Robert Rosen, CEO of the management consulting firm Healthy Companies International, reported in the July/2010 issue of Leadership Excellence magazine on conclusions gleaned from interviews of top executives in forty countries over the past 20 years. He and his team was looking for the attributes of the best leaders.
They singled out five key characteristics:
- Genuine. They naturally connect with and engage people. They are open and transparent about themselves and about hearing what others think. They foster trust through their authenticity.
- Comfortable with uncertainty. Fully aware and unworried by the truism that the past does not predict the future, they maintain a healthy distance from the status quo and remain open to what changing conditions bring to their enterprise. And they adopt the psychologically healthy strategy of transforming anxiety around uncertainty into productive energy to move forward.
- Intensely focused on the human side of the business. Seeing their people as THE core driver of the company’s success, they invest in, develop, effectively deploy, and nurture their workforce.
- Committed to growth. It is the focus of their attention and their energy. They talk about growth constantly and push their managers to think about it and always operate with it in mind.
- Obsessed with execution. The classic expression, “a bias for action,” would not be strong enough here. These executives are always taking action and insist that their employees do too.
This is obviously not the only or even the definitive list of top leader attributes. It is a good reminder, however, of what you should be including in your style if you sit at or even near the top of your organization.