Companies spend millions in leadership programs to train leaders. However, you cannot infuse leadership. In this article at strategy+business, David Reimer, Adam Bryant, and Harry Feuerstein discuss what great leaders do differently that you do not.
Traits of Great Leaders
Training today’s leaders based on the profiles of past successful leadership is a mistake. Traditional leadership training is wrong for two reasons—too much specificity and misplaced focus on desired skills. You cannot expect a leader to deliver results in 5 years. Having a strategic mentality and great charisma are not necessary skills. Reimer and his team have kept a tab on the career scope of 2,500 C-suite leaders from 2008 to 2018. Following are the traits they found common in great leaders:
- Simplifying and Maximizing Situations: They clarify situations which are vague. Former Bausch & Lomb CEO Brent Saunders shifted organizational focus from striving for patents to developing customer-centric products. Joseph J. Jimenez of Procter & Gamble and General Motors insists that workers need to understand your strategic purpose. Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher J. Nassetta told the New York Times that leaders must run the same narrative multiple times until all are on the same page.
- Unifying the Workforce: Leaders usually treat other departments as competitors. True leadership focuses on the entire organization and discourage siloed mindset. Move out of the primal human instincts of staying true to the herd and deriving support from it. Former Yum Brands CEO David Novak encourages people to think from the overall business perspective to have a broader vision.
- Working Well with Other Teams: Majority of the companies want leaders to reach their team targets rather than act as teammates. Duke Energy CEO Lynn J. Good remarks that you should be able to work with different teams as a leader. A 2016-17 survey reveals that teams that made the greatest progress were spending half their time in strategy discussions. The leaders that were making sluggish progress were mostly involved in ‘tactical conversations’. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella continuously strives to optimize the organization by maximizing overall leadership capabilities.
- Creating Future Leaders: There are two kinds of prominent leaders. One kind utilizes talents to progress in one’s career while the other takes responsibility to develop talents. If you are developing future leadership skills in an individual, you are also encouraging diversity. A diverse leadership creates an enabling environment for varied opinions and acceptance of differences.
Inculcating the Above 4 Traits: Organizations can include that in their leadership programs in 3 ways:
- Decide if you want to measure these traits in your leadership ranks. Let the individuals and board know.
- Adopt the 70-20-10 training approach, where 70% is experience, 20% is coaching, and 10% is training. Also, include the 90-10 model for business strategy-making and contextual training.
- Establish a long-term metric dashboard to analyze leadership performance and progress.
To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://www.strategy-business.com/article/The-Four-X-Factors-of-Exceptional-Leaders