4 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

  • Long-term Focus — Assessment of candidates based on the traits required to reap the fruits of Business Strategy in 5 years’ time is another ground for not identifying the right leaders.
  • Emphasis on finding typical leadership traits — Instead of looking for traits that separate exceptional leaders from the pack, most assessments are geared towards finding typical leadership traits.
  1. Drive Enterprise-wide Ambition & Change
  2. Strong Teamwork
  3. Leader Building

Simplification & Operationalization of Complexity

In today’s world of disruption, organizations face new challenges on a day-to-day basis. Exceptional leaders have the ability to process tremendous volumes of information and simplify things fairly easily. Leaders who truly standout are well-versed in tackling confusion and learn promptly. They are great at:

  • Developing visions to influence people and rally them around the shared objectives.
  • Developing & implementing actionable plans to achieve objectives.
  • Developing functional and dynamic storylines encompassing the agenda that demonstrates how the company will execute its strategy. These storylines consistently remind the people to concentrate on the things that matter most to the company (e.g. customers, products).
  • Creating and disseminating robust communication plans — highlighting how their company is best suited to face the challenges of disruption — that are consistently analyzed and improved upon.

Drive Enterprise-wide Ambition & Change

People in an organization often operate in groups. These groups consider people outside their circle as competitors or “outsiders.” This tribal mentality is detrimental for an organization and inculcates individual thinking — focusing only on personal / group targets — and debilitates the ability to operate outside one’s comfort zone. Exceptional leaders have the skills to:

  • Understand different mindsets and know how to influence them constructively.
  • Make people realize their contribution towards the bigger, organizational perspective and work towards achieving their business unit targets rather than personal performance objectives.

Strong Teamwork

Nobody can undermine or deny the importance of teamwork. Much has been written on the subject. However, in reality, most teams do not quite understand the spirit and commitment fundamental to develop teamwork.

  • Work with teams to uncover prioritized initiatives critical for organizational growth.
  • Lead their teams and make informed strategic decisions.
  • Focus more on developing a strategy than tactical plans way before they reach the C level.
  • Emphasize to the teams the significance of spending time discussing / developing strategy and devising plans.
  • Focus on maximizing the effectiveness of each individual to benefit the organization.

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