Strategic Leadership Resources Identifies Traits Necessary for Developing Leadership Strength

Share Article

The unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has led to rampant speculation about who will succeed him as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Like millions of others around the world, the team at Strategic Leadership Resources will be following the selection process, but their interest may be a little more focused, as they consider whether candidates have the traits they’ve identified as necessary for developing leadership strength.

At the heart of every successful business are leaders who’ve not only mastered their chosen field of endeavor, but have developed the management/communications skills necessary to truly inspire a team.

The unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has led to rampant speculation about who will succeed him as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Like millions of others around the world, the team at Strategic Leadership Resources will be following the selection process, but their interest may be a little more focused, as they consider whether candidates have the traits they’ve identified as necessary for developing leadership strength.

“At the heart of every successful business—or organization like the church—are leaders who’ve not only mastered their chosen field of endeavor, but have developed the management/communications skills necessary to truly inspire a team,” said Andrea Zintz, Ph.D., president of Strategic Leadership Resources. “What qualities do these individuals have that separate them from ‘the masses’? Are they inborn or cultivated through hard work? By studying the traits that are common to developing leadership strength, those questions are answered.”

Zintz notes that the foundation for developing leadership strength is earning trust. Strong leaders are reliable; other people can count on them and feel secure in following their directives. They also have integrity, are accountable and are true to their word.

Zintz has identified four specific attributes she finds critical to developing leadership strength:

  •     Building and sustaining relationships. No one operates in a vacuum, so people who are going to be successful in leadership roles must be good relationship builders. Strong leaders have the ability to listen with empathy and connect with what’s in colleagues’ hearts and minds. They communicate in an empowering way that helps align people behind a common purpose or objective. They’re also self-aware—having a strong emotional intelligence quotient—and they appropriately acknowledge the contributions made by those around them.
  •     Forming partnerships. Taking relationship-building one step farther, strong leaders are able to develop strategic alliances, perhaps even across boundaries, i.e., finance and IT, R&D and HR, etc. They know who the key stakeholders are and understand whose inclusion will be most valuable. They’re also collaborative, interested in giving and receiving input, and approachable—not intimidating, but responsive.
  •     Having presence. This can easily be confused with being charismatic, but having presence goes a bit deeper than that, encompassing everything from expression, tone and demeanor to style and dress. Strong leaders have a warm and welcoming way about them, and an energy that’s contagious. They’re self-confident, know the business, support their assertions with evidence, and aren’t afraid to be decisive.
  •     Walking their talk. Think of this as being true to your word on steroids. Strong leaders are congruent in their communications; they have a stand and a place they’re going, and they share it with those to whom it matters most. They’re good with inquiries and aren’t afraid to ask provocative, on-point questions that encourage people to get to their best new thoughts and own their answers.

“Fine-tuning these traits leads to developing leadership strength,” Zintz said. “Equally important is self-knowledge—since strong leaders are able to leverage their strengths to give back by coaching and developing others, perhaps serving as a mentor, and also making a difference outside the business in the greater community.”

About Strategic Leadership Resources
Strategic Leadership Resources is a leadership development firm made up of professionals who know what it’s like to lead organizations. Our counsel comes from years of field experience and best practices. We offer executive coaching, leadership alignment facilitation, and mentoring programs. Although we have developed a number of unique and proprietary approaches and tools, we are not bound by any single methodology or way of working. To learn about more about SLR, visit http://www.strategicleadershipresources.com/

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Andrea Zintz, Ph.D.
Follow us on
Visit website