According to a Harvard Business Review study on leadership, the most important leadership competency is having strong moral and ethical principles. This is followed by the leadership competency of clearly communicating goals and objectives without setting constraining guidelines. Many people assume that the leader is the ruler, but on the contrary, a leader should use his or her expertise to be of service to employees and the rest of the company. Generosity and empathy are two extremely important qualities that an effective leader must possess. In this Business Daily article, Tricia Sciortino, president of eaHELP, a provider of virtual assistant services, says, “It is lonely at the top, but that’s no excuse for not giving generously of your time, your experience and your encouragement to your team — and never expecting any of that in return. You are the person in the unique position of finding or uncovering strengths in people, leveraging them and celebrating them. If you’re going to lead, and lead well, you have to put it all out there every day, regardless of the outcome. Leaders who hold back will eventually hold their teams back.”
Leaders need to drive their company cultures by setting an example. While company cultures may be easier to foster in a smaller setting, it is still the duty of the CEO or President of a large corporation to ensure that each employee shares the same vision for the company. In her Forbes article titled Leadership is About Emotion, Meghan M. Biro, says, “This ability to reach people in a way that transcends the intellectual and rational is the mark of a great leader. They all have it. They inspire us. It’s a simple as that. And when we’re inspired we tap into our best selves and deliver amazing work.
Modern leaders can be thought of as captains of a ship. The ship is the company or business, with each employee representing the crew. It is the captain’s duty to navigate the ship and his crew through stormy water, similar to a CEO who needs to balance expectations and responsibilities while also delivering a clear direction for which the company should go.