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Oct26
Top Ten Leadership Skills
It was no surprise to me that in a recent survey that asked what skills or traits are most important for effective leadership, integrity and ethics came out near the top. Given the recent corporate scandals and dismal ethical record of many business and government leaders, the trait of integrity is and should be at the top of every leaders mind.

The survey was conducted and published by the Center for Creative Leadership. Results showed that the majority of respondents overwhelmingly indicated that "ethics/integrity" (60%) and "interpersonal openness/relationship building" (61%) were the most important skills for leaders today.

  1. interpersonal openness/relationship building (61%)
  2. ethics/integrity (60%)
  3. Organizational skills (31%)
  4. Commitment (30%)
  5. Positive attitude/optimism (28%)
  6. Decisiveness (27%)
  7. Technical skills or knowledge (26%)
  8. Persuasion /negotiation (23%)
  9. Confidence (16%)
  10. Patience (6%)
leadership skills graph.jpg

5 Comments/Trackbacks




Aside from the obvious qualities such as integrity, hard work and intelligence, I think the most important quality for a leader to possess is having empathy. Empathy is not an easy thing. It is hard to try to understand people who are opposing you. It is hard to respond to an invective questioning your ancestry with "Oh? Why do you feel that way? Besides, worlds that are not full of enemies are much happier places.

I'm intrigued with these and with the notion of empathy. I keep asking myself - what have great leaders asked me that has changed the way we both go forward because they asked?

At the top is empathy, intregrity ... and likely more .... but what do they look like in a day? Hard to put words to, yet that quality at the top - shows up concretely in the fair salary I might take home, the empowerment I sense in an interaction, or the motivation to go for excellence because that leader valued my offering.

Not sure what I'd name my top skill - and not sure if it was ever touched on by the survey here. Yet this post pushed me to think more about the top lived skills I value in any leader, and seek for myself as I lead.

Thanks for the inspiration, Hal! Still thinking about that one...

Great comments Flour and Ellen. This survey provides some ideas on leadership skills but it is not the only answer. The largest functional group of participants in this survey were HR people - not necessarily leaders. I found this perspective interesting and valuable but not a definitive and complete list. Thanks for your contribution.

Competence at work does not override a leader's need for trusted counsel. Other professionals can provide that kind of networking and guidance, so we can learn from sharing outcomes and experiences. Building relationships with superiors and colleagues also builds bridges for future use if needed.

hi

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