What qualities make a great leader?
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What qualities make a great leader? This is an evergreen topic examined regularly in the media. Some traits are obvious (strategic thinking, open communications, confidence) while others are less so (sense of humor, integrity, a long-term view).
Most recently there was an article on the HBR Blog Network, “The Seven Skills You Need to Thrive in the C-Suite,” with a list of its own. You can debate the merits of each skill but what got me thinking was not the list itself but, rather, this portion:
“We also asked … how the most highly prized C-level skills have changed over time and what further change they foresee. The first clear theme that emerged is the importance of a global outlook and meaningful international experience. Already the foremost emerging skill over the past decade, a global orientation is apt to become even more dominant going forward.”
I can certainly attest that having a global perspective is more important than ever for leaders and aspirational executives. My firm is part of InterSearch Worldwide, leading global executive search organization with a network of offices in more than 50 countries. We recently held our annual conference in India and one of the key discussion topics was how we work together on cross-border searches to identify for our clients the best candidates, particularly with a global outlook and international experience. This type of leader will continue to be in high demand.
I would be interested in what others think on this subject.