According to a new report by Chad Brooks in the FOXBusiness.com Small Business Center:
“While they may be charged with leading their companies, business executives still have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to their leadership skills, a new study finds.
“Research from communications firm Ketchum revealed that just 34 percent of consumers worldwide view business chiefs as effective leaders and only 35 percent believe they are effective communicators.”
It’s interesting to point out that the title of this article was “Employees More Trusted Than Managers.”
Leadership should not be restricted to the top brass, but those at the top should certainly demonstrate the qualities of effective leadership. A leader is someone with the ability to attract willing followers- and perception of trust plays a big part in that ability.
In THINK Like a BLACK BELT I shared 3 essential qualities of Leadership:
Let’s focus on compassion…
From THINK Like a BLACK BELT:
“Compassion is the selfless quality of concern for others. Without compassion, the leader becomes a dictator.
“As a leader, power is your ability to act effectively to help others realize true success and happiness. The greatest leaders have always placed their concerns for the welfare of others in equal, if not superior priority, to their own benefit.
“The dictator crosses the line to where his own benefits outweigh those of the people who trust and follow him.”
To be effective, a leader must be perceived as placing the needs of followers as a top priority.
Granted, it’s not always easy to preserve this perception, especially when tough decisions have to be made. And- it’s not always fair to paint a leader as lacking compassion because he or she has to execute those tough decisions.
Perception is not usually based on an isolated event, unless the leader is disconnected from followers. That’s why the study Brooks cites shows a correlation between lack of communication skill and effective leadership.
Communication is a key expression of caring and compassion. If you care, and you want people to know you care- you’ve got to let them know. More important, they’ve got to know you’re listening- to their needs, concerns and desires.
Compassion is important internally, and externally as an expression of your brand.
Back to the article:
“‘In 2012, we found that leadership credibility hinged on a combination of open and transparent communication, decisive action and the personal presence of the leader,’ said Rod Cartwright, partner and director of Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice. ‘With the crisis of leadership and communication continuing to have a direct commercial impact, our 2013 study shows that this formula for establishing meaningful, authentic leadership remains as robust as ever and will only grow in importance over the coming decade.’”
The trust of consumers, employees and peers is earned. Compassion- an expression of sincere caring for the welfare of others, is essential in building that trust.
And that trust is the mark of an effective leader.
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