Business leaders need to wear a lot of hats. They need to keep projects on time and on budget, report on team performance and take directions from their direct reports and/or the company board, and manage their team all the while looking to help build success stories. It’s a lot to manage, and the consequences of under-managing are significant – a poor leader can result in anything from budget blowouts to your best talent leaving the company, and even worse, having legal action being taken against them and the company.
A leadership satisfaction survey can help to identify the qualities of your leaders that are well-developed, and also where there is room for improvement. So, with that in mind, what qualities should you be looking for in a leader?
High emotional intelligence. A good leader doesn’t just ensure that their employees are hitting their KPIs and monitor their performance at work. A good leader takes the time to understand their people, what makes them tick, their drives and ambitions. A good leader will aim to make the job appealing to the employee on their terms (it’s not always about income, either), and will notice and positively address issues that the employee has – personally or professionally – in such a way that the employee feels supported.
An awareness about the self. Just as it’s critical that a leader knows about their people, it’s equally important that they understand themselves, too. A great leader knows their own behavioural tendencies (strengths and weaknesses) and more importantly, the impact that these things have on their teams. A truly exceptional leader will understand how to mitigate unwanted tendencies when the team needs something else from them.
A great leader is a source of energy. They’ll be seen buzzing around the office, keen to get hands-on and involved wherever possible (while also understanding that they shouldn’t be micro-managing). They’ll always be available when someone on their team needs them, and will lead by example, representing the company’s ethos in how they conduct themselves both internally and with clients.
A good leader will set and maintain boundaries. Excessive work hours, where people feel like they need to compete with one another to be working the latest, can cause long-term harm to the business culture. Likewise, if people feel like they need to be checking and responding to emails on days off or the weekend, they’re going to eventually find their work to be a toxic imposition on their lives. Another sign of a business that doesn’t respect boundaries is one that encourages a hyper-competitiveness within teams, where “beating” your co-worker is rewarded. A negative cultural environment starts with the leadership, and a great leader will do the small things needed to so that this doesn’t happen.
Understanding whether your company’s leadership truly exhibits these four qualities starts with the leadership satisfaction survey. Once the business knows what its people truly think of their leaders, it will then be possible to start building the leadership culture around these pillars.
For more information on how a leadership satisfaction survey can identify your business’ great leaders, click here.