One of the most overlooked quality traits in leadership is the ability to question everything. As professionals, many of us have the tendency to become complacent when we reach plateaus, but strong leaders know that success depends on constant progression. Those in leadership development roles should consider these attributes and skills shared by great leaders.
Are We There Yet?
Are you asking the tough questions? As a leader, you should be asking the immortal question of every child in the backseat on a family vacation: are we there yet? A good leader takes a holistic approach to their company, never settles, and always asks questions. Why are we spending resources there? Are we giving our customers everything they want? Why are we not exploring this market? Why is this process working so well? One of the key skills necessary for leadership development is the ability to step back and take a look at the big picture.
Staying Skeptical of Success
Asking why a company’s profit margins are declining is easy, but asking why some aspect of your company is working well requires leadership. Questioning even the most successful aspects of your business means that you might be able to learn and apply these successes to other aspects of your business. A great leader asks the questions that people haven’t thought to ask, or that they are possibly even afraid to ask.
Creating a Climate of Diversity
It may take a leader to build a company, but it takes a visionary to surround themselves with people who will challenge them to think. Some people in leadership development can be uncomfortable when their ideas are challenged, but dissenting ideas are one of the most sure-fire ways to foster innovation. Many individuals in leadership roles fail to lead because they refuse to listen to the people who work with or under them. Placing your finger on the pulse of a company is absolutely essential for success.
Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
Just because your business is doing well today doesn’t mean that you should stop planning. A great leader constantly wonders what is beyond the next mountain, and urges his employees on. One of the most important lessons I can impart to those in leadership development roles is to stay thirsty for innovation; staying professionally curious increases outward growth and inward development.