From professors to managers to mentors, I’ve had the opportunity to be inspired by some great leaders. When thinking about what they have in common, it’s easy for me to come up with some shared characteristics. They were all supportive, encouraging, charismatic, and motivated. They all had unique skills and valuable experiences under their belts.
But, personality traits aside, I identified one more common thread that ties all of my most memorable leaders together: the questions that they would ask me. Here are three questions to ask your own employees if you want to be seen as a better, stronger leader.
Seven years ago I’d visited the identical building, which in 2009 belonged to Nokia – the famed Finnish company that rose to dominate the mobile phone industry in the early 2000’s.
Bosses have their brand’s future and their employee’s happiness in their hands. However, cultivating respect in the workplace isn’t accomplished all at once. Instead, it’s about a series of daily habits that mesh together to create leadership that engages people and instills trust in them too.
The average person doesn’t choose to swim upstream while others swiftly float downstream, or zig when others choose to zag. But having the courage, character and confidence to enter into the abysmal unknown and create value—personally and organizationally—for others is exactly what constitutes leadership and exactly what defines them as leaders.
If you talk to enough people, you will find, as we have, many different and often contradictory answers to questions about management and leadership.
At the end of the day, leaders in any environment are either effective or ineffective. They are either driving the team forward to accomplish the mission or they are falling short.
When we think of great leaders, certain characteristics come to mind: They have confidence in their abilities and conviction in their beliefs. They “trust their gut,” “stay the course,” and “prove others wrong.” They aren’t “pushovers,” and they certainly don’t “flip-flop.” But this archetype is terribly outdated.
As Juan Manuel Fangio exited the chicane before the blind Tabac corner in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix, he stomped on the brake. It was a counterintuitive reaction for a racing driver exiting a corner — but one that likely saved his life.
As the competition for the best talent grows; businesses must reduce the disconnect between their talent requirements and the strategies and processes which underpin them.
Named CEO of Deloitte last March, and listed in Crain’s “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” for 2015, Cathy Engelbert attributes her success to one personality trait above all: confidence.