What qualities do the best leaders have/need? Comments welcome

Hi All, I am doing a leadership workshop on Wednesday and wanted to ask you a question to gather some comments. 1 in fact.

  1. What are the skills required by leaders today

  2. What are the leadership role titles that best reflect a modern org? Are they different to previous iterations of leadership team.

Any/all commentary welcome. Public or private.

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I was on some leadership training about a year ago, from a provider called neish.

The key requirement was to create the emotional safety in which you could have tough, honest discussions about outcomes and the approaches needed to get to those outcomes.

The Neish training covered a lot about the psychological background to that space of interaction: personality types, communication styles and modes and alignment. And empowering people to make decisions at the right level without excessive navigation of hierarchies (look for the US submarine commander video on YouTube). Leaders should set direction and state/govern intent (what is the high level outcome) not specify the process.

Role titles: will depend on the culture of the organisation (where it is, and where it wants to move to, and recognising the difference). Landing a group of job titles aligned to Agile Manifesto won’t initially work if the organisation is used to waterfall programmes and top down decision making style. May need to create interim processes and titles or work out if specific areas can operate differently with different titles (in which case need to clearly articulate/agree the gives and gets across the organisational boundaries between different management styles/operational processes)

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Thank you Miles - really interesting. - Love this in particular - empowering people to make decisions at the right level without excessive navigation of hierarchies

The corollary to this (based on a linkedin thread on KPIs that I also responded to today), is your personal KPI’s/OKRs have to be aligned to your level of authority/decision making. You can’t be ressponsible for something where you can’t take a decision (or, if you have to get authority for the decision, then the OKR needs to be worded that you are accountable for your proposals and implementation, but not the KPI)

From my point of view, here are a few leadership skills that are undervalued:

  • Clear prioritization.

  • Critical thinking skills. The ability to analyze a situation and determine the root cause problem facing the situation.

  • Willingness to say no.

  • Letting teams make mistakes.

  • Leaving space for different voices on a team.

  • Career mentorship of your direct reports.

  • Actually meeting with your direct reports! (You’d be surprised how many managers meet with their directs only every few months)

Thanks @rickwatson appreciate you taking the time also.