As I survey my executive coaching clients, there are three attributes which separate the good from the great. These three skills are essential to ensure their businesses and employees flourish in 2022. The leaders that display the opposite of these skills will struggle to remain relevant, credible, and influential. In fact, without these three skills, businesses become more susceptible to the ever-present risk of resignation and stagnation.
Drum roll please…Here they are the three key attributes leaders must possess to increase the likelihood of an exceptional 2022:
The first critical ability is empathy. Empathy includes the skill of listening for understanding. It also includes acting on that understanding versus simply hearing the person. A great leader demonstrates empathy through being fully present in the conversation.
The concept of connection versus problem solving is an aspect of empathy. I had a client tell me this week that all they do is problem solve with their team. A healthy relationship includes connecting and problem solving. Empathy can help reduce burnout and help with conflict resolution.
The second key skill is flexibility. I had a mentor once tell me that ‘flexibility is our friend and expectations are the enemy.’ I think the first part of this advice makes a great deal of sense in the current work environment. As things change rapidly, leaders must be able to assess and act with very little information.
Flexibility requires leaders to know how they personally navigate change so that they can lead a business through disruption. Every day there is something new and different. How do you respond to the externalities driving businesses to innovate? Whether you are navigating the changes related to COVID19, supply chain disruption or workforce challenges.
The final skill is decisiveness. Decisiveness is a competency valued by followers. Leaders your team expects you to take in the information or the voices of your team and decide. The longer you evaluate and analyze the more uncertainty you create for your team. Develop a decision-making process and stand by it with confidence. A recent study showed that over 90% of bad decisions made by leaders are indeed fixable. If you make a poor decision, own it and move on!
Which one of these three skills are you excellent at already? Leverage that strength and mitigate the weakness.