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The future of leadership requires these qualities

If you had to choose what qualities you feel make the best leader, what would they be?





The future of leadership requires these qualities

The world has well and truly shifted. We must adapt our leadership styles to consider the changing dynamics and new priorities many of us are facing. There should be a priority for our leaders to heavily focus on their leadership development.

A recent global research article by the ‘Potential Project’ of 2,000+ leaders shared the extraordinary power of two specific qualities to help you flourish as a leader.

The research found that these qualities allow you to do the hard things humanly.

Both are equally significant and together have a substantial impact on the workforce.

Have you guessed the two key qualities?

Wisdom and Compassion – The perfect pair

Doing the hard things requires wisdom. It would help if you had the courage to be transparent about expectations and what needs to be actioned, even when uncomfortable. Delivering this in a human way and keeping that connection with your team requires compassion—genuine care and empathy for another person, combined with an intention to support.

Employees led by leaders who show either wisdom or compassion have a more positive experience. They enjoy and are engaged with their jobs and are less likely to burn out.

When a leader shows both wisdom and compassion, the impact on employee wellness and productivity is exponential. Below shows some of the improvements found in the study:

The future of leadership requires these qualities
  • 86% increase in job satisfaction of employees

  • 64% decreased burnout of employees

  • 77% increase satisfaction with your leader

  • 20% increase in job performance

  • 53% increase in job engagement

  • 61% increase in organisation commitment

The baseline for this measurement is a leader with neither wisdom nor compassion.

Getting the balance right with both wisdom and compassion is key – getting things done and caring for people in a human way. Remember this when focussing on your leadership development initiatives.

Empathy and Authenticity

I’m a big believer in demonstrating empathetic and authentic leadership.

Empathy is the sincere ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Showing your vulnerability and feeling further humanizes you as a leader. Vulnerability creates safety and trust, and staff feel more secure knowing you are authentic. How many times have you put on a mask at work and not show your authentic self, believing that you had to find courage, or it was wrong to show your feelings?

Authentically caring for your staff and getting to know them personally is a skill that sets leaders apart. To navigate this challenging time, all leaders are going to have to dig deep, to support their staff in the changing and uncertain landscape. An effective leadership program can support this leadership development.

We all know change is the biggest challenge for any business, so one way to get staff on board is by leading authentically. As Brene Brown says in the Gifts of Imperfection "Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen’.

Hybrid work demands the need for leaders to demonstrate wisdom, compassion, empathy and authenticity. McKinsey reports that a relationship with your leader is the number one factor in an employee's job satisfaction.

What choices are you going to make today to bring your authentic self to work?

How are you leading with wisdom, compassion, empathy and authenticity?

Do you need to find out about how a leadership development program can further develop your human skills?


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