Now more than ever, we need leaders.
The current health crisis fast-forwarded our lives into the digital future, and the veil is being lifted on the history of systemic racism. It's now time to collectively redefine what makes a great leader — and fast.
The core competencies of great leaders hasn’t changed. Leaders still need drive, stamina, and a keen eye for the right strategies. What has changed is the interpersonal soft skills required to be a great leader and create great leaders.
Today's leaders need to be curious about what makes their teams tick. They need to understand how to enable their team to connect with their teammates. And they need to do it all remotely.
We asked members of the Mogul community about the leadership traits they think are most important, especially in the remote work world. Here are the five skills they highlighted.
There's no mistake: empathy is number one on this list. It is the compass that should guide the way we conduct business.
Although it might be easy to be polite to the person on the other side of a video call, politeness doesn't inspire.
Politeness is important, but it is only surface level. It does not enable a leader to really engage with their team on a meaningful level.
The only way to do this is to empathize. Share, listen, find common ground and connect. Put yourself on their screen and try to understand where they're coming from and how they feel.
This doesn't mean turning Zoom meetings into therapy sessions. But connecting with our teammates allows us to move past pleasantries and get to the real work. It enables a level of comfort that allows teams to effectively tackle important problems and be comfortable with constructive pushback from all involved.
The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us. You know what it's like to feel pride, joy, exhaustion, anger, and heartbreak — all in just the last three months.
People want to be inspired, but they also want realism. Be open about your organization's trials and tribulations. That transparency will inspire trust.
Our current global climate is stressful, to say the least. Letting your team in on the challenges is way less stressful than the unknown or a false narrative of everything being fine.
Allowing your team to see that you are human will make them work harder for you. It also enables you to leverage your team's skills to tackle the big issues, rather than shouldering the burden yourself.
Love is patient; love is kind. And if you love what you do, showing patience with the people who are helping you shouldn't be a problem.
The pandemic upturned our lives and changed everything about how we work and balance our lives. Have extra patience with your team as they navigate these challenges.
Being patient is also an opportunity to provide an essential service as a leader — teach.
As Gen Z enters the workforce, they are bound to have some gaps in their education due to the rise of online learning. Four-year colleges might face a loss of up to 20 percent in fall enrollment, according to SimpsonScarborough, a higher education research and marketing company.
There are plenty of upskilling opportunities (such as Mogul Learning courses), and encouraging your team to further their education will pay dividends later on.
In the “Tao Te Ching”, Lao Tzu says on leadership: "The best leaders are those the people hardly know to exist." Suppose you're a leader who loves praise — more power to you. But the best leaders are the ones who highlight others, especially when they don't have to.
Did you secure a new strategic partnership? Praise the colleague that did the outreach on your behalf. Did you hit your sales goals for the quarter? Shout out your AEs for their ability to connect with prospects and create interest quickly.
You may have put the strategy together but if you are not the one pulling all the levers, give credit where credit is due.
It would behoove you to share the wealth of recognition. Leaders who take a tablespoon of humility in service of bonding with the people around them are the ones that continuously come out ahead.
Generosity is the most underrated business strategy. If a colleague requests a few minutes extra after a video call for a few clarifying questions, be generous with your time.
If somebody who works for you would like to ask you some questions about how you've developed in your career, be generous with your knowledge.
Generosity is the most authentic sign of confidence. And it is worth sharing with those who show interest. It's not unheard of for a wide-eyed intern to turn into a valued partner down the road.
Those who make the best successors are those who had proclivities for leadership in the first place. Those who hold their cards too close to their chest run the risk of suppressing talent until the talent goes elsewhere.
Empower your team
We all can continually practice these soft skills to ensure we're inspiring those around us to do their best work.
As leaders and teammates, it’s not just about managing work. It’s about empowering your team and encouraging their growth.
These are the soft skills that our community voted for. Have additional thoughts? Let our Mogul community know what skills you think make the best leaders.