Top Leadership Qualities the Best Companies Are Seeking

By Linda Brenner | March 02, 2014

Top leadership qualities inspire and influence others to achieve certain goals and to behave in a certain way. These traits are of greater importance than they've ever been to companies which rely on their intellectual capital to drive business results.

Think about it – if you’ve got an organization full of assembly-line workers or scripted call center employees, you have to rely less on your ability to inspire them than your ability to supervise them. But if your business is technology or research or engineering, then what stands between business failure or wild success is your leaders’ ability to hire, develop and engage the team towards greater performance.

With that in mind, here are five attributes that the most forward-thinking companies are looking to hire - the aforementioned top leadership qualities:

Top Leadership Qualities - Flexibility

Today’s business environment is global, highly complex, data-driven and full of quickly changing leaders, strategies and solutions. Therefore, great companies are looking for leaders who not only will – but want to - flex and adapt to constantly changing demands. Long gone are the days an employee can cry “I didn’t sign up for this!” or “I worked for months on this project – and now it’s getting shelved?” The ability to turn on a dime, react quickly to limited information, make good judgments and, above all, instead of getting emotional about the pace and degree of change to demonstrate the ability to thrive from it.

Top Leadership Qualities - Initiative

Companies want teams of leaders who take initiative, who pursue new ideas and who motivate their staff to do the same. Great leaders always seek increased responsibility and take pride in fulfilling additional duties. Businesses do not want pessimist, unenthusiastic or structured leaders who can’t see beyond the lines they’ve drawn for themselves.

Top Leadership Qualities - Teamwork

Crucial to the portrayal of top leadership qualities are confident, success leaders. They're the team players who keep their squad motivated and focused on the right goals. They're likely to develop a cohesive team who can rely on and help one another, it is essential to have effective interpersonal skills that drive the attention away from the leader and onto the team. An emotionally intelligent leader can leverage these social skills to drive respect in and value for other people’s backgrounds, roles, opinions, and personality traits. This helps to create a powerful network of healthy and efficient teams, which is a priceless asset for business.

Top Leadership Qualities – Ability to Drive Results

No matter what role you’re in, you’ve got to demonstrate value by driving the right results. And this requires an ability to manage work efficiently and effectively – your oneself and their teams. Efficiency and effectiveness are not synonymous, however. Let us briefly understand the differences in both the terms. Effectiveness refers to the quality of work, whereas, efficiency explains how well the resources (time, money, efforts, and work force) are utilized. Businesses are looking for employees who are both effective and efficient, and can maintain high levels of productivity and quality while utilizing the appropriate amount and type of resources.

Top Leadership Qualities – Ability to Act Nice

The best leaders in any environment are those who are kind, genuine, authentic and focused on others. They are not jack-asses, self-involved or seeking to enrich themselves. We all know what a kind leader is like to work around – and we seek those people out. They are great to work with, always willing to help and are known for sharing their ideas and accolades. They successfully manage personal feelings, reactions, and on-the-job challenges. Employees want to work for them – and are inspired to do better work when they’re on their team. Finding these leaders may be tough, but two things make it easier for prospective employers to identify them – employees follow them from job to job and they have plenty of significant references to offer up.

So now we know what some key, hot top leadership qualities are for the best companies, the trick is - how do we find these in the selection process?

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