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Gone are the days when time on the job was enough to ensure upwardly mobile seniority. The skills that got you to where you are when you won your last promotion are not sufficient to push you to the next level. Within just a few years technology has dramatically compressed the steps needed for a company to grow and expand. As a result, companies now need leaders who can accomplish the same kinds of rapid, value-adding transformations.
4 Key Transformative Leadership Traits
Here are four of the most important leadership qualifications that companies and HR departments are looking for and promoting in 2015:
1. Career Development Expertise
How do you inspire transformational teamwork? What convincing incentive can you possibly give to your team members and employees, especially in this tight economy and challenging job market? The answer is that they want the same thing you do, accelerated career development.
Provide that and they will do anything you ask, giving you 110% day-in and day-out. Leadership that develops people’s careers is the ultimate incentive because it gives people what they really want. The major fringe benefit is that you will be the first to be promoted.
2. Outstanding Soft Skills
To do that you have to take diamonds in the rough and transform them into considerably more valuable assets. That requires much more than managerial experience or book learning. You must be able to empower people in ways that mean more to them than metrics. But you can!
With the right soft skills you can go beyond just temporarily motivating someone with a good pep talk. You can transform their mindset. You can help them earn a pivotal promotion that will positively transform their lives, and the lives of those they love who depend upon them. Imagine the kind of loyalty and respect that commands! How rewarding will it feel to you to be that kind of legacy-creating leader?
3. You Are a Visionary Leader
You have to have leadership vision that you can’t learn in an MBA program – the kind that separates you from your competitors as a true thought leader and results-oriented innovator. There is a saying from Eleanor Roosevelt that describes that kind of thinking. “Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.”
Average leaders are bogged down with their to-do lists, just trying to micro-manage as events swirl around them and become overwhelming. Great leaders – thought leaders – present teams with powerful ideas. They see the panorama, not just the files cluttering the desk. Because they possess leadership vision they don’t talk about problems, they talk about solutions. They don’t interpret difficulty as an obstacle. They see it as their golden opportunity.
4. You Take Strategic Risks
Getting there may require that you become a lot more active outside your familiar comfort zone, of course, which is what strategic risk is all about. Are you willing to let go of a deep-seeded fear, in order to experience total leadership transformation? No, it won’t happen over the weekend, but instead it will be a sustained and meaningful journey of self-discovery.
Einstein taught us that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but that it can change form. What is fear? Fear is mental and emotional negative energy. Learn techniques and strategies to replace it with self-knowledge and convert it into courage. Suddenly that same energy holding you back is transformed into positive, forward-propelling fuel.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified image master (CIM) and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand. Illustra Consulting Copyright © 2015, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS 1-800-267-3245, [email protected] This article may be reproduced only in it’s entirety, including the above bio.