According to a recent survey of 12,000 members of the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand the seven attributes which make a great leader are:

Respect in some ways can feel like a tainted concept. Not long ago, it was based more on your position in the hierarchy than on what you did for the organisation. Of course, times have changed and with that change has come a far broader definition of – and demand for – respect in the workplace.

Today’s workplace reflects today’s society. Therefore, respect is increasingly becoming a key ingredient in organisational performance and leadership success. Today’s managers and leaders must master how to work inclusively alongside colleagues from different countries, continents and cultures.

You can’t be inspired by someone you don’t trust. In fact, integrity was viewed by the Institute’s Membership as the single most important attribute at the heart of effective leadership. Not surprising given the leadership integrity crises we currently witness.

Good leadership has become synonymous with the idea of integrity. It’s an all-important leadership attribute, one that today’s managers and leaders must give considerable food for thought if they want to lead well.

Emotional intelligence
One leadership skill that all leaders must develop is emotional intelligence. It’s the ability to empathise with others and to adjust our own emotions and feelings to suit and adapt to a variety of situations.

This attribute separates accidental managers from intentional leaders. It allows leaders to foster healthy and positive relationships and promote meaningful employee engagement.

Ability to inspire
another outstanding characteristic of exceptional leaders is the ability to inspire. In today’s workplace, employees seek a lot more out of their roles than just a pay check – they want to be part of something worthwhile. Leaders must now energise their employees, foster engagement and inspire.

Authenticity is more than being yourself. Rather, it sits at the very heart of the journey of self-discovery and change. It’s about being real – and the reality is that no one is immune from the need to improve.

Leaders today are expected to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, but it’s more than that. Successful leaders are expected to be open to the personal change process. Knowing yourself isn’t enough – striving to better yourself is what differentiates great leadership from good leadership.

By definition leaders are decision-makers, but there is something a little different about modern-day leadership that has seen decisiveness become a vital leadership attribute. It is the sheer amount of data that today’s leaders face and the speed that this data is available. These factors make leadership decision-making so much more critical to businesses, teams and individual managers and leaders.

Leaders must choose to actively take ownership of their leadership journey. It’s about learning to weigh up options and deciding which is the right one for you as a leader and for your team and business.

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