions is easier said than done. 

But with emotional intelligence, you can understand your employees’ emotions in an effective way and add to their experience in positive terms. Also, your compassion and emotional intelligence will be essential in forming positive working relationships in the workplace. To add, you can create a more inclusive workplace with emotional intelligence. 

Moving ahead, emotional intelligence is not entirely about empathy. When you develop EQ, you also add immensely to your self-awareness, self-regulation, and social skills. These along with empathy and motivation are the core components of EQ. As you can see, each of these skills or traits will add to your efficacy as a leader. 

2. Critical thinking 

The very first impression of leaders’ ability revolves around their decision-making. Leaders who make well-informed and intelligible decisions go a long way for sure. On the contrary, leaders who make impulsive decisions often end up making regretful choices. The question is, what does it take to make worthwhile decisions as a leader? 

Well, the answer is critical thinking. No matter how advanced the business world gets, critical thinking will always remain one of the most salient skills of an ideal leader. Practically speaking, one bad decision can put your business on the verge of closure. Similarly, one wrong decision could mean that your business may miss out on a great opportunity. 

Having said that, as a leader, if you want to rise to the occasion, you need to develop fine critical thinking skills. As a critical thinker, you will assess every situation analytically and take different perspectives into consideration. This is where your decision-making will become a lot more responsible and accountable. For any leader, critical thinking can indeed be a competitive advantage.

What you need to take your business to the next level is the right combination of hard work and critical thinking. Your critical thinking will be the foundation of great things transpiring in your organization. This is a skill you will definitely regret not having. 

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

3. Ability to collaborate 

We have often heard that leaders ought to be great communicators. However, that is not all about it. Besides being great communicators, efficient leaders also need to possess the ability to collaborate effectively. Gone are the days when getting things done from your team was enough to excel as a leader. 

To emerge as an efficient leader in contemporary times, you need to work alongside your team and keep raising the bar high. This is exactly what exceptional leaders like Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, and Satya Nadella do. They do not just manage their teams but also collaborate with them to produce great results. This is what makes these leaders and their enterprises highly successful. 

The bottom line is that to ensure your business thrives amid the rising competition, you need to lead from the front and create a conducive environment for effective collaboration. The better the collaboration the greater the advancement, isn’t it? 

4. Brisk adaptability 

As a business leader, you need to acknowledge the fact that the business environment is more dynamic than ever before. Parallel to the enormously growing competition in the business world, the challenges are also escalating. This is where your effectiveness as a leader will be put to test time and again. 

To explain, what it takes to respond to external challenges is some fine adaptability. As a leader, you are the one who needs to adapt quickly and align change management objectives in the best interest of your business. Basically, when the going gets tough, you can either wait for things to happen on their own or take command with your exemplary adaptability skills. Needless to say, as a leader, you would want to go for the latter case. 

Having said that, you need to develop firm adaptability skills to alter strategies as per the situation. For that, you will need to develop a great sense of situational awareness. Moreover, your adaptability will pave the way for greater resilience and innovation in the organization. Your employees would certainly love to learn from your exceptional ability to adapt in real-time. Your resilience to challenges will empower them to develop a similar attitude. 

5. Transformational virtues 

Leaders who have a knack for transformational ideas have the most charismatic aura. Leaders who have transformational virtues always push to change the things for better by bringing positive transformations on board. This is what makes transformational leadership the best-suited leadership style in a world where innovation is seen as the fulcrum of business success. 

Transformational leaders not only embrace the idea of massive transformations themselves but also encourage their employees to come up with innovative ideas. They have the risk-taking abilities to overhaul strategies and traditional business practices. They celebrate the notion of growth mindsets and create a positive environment that brings the best out of everyone. 

Furthermore, they offer great flexibility and creative liberty to their employees to find novel solutions to novel challenges. This encourages great confidence and empowerment among the employees who can then relate to a greater sense of belonging. 

This is what takes organizations towards unparalleled innovative capabilities. Elon Musk and his achievements create a very strong case for leaders to relish the transformational style of leadership. You would surely want to belong to this class of leadership, isn’t it?

To encapsulate, the prerequisites of leadership are a lot different in contemporary times. To excel as a leader in this new age, you need to rethink the virtues of leadership and perceive leadership from a new perspective.  The above traits will together lay the foundation for remarkable success as a modern-day leader.

Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.

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