About five years ago, I started asking my leadership coaching clients this question, What does it take to be a great leader? I decided if individuals really want to focus on improving their leadership skills, they need to have a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve. I interviewed more than 50 leaders at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and found three clear themes. Every individual hit on one theme, but many focused on all three.
Great leaders are:
Of these characteristics, I have learned most individuals want assistance in becoming more strategic, gaining more trust, and enhancing their communication. I wish I had a magic pill for making individuals more strategic. In reality, it takes work. I strongly believe that you cannot become strategic or empower others unless you cultivate your resilience first.
In February 2014, Roselinde Torres gave a TED talk on what it takes to be a great leader. She describes 25 years of observing truly great leaders at work, and she shares three simple but crucial questions leaders need to ask to thrive in the future:
Torres and I see common themes in a great leader. Leadership is about being open to change and being willing to pilot new strategies so we can manage our attention and enhance our productivity. Focusing on our resiliency leads to not only greater life and career satisfaction but also improved leadership skills.
Four years ago I developed my Benatti Resiliency Model, which is now a part of my brand and a key piece of my innovative coaching process. With this model, individuals grow as leaders by increasing their resilience:
In my newly launched class, Career ReCharge: Strategies for Peak Performance and Resilience, individuals engage in my process through lots of interaction, reflection, and actionable strategies. A key deliverable of the training class is that every participant leaves with a customized resiliency action plan.
I believe resiliency is a competency that organizations must foster if they want to be on the cutting edge of their industry. Innovation requires great leadership, and great leaders require resiliency.
As we all struggle to keep up with the demands of career, family, friends, and unexpected life challenges, the Benatti Resiliency Model is only going to become more important, whether our goals are to improve our leadership skills or proactively manage the challenges life presents.
What do you think makes a great leader? Share with us!
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