What Makes a Great Leader?

 

March 19, 2015

Market-ResearchWhen hiring for upper management positions, do leaders look for proven entrepreneurial spirit, management ability, a track record of growing companies or all of the above? Surely, it depends on the job at hand, but what are some of the most coveted qualities to have and how do you ensure you are hiring the right people who have these traits to get the job done?

Attitude Is Everything

Kenneth Hanifan, principal, Slater Hanifan Group, Inc. (Las Vegas, NV), a 119-person, multi-disciplined civil engineering/consulting firm, says that they seek “talent” – pure and simple.

“I like to see a person who is outgoing, dedicated and takes pride in what they do,” he says.

In addition, he says that the following are important too:

  • Effective and influential communicators
  • Leaders, not bosses
  • People who recognize not only their strengths, but also their weaknesses
  • A desire to grow and to coach others
  • Team players
  • The willingness to go that extra mile
  • The desire to be successful through the success of their fellow team members

10 Top Leadership Traits

According to Forbes.com these are the 10 top traits that strong leaders should possess:

  • Honesty
  • Ability to delegate
  • Communication
  • Sense of humor
  • Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Positive attitude
  • Creativity
  • Intuition
  • Ability to inspire

As you can see, many of these traits are what would be considered soft skills. Hard skills are easier to identify. Soft skills are a little trickier. This is where predictive talent analytics and behavioral interviewing technology can help.

For example, an executive assistant may type 100 words per minute (hard skill), but is inflexible and does not like to interact with people (soft skills). Or, an accountant may possess a host of certifications (hard skill) but has no communication skills (soft skills) when it comes to reporting those numbers.  The people who have a good mix of soft and hard skills are the one who will most likely excel at their jobs and in the overall company.

So, what do you look for in your leaders and how do you ensure that they have it?
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