Much has been written in the past few years on the question on which characteristics are most related to success in leadership roles.
Many have emphasized on emotional intelligence, while some have focused mostly on the building the capacity to achieve results or building of an effective team.
Years of research on success factors of leaders have revolved upon the capacity to maintain & build effective individual & team relationships, followed by ability to maintain promised results. These research have focused mainly on medium to large businesses. But does it apply for small businesses is the question. In a small business individuals are ready to hire a business leader who would report to him and intended to use the answers from the group to help him narrow a list of potential candidates.
The top 8 leadership characteristics are
Identifying goals, strategies, and objectives, as well as the mission and vision of the organization, in a way that others can easily understand. Embedded in this is the ability to articulate these clearly, as well as the intention to communicate them often to the rest of the company to ensure continued clarity.
Demonstrating consistent energy investment in the goals, objectives, strategies, etc. of the organization. This includes a strong emphasis on accomplishing the results as promised, within the agreed-upon time frame. This kind of energy is infectious to the rest of the organization and motivates them to go beyond their self-perceived limits.
Exhibiting confidence in the face of ambiguity or rapidly-changing conditions, having the capacity to be fearless in approaching difficult customer or internal issues. This includes not being afraid to bring conflict into the open or to be assertive about individual or organizational needs.
Displaying genuineness, being open and vulnerable across interpersonal situations, and resisting the urge to “fake it until you make it.” Instead, this capacity means being consistently real, letting his/her core personality and style come through, and being comfortable in his/her own skin.
Recognizing that the emotional needs of employees and their families is important and has an impact on quality, productivity, and morale. This includes being open to conversations about the emotional needs of others, believing in their best intentions, and listening with curiosity and empathy to their desires and concerns.
Focusing on the development of others on the team and pulling out the best in them. This includes trusting them to do the best they can, delegating fully, looking for ways to stretch people and help them grow, and encouraging them to try new things. This also means helping people move from lower levels of confidence and competence to higher levels, until they can take full responsibility for projects and tasks with little or no oversight.
Demonstrating trustworthiness in his/her own actions when handling people issues, using resources, negotiating with customers and communicating information across the organization. This includes “walking the talk,” being consistent in interactions with others and doing what you say you will do. This usually also includes having a firm foundation of beliefs about honesty that drive their trustworthy behaviors.
Exhibiting openness to feedback, both positive and constructive or critical, and an understanding of his/her weaknesses as well as strengths. This includes giving a major share of credit to others when things go well and taking a major share of responsibility when things go wrong. It means having the best interests of the organization and others in mind, rather than self-interest. It includes the capacity to laugh at his/her own shortcomings and to recognize that success is about others, not them.