Maxwell Stephens

7 Traits of a Modern Leader

Traits of a leader

The business world is challenging, and the traits that a modern leader needed to succeed in the past often no longer cut it. We are experiencing huge technological shifts such as the rise of big data, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, and the leaders of today must ride the waves of disruptive change if they don’t want to fail. These are our 7 top traits of the modern leader:


  • They embrace change

Today’s leader does not fear change, they do not get left behind – in fact they embrace disruptive change. They understand that there will be new entrants into the marketplace, and they take that threat, learn from it, and turn it into an opportunity.


  • They keep learning

Steve Jobs is a brilliant example of a modern leader, who led Apple to huge success. He was quoted as saying: ‘Learn continually – there’s always one more thing to learn.’ Along with fast and continuous change, comes the need to keep learning.


  • Be culture congruent

We talk a lot about the importance of organisational culture to bind together employees with each other and to a common strategy. A modern leader is integral to the production and sustainment of that culture. They live and breathe the values and mind-set they want every other employee to embody – right from the senior management team to the reception staff.


  • They are resilient

The business environment changed exponentially after the global economic crisis of 2007/2008. A lot of businesses did not survive, and the harsh conditions changed the face of the successful business leader. Only the most resilient were able to guide the organisation to safety through the most turbulent of times. The aftermath is still felt some 10 years on and the leaders who have thrived already were, or have become emotionally, physically, and intellectually resilient.


  • They challenge the status quo

They are innovators, they are trend setters, and they do not wait for someone else to take the lead so that they can follow. They challenge the present scenario and don’t accept that the way that things have always been done can’t be improved upon.


  • They are authentic

The successful modern day leader is not a fake or a phoney. They say what they believe, and they act on it honestly and to the best of their ability. They are real, truthful, and believable.


  • They are courageous

They understand that success will not come to them. They need to push boundaries, be brave, and take calculated risks. Sometimes they might feel a level of fear and trepidation, but they are courageous, and will push the organisation forward.


In Summary


Steve Jobs said that it is better to be a pirate than to join the navy. He had a lot of very insightful thoughts about how to be a great leader. A successful leader recognises the environment in which they are operating, they act accordingly, and they drive the culture forward courageously.

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