Leadership traits are essential qualities that define effective leaders in the workplace. Whether you're managing a team, a department, or an entire company, these are the traits that will allow you to guide people and projects to success. The most important leadership qualities involve soft skills rather than technical knowledge or industry-specific experience, and thus are critical for almost all leading roles.
Leadership is a sophisticated art, and it is difficult to define precisely what makes a person a leader, but there are some common traits that we can usually identify in successful leaders.
Psychologists Stoger Deere identified 10 traits that all leaders should possess: (1) Intelligence; (2) a strong sense of responsibility and a commitment to completing tasks; (3) persistence in the pursuit of goals; (4)initiative and originality; (5) self-confidence; (6) the ability to cooperate with others; (7) willingness to bear the consequences of decisions and actions; (8) ability to overcome setbacks; (9) social skills and the ability to influence the behavior of others; and (10) the ability to handle matters.
However, leadership traits are difficult to label because leadership itself is present in our lives, making it difficult to identify and define what is part of these skills. Modern Western researchers have identified ten leadership characteristics:
１.不要否认你的直觉；2. 寻求聪明的帮助。3. 保持好奇心。4. 征求对立的观点。5. 沟通就是倾听6. 保持自信，7. 做仆人式领导，8. 有诚信，9. 果断，10. 充满激情。
1. Don't deny your intuition; 2. Seek smart help; 3. Stay curious; 4. Solicit opposing viewpoints; 5. Be a good listener when communicating; 6. Stay confident；7. Be a leader who serves others; 8. Have integrity; 9. Show decisiveness; and 10. Show passion.
In their book Leadership, American scholars James Scuzes and Barry Posner published the results of decades of research. It shows the characteristics and qualities of leaders that people are willing to follow. Six of the top-ranking traits are being honest, competent, motivating, forward-thinking, intelligent, and broad-minded.
A survey of nearly 200 managers from different industries in China conducted by a Chinese organization in the first half of 2020 revealed that the top six leadership traits are being open-minded, consistent in words and deeds, responsible, visionary, assertive, and competent. These results differ slightly from the conclusions reached by American experts.
As business society shifts from the industrial age to the age of innovation, sustainability is becoming the key to business success. Especially now, as the global pandemic brings great uncertainty, business managers must face a whole new test.
Throughout their entire careers, few executives have ever faced a challenge as severe and far-reaching as the coronavirus pandemic. This outbreak marks a turning point in the process of leaders building a new kind of business environment, and a better, truly sustainable world with a circular economy as its guiding principle.
The first trait is multi-layered system thinking. Leaders not only need to understand their own organizational systems, but to also take the interactions between economic, social and environmental systems into account.
The second trait is stakeholder participation. When facing stakeholders such as employees, customers, governments, investors and communities, the attitude should not be one of management but of participationand willingness to adopt their views.
The third trait is disruptive innovation. Leaders in sustainability should have a willingness to pushdisruptive innovation in their existing businesses and industries, and they are able to move beyond bureaucracy to drive innovation and find new paths to growth, avoiding the trade-off between profitability and sustainability as much as possible.
The fourth trait is long-term commitment. Leaders in sustainability not only have a long-term mindset, but also set bold goals and rigorously drive consistent actions and investments across organizations to achieve those goals. They are able to persevere in the face of setbacks, and are even willing to make decisions that might not bepopular with short-term stakeholders.
It is believed that measures against COVID-19 pandemic have been more effective in places where women are leaders. For example, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have done a particularly good job in the fight against the pandemic.
Sarah Beale, CEO of the Construction Industry Training Board, agrees that there is a "female practice manual" on leadership that promotes empathy.
If done right, showing vulnerability can be a strength,and female leaders tend to open up more readily than their male counterparts. The more you show people your world, the more they can empathize with you and the more they will support you.
This idea of "she-leadership" encompasses three leadership qualities: comprehensiveness, empathy, and resilience. This means a more holistic and balanced work style, more empathy and attention to interpersonal interaction and team harmony, and greater stress tolerance and resilience. These traits are found in leaders of both genders, but tend to be more prominent in women.
Wang Yuxiao, CEO of the online medical consultation platform Chunyu Doctor, is a leader I admire.
On the 28th day of the 12th lunar month in 2020(January 2020), looking at data of suspected cases of a mysterious illness that kept popping up in Wuhan, Wang Yuxiao, CEO of the online medical consultation platform Chunyu Doctor (“chunyu” means spring rain), keenly grasped the unusual nature of this outbreak, and within two days the Chunyu volunteer clinic program had been launched. Main tasks included operating doctors’practices, linking 1,200 companies to participate in the volunteer clinic alliance, reviewing and reporting cooperation with public welfare funds, coordinating the medical resources of more than 100 health stations, and giving doctors better commercial insurance coverage. Chunyu has now mobilized more than 19,000 doctors nationwide in China and completed a total of more than 2.4 million free medical consultations. After the death of Dr. Zhang Rui, the founder of Chunyu, Wang Yuxiao took over responsibilities. Wang Yuxiao had previously served as a CCTV reporter, and she subsequently went on to work in a Chinese aerospace organization and other industries. Six months after taking over as CEO of Chunyu Doctor, Wang Yuxiao led her team in taking on the challenges posed by the pandemic. She manages female employees who play a role similar to that of lubricant and buffers, using their female strength to make the gears of society turn faster and better, creating a better world. In her opinion, the resulting emotional damage from this can be severe, but because it's hidden we often don't see it. The percentage of users of Chunyu Doctor who are women is significantly higher than the percentage of male users, which reflects the fact that many female users are the gatekeepers to the health of their whole families. They seek consultations for their children, husband, and parents as well as themselves, because their entire families need this. This leadership, both tangible and intangible, is hugely important. Psychological resilience is the ability of an individual to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threat, and other major life stresses. Female handlers and executives have showed higher levels of psychological resilience than men of the same rank, although they also tend to show a higher propensity for anxiety and depression during the pandemic.
Wang Yuxiao's traits are fully compatible with those of a leader.
2. Empathy. Seek to understand how others feel about a situation.
3. Conscious action. Good combination of self-awareness and general awareness enables you to make deliberate, wise actions.
4. Give your time to others, actively seek ways to build relationships with others, and develop a sense of community.
5. Empower others, hire competent people, and lead the way for them. It's important to recognize that everyone gathers for a reason.
6. Remove barriers and identify the resources others need to succeed. Find organizational and environmental barriers that can be removed to help the team.
7. Serve others by treating employees as trusted stewards and helping them become better, which will also help teams achieve goals.
8. 谦卑助人 寻求说服他人，而不是强迫遵从。有效地在团队和个人之间建立共识。
8. Humbly help others. Seek to convince rather than force others. Effectively build consensus among teams and individuals.
9. 用诚信互动 散发开放和真实性。要知道，如何实现结果比结果本身重要甚至更重要。
9. Interact with integrity. Show openness and authenticity. After all, how results are achieved is even more important than the results themselves.
10. Persevere, no matter how difficult or frustrating things may be. Stay calm. Actively look for ways to encourage others.
Being a leader today not only requires willingness to be a servant, but also to take the initiative (action); make vows about one's own goals (dreams) and pursue them persistently, communicate patiently (even if that means one person at a time) instead of forcing others to act together; listen to, understand, and accept different opinions (be open to confusion); identify priorities and goals in different stages(even if only one step is taken at a time); constantly examine oneself (recognizing one's own abilities and not craving power); develop intuition and vision; and of course, continuously improve one’s morality and character (sincerity, kindness, love, and friendship).
To rebuild a just, equitable, and inclusive global economy in the wake of the pandemic, we need more female leaders. Throughout this crisis, women have helped ensure the functioning of entire communities. Females account for the majority of front-line medical workers, and they have kept health systems running while bravely taking on the responsibilities of caring for sick family members and out-of-school children at home. They provide shelters for women who are victims of violence and travel over mountains to distribute contraceptives. In short, women themselves have provided vivid and unforgettable proof of their leadership many times.
女性领导人特质带来多元化的领导技能。联合国妇女署以及英国研究人员苏普里亚·加里奇帕蒂（Supriya Garikipati）和乌玛·坎巴汉帕蒂（Uma Kambhampati）称，事实证明，女性领导者应对新冠肺炎疫情的措施非常有效，这主要得益于女性领导者的协作型和集体型领导风格，以及其在涉及生命损失时较高的风险规避意识。
Female leadership traits bring diverse leadership skills. According to UN Women and British researchers Supriya Garikipati and Uma Kambhampati, women leaders' responses to COVID-19 outbreak have proven to be highly effective, largely due to their collaborative and collegial leadership styles and their higher awareness of risk avoidance when it comes to loss of life.
At present, COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, and the characteristics of resilient leaders will determine how far companies can go.
For a resilient leader, the most important responsibility now is to continue to help employees develop, especially since many of them are exhausted and stressed by the pandemic, and help businesses grow to consistently add value to all stakeholders. Also, leaders need to assist society to respond better to emerging threats, and toenhance leadership for the journey ahead.
One of the five attributes that Deloitte’s resilient leaders should possess is "speediness”, which means focusing on being bold, decisive, and resolute rather than trying to be perfect. The “capacity to make critical decisions under conditions of extreme uncertainty” is the core foundation of emotional resilience, and having strong emotional resilience is an essential inherent part for being a CEO.
As a leader, one needs to place emphasis on and understand the many challenges that employees face today, many of which will persist over time. Dialogue is at the heart of taking bold and decisive leadership actions, and is a vital tool for consistently securing employee development in the current challenging climate. This dialogue allows for the positive delivery of truthful and accurate information during a crisis, while also receiving effective feedback in real time. To do this, leaders need to have extraordinary courage to rise to the occasion and get out of difficult situations such as business closures, layoffs, and mandatory furloughs, rather than ignoring difficulties and just letting things happen. Make decisions and act quickly, even when challenged. Face the facts head-on and articulate the reasons for a decision, while actively addressing the associated concerns. In particular, listen to employees even if that may be upsetting. This not only helps leaders to make more informed decisions, it is also necessary for the continued growth of a business.
Those leadership skills that help organizations bounce back are now important leadership traits.
For companies with high rates of turnover, leaders who have the ability to empower, lead virtual teams and show digital acumen can help an organization bounce back quickly after an employee leaves. Some roles may be irreplaceable, and companies will always seize the opportunity to automate as much as possible. But even as increased automation continues to be a trend, leaders need to be able to delegate efficiently in order to manage the ongoing operation of existing work and resources.
In the Global Leadership Outlook 2021 research, it was discovered that staff turnover was higher in most organizations than it was a year ago. Both the way people work and the workplace environment have changed dramatically as a result of the pandemic. And as the workplace becomes more flexible and employees have more options, the turnover rate will continue to fluctuate and potentially cause shortages of talent; a shortage of leaders at any level in the workplace can have a huge impact on a company. This means that in 2022, leadership traits that focus on work flexibility,growth opportunities, and building a diverse and inclusive culture are particularly crucial.
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