Startups and businesses are always on the lookout for exceptional talent. Especially leadership talent to fill up the key leadership roles in your organisation.

We spoke to a bunch of business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives to find out what skills they value the most for their business.

Integrity and honesty

When one is responsible for a team of people, it’s important to raise the bar for oneself even higher. Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself as a leader, and if you exemplify honest, ethical behaviour, your team will follow suit.

Employees want to be rest assured that their leaders will give everyone an equal shot at opportunities like promotions and project assignments. When you act with integrity, it not only increases employee loyalty to your business, but they will also become more engaged.

Emotional intelligence

If you are fully aware and accepting of your strengths, your limitations, your values, and how you best perform, you are much more likely to lead others with a sense of purpose,  openness, and trust.

Emotional intelligence is a necessary leadership quality because it equips you to manage your feelings and behaviours. Therefore, this improves your interactions and relationships. Influential leaders have a highly developed sense of their own emotions, and are usually empathic and compassionate too. On the other hand, a lack of EQ is a primary cause of weak leadership, which is detrimental to organizational culture.

 

Understanding technology

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A leader should be able to understand how technology is impacting their business and how to use it to their gain. Leaders need to be able to draw insights from data and then use that to further their organization or departmental needs.

With smartphones, social networks, big data analytics, and the cloud a big part of our personal and professional lives, today’s business leaders need to possess the capabilities to keep their product offerings relevant to digital natives.

A leader must also focus on the quality and functional value of a company’s digital assets; if the information is reliable, business decisions are made quicker and more likely to be trusted as sound, due to the integrity of the data upon which they are being based.

An anecdote from one of our founders was interesting, where he worked for a CEO that struggled to use Google Drive and misused technical jargon. This made explaining upgrades to the company’s products and services because there was a minimum level of understanding about the technical aspects of the service.

Being decisive

When leading a team through uncharted territory, there is no manual or guide, so this is where drawing on past experience is the best option.Tough decisions will be up to you to decide, and you may be forced at times to differ from your set course and make a decision on the fly. Your team will look to you for guidance, and as a leader, you should be able to think outside the box and make decisions that are right for the company.

Keeping your confidence will assure your team that obstacles are natural, and their focus should still be on the greater goal. Remember, you set the tone, so if you exude a calm ability to deal with any uncertainty headed your organization’s way; your team will take cues from you.

Be forward-thinking

Leaders should be able to spot emerging trends and then design a strategy around them. Much of every leader’s job is tackling crises and problems — this means watching out for new opportunities to be grabbed, and new roadblocks to be dodged. If you find yourself regularly surprised by developments on the horizon, you need to change your approach.

A big part of being a leader today is ensuring you are up to date with the times and constantly looking out for the next big thing. You never know what could catapult your business to the next level – as a leader, your job is to ensure your organization jumps on it before your competition does. It could be the most unexpected of things, but the only way to know is to constantly have your finger on the pulse and examine what suits your business best.

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