Of the buzz words we overuse in our work environment today, leadership may take the cake. We often hear the word sandwiched with other corporate buzz terms: servant leadership, laissez-faire leadership, transformational leadership and many more. It’s akin to saying a word on repeat until that word loses meaning.
Leadership, though, is a prized skill for good reason. As our work hustles to keep up with the pace of technology, leadership is the captain – the human element – that steers us in the right direction.
When you walked through your office doors this morning (or, if you’re lucky enough to work remotely, pulled your chair up to your desk), did you feel a sense of purpose? The intentions set for your day as you fulfill your part in a larger team mission. If so, you likely work for a strategic leader. Strategic leaders elevate leadership entirely. Whereas good leaders merely keep the ship afloat, strategic leaders point the sail, mind the wind…you get the idea. Below, review the top three character traits of any strategic leader.
Strategic Leaders Invest in Others
Altruistic leaders that look beyond themselves and invest in developing their employees see immeasurable gain over time. Not only does professional development and intentional servant leadership help develop employees, it positively affects the bottom line. According to the Association for Talent Development, companies that offer comprehensive training programs see a 24% higher profit margin than those who do not invest in training.
Strategic Leaders Promote Engagement
Engaged employees aren’t always the cheerleaders of the company. Rather, they are the employees that actively care about their job, feel a sense of connection to their work and are productive. In a recent Dale Carnegie survey, it was found that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. Today’s strategic leader is skilled at helping their employees connect the dots, sharing the impact of their work on the organization. In doing so, they create a sense of purpose for their employees.
Strategic Leaders Pave a Path Forward
When there are many moving parts in an initiative, a clear-headed and confident decision needs to be made. Strategic leaders assess the variables, use their broad knowledge and outline a path forward. Further, they aren’t afraid of mistakes. Failure-tolerant environments are created so that employees feel comfortable taking the risks necessary for innovation. Did something not work this time? No matter; it was a learning opportunity and a course correction was made.
Think strategic leadership only belongs in the C-suite? Think again. This type of leadership exists in all levels of the organization. If you’re interested in developing the strategic leader in you, start with the character traits above. Then, check out the new Strategic Leadership course from Davenport University’s IPEx.