When it comes to running a business, one of the essential ingredients is having the right leaders to ensure that the business is running as efficiently as possible.
The two most important traits of a leader are competence and character. Without character, one is unlikely to inspire trust and respect in others. On the other hand, without competence, one will not be able to lead others in the right direction, which can have negative consequences for the company as a whole.
When searching for a leader, it is important to determine whether to employ a retained vs contingency search to find the right person with the right traits for the job.
For a leader to be competent requires a few things. One of these things is knowledge. Without knowledge, people are not able to achieve optimal performance, since they will likely make decisions that lead to negative outcomes. However, knowledge is a very general term, and the knowledge that a leader of a company should have is more specific. For starters, a leader should be knowledgeable about the day-to-day operations of a business and should understand concrete facts involved in the company’s operation.
Leaders should also have a more conceptual knowledge of the company’s long-term strategy. This type of knowledge is less concrete than factual knowledge, but it is essential insofar as it determines many of the tactical operations that are necessary for realizing the strategy. A clear grasp of the company’s strategy is necessary to determine the general trajectory of the individual projects that contribute to the realization of the company’s strategy, so leaders should have this knowledge in order to steer the company in the right direction.
In between strategic knowledge and tactical knowledge lies operational knowledge. This concerns the development of more short-term strategies and the necessary operations required to realize them.
All three forms of knowledge are important, and a leader should be knowledgeable in each of the three categories.
Perhaps the most important trait of a leader is his or her character. Character comprises one’s physical, mental, and emotional status.
For starters, someone with a well-developed mental character is intelligent and self-disciplined, has a strong will, and is capable of accurate judgment. These traits are of course necessary for a leader’s general competence when it comes to executing projects in an intelligent manner.
Emotional attributes include empathy, understanding, and self-control. These are some of the most important traits for a leader, as establishing a sense of care for the people being led is crucial in developing a positive work environment. Someone who is capable of empathizing with the people they lead helps inspire trust and motivation, as the people they are leading will feel that they are in good hands and that they can trust the leader.
Physical attributes include things like health and physical fitness. Physical attributes are important since they contribute to a person’s overall well-being. Someone who is physically fit is more likely to be mentally healthy, and mental health is important when it comes to being a leader.
Finding the Balance
Although both competence and character are necessary components of a good leader, character has a slight edge over competence. Without good character, a leader cannot inspire a positive work environment which is crucial to establishing an efficient business. A leader who is physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy can inspire a team of workers to work to their full potential. Good character motivates workers, which will lead them to work harder and smarter, therefore ensuring that the company thrives.
Competence is also essential, however, a leader must be competent in order to ensure that things are operating smoothly at all levels of operation. Look for candidates strong in both traits to lead your business.