01 Feb 2024 | 5 minuti lettura
Being Leaders today

Pubblicato: 01 Feb 2024

Tempo lettura: 5 minuti

Categorie: CommunicationTrainingPeople

What are the words that come to your mind if you were asked to describe a leader? Probably some of you are thinking of words like: humbleness, leadership, passion, listening, motivation, trust and empathy.

In recent years, we have seen many changes from having direct control and interaction over the behaviour and work of one’s team to managing one’s team remotely. Managing a team remotely requires very different managerial skills from traditional ones, today’s leaders need to develop a new approach, and consequently require different skills from those acquired in the past.

In an article published in “Business & Leadership” from the article “What Makes a Leader?“, the top ten traits of great leaders are identified. Great leaders possess unique qualities and skills that enable them to inspire, motivate and guide others towards the achievement of shared goals. They are visionary and able to identify opportunities, address challenges and foster a positive work environment.

Essere leader oggi - Hospite srl

Below are some key characteristics and traits that define great leaders:

  • Vision: having a clear idea and long-term perspective on their organisation’s goals. They are able to communicate this effectively, bringing team members together towards a common goal and inspiring a sense of direction and focus
  • Decision-making: they are able to make difficult decisions quickly and confidently, considering risks and potential consequences and keeping the organisation’s interests in mind
  • Adaptability: the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, embrace new ideas and learn from experience. They are able to change direction when necessary, responding effectively to challenges and opportunities
  • Resilience: the strength in the face of difficulties or failure, keeping calm and focused on goals. They are able to recover quickly from adversity and inspire their teams to do the same
  • Empowerment: great leaders empower their team members, providing them with the tools, resources and support they need to achieve their goals. They encourage autonomy, delegate responsibility and recognise individual strengths and talents
  • Trust: they have confidence in their abilities, their decisions and their vision, conveying a sense of trust and security to the team
  • Emotional intelligence: as highlighted by Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in leadership. Great leaders possess self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation and social skills, all of which enable them to connect with others, manage their emotions and create a supportive work culture.
Essere leader oggi - Hospite srl

So let’s go into detail by looking at what Goleman, a leading expert on emotional intelligence, has identified as the five key components of emotional intelligence that contribute to the development of strong leadership:

  1. Self-awareness: the ability to recognise and understand one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values and motivations. Leaders with high self-awareness can make better decisions and manage their emotions effectively. It is important to recognise one’s own emotions and to be able to share strengths and weaknesses within a team in order to create a strong and diverse team.
  2. Self-regulation: the ability to control one’s emotions and impulses, remaining flexible and adaptable in the face of changes or challenges. Leaders who are able to self-regulate demonstrate a high level of emotional resilience and can create a positive and stable working environment. Understanding one’s own emotions and recognising the emotional state of one’s team can help build strong and lasting relationships
  3. Empathy: this does not just mean the ability to notice the emotions of others, but implies recognising, understanding and appreciating the feelings of others, all crucial for effective interpersonal relationships
  4. Motivation: the drive to achieve results over and above external factors such as money or status. Motivated leaders are committed to the organisation’s goals, demonstrate a strong work ethic and inspire others to do their best. It is important for a general manager to show passion for his or her company’s mission and desire to succeed, so as to inspire enthusiasm in others and thus create a productive and positive workforce
  5. Social skills: the ability to manage relationships, build networks and influence others effectively. Leaders with strong social skills can communicate their vision, resolve conflicts and persuade others to support their ideas and initiatives. It is important to cultivate relationships of trust, respect, loyalty and authentic dialogue.

In 2002, the founders of Google, fascinated by the climate of collaboration and creativity in universities, wondered what organisational structure would be most suitable for an innovative, flexible and fast-paced company. From this thought came the idea of developing an internal experiment (Project Oxygen).

The idea came to life in 2008, when Google ‘Big’ decided to question the role of managers in the company and experiment with a completely flattened organisation (without management roles). In parallel, several anonymous questionnaires were sent out to Google employees in order to gather as much data as possible on the topic of people management and leadership. In detail, questions such as “Do managers matter?” to “What would happen if every Google employee had an outstanding manager?” were asked.

The experiment lasted only a few months because employees quickly started to address the two founders directly, instead of proactively organising themselves. In fact, one of the most obvious behaviours of this managerial inability was that they were always inclined to turn to their superiors, even for trivial queries on work operations.

On the other hand, thanks to survey data, Google identified eight characteristics of a good leader:

  • He/She is a good coach, the one who can learn from problems
  • Empowers the team and does not micromanage, is present but gives his team the freedom it needs
  • Expresses interest and concern for the success and personal well-being of the team members. The team will not be afraid to take risks nor afraid to take comfort from a superior because the trust will be at a high level and mutual
  • He/She is productive and results-oriented, i.e. he can think in terms of results and makes the team united and goal-oriented
  • He/She is a good communicator, listens to his co-workers and shares important information
  • He/She helps with career development, supporting team members in achieving their professional goals
  • He/She has a clear vision and strategy for the team
  • He/She possesses key technical skills that help him/her lead the team.

So, after reading all this information we can deduce that being a good leader is not child’s play, a good leader today must have the right balance and open-mindedness, especially now that very different generations (in terms of needs, expectations, beliefs) live together in the same working environments.

Essere leader oggi - Hospite srl

Therefore, in order for all the characteristics we saw just now to really be the key to success for a leader and his or her team, it is essential that an “emotional safe” working environment is in place, in which mutual trust and collaboration generate a continuous exchange of ideas and enhance individual contribution.

In a leader, people also seek contact that involves emotional support, in a word, they seek empathy.

Daniel Goleman

Rita Rossi

Internship Marketing Department

Martina Dalla Vedova

Marketing Manager Hospite S.r.l.