June 12, 2013 by Caroline Dobbins
What makes a good leader, charisma, decisiveness, understanding, business knowledge or the perfect combination of traits that is hard to pin point and even harder to come by? You also have to consider the question, is a person born to be a leader or can the best traits for leadership be taught and learned? Well I certainly don’t have the research to answer question the second question so we’ll stick with the traits of a leader.
I recently read an article in Inc Magazine titled “Between Venus and Mars: 7 Traits of True Leaders”. These types of articles always catch my eye for a couple of different reasons. First, I know that I’m going to work with a lot of different leaders in my career and I want to know what I want out of a great leader. Second, I want to hold a position of leadership in my career, whether it’s a leader on a small project, leading my own company or anything in between I know that I need to start working on my leadership skills now.
The article was in interesting read and one that I can’t sum up in one short post and left me thinking a lot of different things. Qualities of leaders twenty years ago, qualities of the leaders of today and the qualities of leaders twenty years from now. The article outlined that traits of leaders today are transitioning to more feminine traits such as empathy, vulnerability, humility, inclusiveness, generosity, balance and patience. What has created the shift, why has leadership changed?
I believe leadership has changed simply because our world has changed (obvious, I know). In an ever connected world, surrounded by computers that are smarter than we are and can hold in the palm of our hands has left individuals looking for better relationships with the people they collaborate with each and every day. We live in a world that is beginning to shift from a ‘me me me’ mindset to one that is more of let’s do what’s best for the organization, the group, the individual and the world we live in.
As I continue through my career and begin to take larger and larger leadership roles I know I possess the traits shared in the article but those aren’t the only traits and skills that are important. Finding your personal leadership formula for your organization and your team is a true art and one that I don’t think anyone will actually ever be able to solve.