I’ve always believed that business success ultimately comes down to the strength of a leader’s relationships with people.
That’s especially true in today’s fast-paced technology landscape where businesses are forced to navigate radical change, not only annually but every quarter.
Today’s companies need leaders who can see around corners – both inside and outside their organizations. As leaders, we need to understand how our enterprises fit into the context of our customers, our workforce, and the world at large.
I’ve found that a good place to start is to simply force yourself to be present in the moment¬carefully listening to your team, thoughtfully addressing feedback and concerns, and always thinking about innovative ways for your employees to learn and thrive in today’s evolving workplace.
Here are four key qualities I’ve seen that help leaders pave the way to better 21st century leadership:
- Perseverance: Setbacks and failures invariably come with the job, but great leaders can pivot and move ahead when they listen to others in building a strategy to persevere. That includes coming together to understand the complexity and nuances of the challenges they face.
- Agility: Today’s global economy moves at breakneck speed. To survive and thrive in this rapidly evolving, unpredictable landscape, we all need to be agile and prepared to meet the dynamic needs and demands of the changing enterprise. Great leaders do more than simply adapt; they recognize when failure is inevitable and seize opportunities to innovate to move their organizations forward.
- Vulnerability: By vulnerability, I don’t mean weakness. Vulnerability means being open to new ideas even when you’re not quite sure what the outcome will be. It requires thinking differently, working through the opportunities and challenges that come your way, learning from your experiences, and seeking a positive path forward.
- Empathy: Each decision we make as leaders is impactful. Putting yourself in your customers’ and employees’ shoes and understanding how your choices affect their lives is what shapes a people-centric work environment that engenders trust, respect, and authenticity. And it’s not enough to just practice these behaviors. Leaders today need to walk the talk, infusing these qualities into their organization’s DNA.
By embracing perseverance, agility, vulnerability, and empathy, you can PAVE the way to better 21st-century leadership and create a dynamic, forward-looking enterprise that’s primed to flourish.