While it is a popular belief that leaders are born and not made, a good leader isn’t only or always genetic. While around 30% of leadership qualities are hereditary, the rest are attribute to environmental and personality-linked factors, as per research. It is undeniable that industry or corporate leaders are a product of tireless commitment, and global thought leadership studies not only back this claim but also highlight the common core competencies of industry leaders.
These qualities set leaders up for the grand stage, making them renowned company leaders that attract success across verticals. Among the prominent corporate leaders in India are Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv, who says, “It’s not just about building a successful company, but about a legacy, you wish to create. Be a leader who contributes to the world, for which they are remembered even after 50 years.” This ideology shapes his unique leadership style, proving successful over the years. He’s won multiple awards and now helms the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as President for 2022-23.
When it comes to organizational success, there are certain must-have qualities for today’s corporate leaders. Also known as core competencies, they go far beyond the basic definition and the existence of a growth mindset. These core competencies ought to shine through for leadership to be seen as effective and coming from a place of innate mastery.
Emotional intelligence to build the foundation for effective leadership
Effective leadership is built on the foundations of a strong emotional core. Leaders with poor emotional regulation or lacking in this department will have obvious gaps. After all, emotional intelligence impacts all other competencies that make a good leader. In fact, this competency is broken down into 4 main parts, which are:
- Social awareness
- Relationship management
The first two focus on identifying and managing their weaknesses, strengths, and emotions. Leaders that aren’t self-aware can’t possibly hope to be convincingly empathetic. This trickles down to communication, decision-making, and their ability to work in high-stress situations efficiently. Emotional regulation is only possible if leaders have the required emotional intelligence to understand its place. The other two areas focus on emotionally connecting with others. It encompasses everything from interpersonal relationships to mentoring and delegation, all of which are crucial aspects of leadership.
Clear communication to share the organization’s vision and increase efficiency
Communication is an undeniable competency of successful leadership, and industry thought leaders are a prime example. Their ability to articulate their vision and inspire confidence and trust is a feat. This unique ability stems from the proactive effort to hone the skills to a point where the intent is unmistakable, making communication precise and leaving no room for doubt. A leader’s ability to communicate is paramount to efficiency because good communication is two-way. Leaders that communicate well listen too, ensuring clarity and authenticity, enabling organizational success.
Foresight and strategic perspective to withstand and adapt to unrelenting change
Corporate leaders that stand out today have:
- The ability to see the opportunities and trends that others cannot see
- The perspective that allows them to capitalize on these opportunities
Foresight is just one-half of the equation, and it takes a strategic perspective to drive action. This combination gives leaders the prowess to evolve with changing times and withstand turbulence. In fact, the lens through which they view trends and connect the dots stems from the deep knowledge of their industry. Naturally, these insights lend themselves to the long-term vision. From here, it comes down to forming a strategy, setting realistic goals, and executing for success.
Financial literacy and skills to have a meaningful impact on all verticals of operation
While there are dedicated teams for financial dealings, a leader is responsible for validating these. This demands knowledge about the organization’s financial performance, but the basics just won’t do. Financial literacy for high-performing financial leaders goes beyond the scope of the definition. These individuals need the required grasp on concepts to impact their business understanding and cater to the company’s macroeconomic mission.
While the X factor will always be the leader in question, their personality and innate ability, core competencies eansure that they are worthy of their title. Without these, leadership is akin to the blind leading the blind. Moreover, competencies trickle down to culture, and there’s no dearth of support for having a clear and defined company built on strong values. After all, culture is code wisdom.