The profile of a successful leader in 2022
What does a leader need to do to achieve success in 2022?
First and foremost, a leader's role is to drive success by nurturing people to deliver progress. In fact, a strong company culture is more important now than ever, considering the vast number of people changing jobs in the aftermath of the pandemic.
And with 88% of job seekers considering a healthy company culture as a differentiator when deciding on a workplace, how leaders value their employees is now a critical success factor. But this doesn't just affect hiring; leadership and the culture they espouse impact profitability - a culture of highly skilled managers supporting employees increases revenue by 33%.
However, building a cohesive culture is just one of the priorities for a successful leader. So, why is leadership essential, and what are the main traits needed in today's highly competitive markets?
What is the difference between a company with and without strong leadership?
A leader that acts with intention and a strategy achieves much better results than a leader who doesn't. For example, leaders that create a safe environment for employees don't have to worry about the escalation of conflict and can trust management to deal with any issues without judgement.
On the other hand, an environment with limited to no recognition and transparency causes employees to spend time, energy and mental capacity on things outside of their primary role. This includes deciphering unclear communication, dealing with tension, and worrying about potential conflict and reprimand from colleagues and management. This stifles individual, team and company growth.
So, what kind of leader creates the right environment for growth?
The qualities of a successful leader
Every leader is unique, creating their own connection with their team. And while it's impossible to define a distinctive profile, research into successful leadership has clarified a few patterns. Approaching leadership with these principles provides a foundation for developing individual styles.
A team cannot function without clear communication. Misunderstandings cause delays and mistakes as well as a general disjointed atmosphere. Every team member should know what is expected of them and what to do if there are any issues.
This includes communication of company values, culture and overarching campaigns. A sense of unity is fostered through an understanding of the business, the team and the role of individuals. Leaders who practice clear communication see modelled behaviours across the organisation.
They foster strategic thinking, flexibility and innovation
Maintaining a flexible mindset and willingness to try new ideas is essential in this ever-changing environment, especially for companies where the need to be agile is paramount. As circumstances change, heads of companies open to flexibility can guide their teams and reduce disruption or delays. A leader in 2022 must encourage creativity and innovation by organising brainstorming sessions and promoting prototyping.
As technologies advance, a leader should also be willing to learn, constantly improve and inspire idea generation. Diversity of ideas results in better and more innovative ways of delivering value internally and to customers.
People-oriented with a strong focus on developing others
With leaders' pivotal roles in the business, the responsibility and pressure can make it hard to delegate. Developing trust with the team is essential for leaders to get the desired results; otherwise, they risk slowing progress. Therefore, developing people, coaching, and mentoring are crucial for situational leadership
One way to do this is to empower managers and employees to self-organise and execute as they see fit and make them accountable for the results. Trusting the team in this way accelerates the growth of individuals and the company.
Have a strong vision for the future
Leaders are best placed to set aspirational goals for the company's future when they have visibility of impact while employees deal with day-to-day tasks. Exceptional leaders take charge of the organisation's evolution. This requires a duality of skills as goals and visions are seen, including adapting to change and practising agility.
It's the leader's responsibility to maintain stability, drive growth, integrate new approaches and respond to market changes. Their vision influences how they navigate these responsibilities.
Build a solid company culture
Company culture is a buzzword at the moment. Its popularity is due to its importance. Whether a company culture is toxic or supportive has a significant influence on performance and, therefore, a knock-on effect on the business's profitability.
Ethics and morals underlie any company culture and working environment. What does the company stand for? What principles do individuals and businesses work by? This starts from the top and is demonstrated by a leader with staunch morals, intentional or otherwise.
It is undeniable that the leaders of today face many challenges. But they can also seize opportunities to use their position to empower their teams and achieve significant and sustainable success. They can set the tone of their team by demonstrating the values, behaviours and principles that govern their organisation and put them on the path to success.
The demand for strong company culture and a healthy working environment brings the importance of leadership to the forefront. It is a demand that leaders can fulfil with far-reaching benefits.