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Whether you seek to advance at work, start your own business, or carry out social change, the 4Cs remain difficult qualities to cultivate, inside or outside of the business world.
While old-school philosophy suggests that strategic business leaders are simply born with leadership qualities in them, we believe that these skills are not necessarily innate and must be honed among entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders alike. In this article, we will talk about how to cultivate and hone these great leadership qualities and be the strategic business leader you aspire to be.
The most important single factor influencing great leaders is competence. At its core, competence means that you have the ability to do something well. You are capable of performing a task or job successfully or effectively.
But on a deeper level, competence is not about what you can do, but what you actually accomplish by what you do. The two foundational attributes of a competent leader are:
a) Observable and measurable knowledge, skills and abilities, and;
b) Personal attributes that contribute to enhanced employee performance and ultimately result in organisational success.
Combined together, these attributes are all about creating a strategic learning environment while reinforcing organisational values and helping employees grow and develop through goal setting, opportunities and recognition.
Character is fundamental to effective leadership because good character in leadership can transcend everyday organisational imperatives and outcomes. And great character in leadership helps to pave the way for organisational success in the business world.
It is suggested that if you score yourself higher than the behavioural standards of “an average good person”, you are more likely to become a strategic business leader who commands the respect of peers and followers.
Alternatively, a good way to start and develop character building is by enhancing what we think are the three important key attributes of great character – respectfulness, consistency and integrity.
This triad will assist in encouraging a healthy workplace, perpetuating a strong culture and building trust within an organisation.
The idea of creativity conjures an image of looking at things in new ways and solving problems by seeing things others don’t. But there are many other traits of creative leaders who are impactfully changing our world today such as:
a) New ways of problem solving
b) Finding unlikely or uncommon perspectives and
c) Embracing positive aspects of unpopular viewpoints.
The truth is, creative leaders are essential to help organisations survive, grow and thrive, especially in today’s fast-changing market.
By constantly looking at problems from new perspectives through creative approaches, these leaders can innovate or create new (and perhaps previously unheard-of solutions), thus opening up new opportunities for problem solving and growth that conventional methods would not allow for. This, in turn , also helps inspire teams to be more creative in achieving their operational organisational goals.
Look beneath the personality of a strategic business leader, and you will find charisma. The traits that make up a charismatic leader are, for the most part, confidence, determination and vision. These traits are what cause your peers and team members to want to follow you to death, metaphorically speaking.
Confidence, specifically, is what accounts most for a charismatic leader. Through confidence, you create a certain aura, making your peers and followers feel that you can be relied upon to make rational and logical decisions. As a result, your capacity to influence others often increases. This will, eventually, inspire and propel people to action, thus initiating a significant level of change in any organisation.
In summary, becoming a skilful strategic business leader is not that hard because a strategic business leader often has the 4Cs and they are qualities that are easy to identify and develop.
The next question for thought is this: How do you measure yourself against these four qualities? All the best in becoming a strategic business leader!