25 February 2022

7 essential skills of exceptional leaders

By Stéphane Vincent

Firme de recrutement gestionnaires

At Glasford International Canada, a recruitment firm specializing in hiring top-level managers, our associates have many years of experience managing manufacturing operations. They understand P&L responsibilities better than anyone else, and are pleased to share their advice in this article for candidates looking to perform in a director, manager or team leader role.

Below, our experts list the leadership skills they believe are essential to building beneficial professional relationships.


What makes a good leader?

The challenges of the last few years have transformed the world of work and have confirmed that effective leadership is an indispensable asset for any company. To stand out, a leader must be able to:


1. Stimulate idea sharing between members of all teams  

Employees appreciate inclusive workplaces. Our recent client survey reveals the most popular response received to the question “What will your board and leadership implement to address diversity and inclusion in the workplace?” At 39%, respondents indicated “Proactively hiring for diversity and building a multigenerational workforce.”


2. Maintain a work/life balance

Never before have personal and professional lives been so closely intertwined. Teleworking is now much more prevalent, and it is incumbent upon managers to set the boundaries and ensure a right to disconnect for all employees. Building a climate of respect within the company is an essential part of their role.


3. Rally their team with contagious enthusiasm  

Effective managers have a natural leadership style that enables them to rally the troops by motivating them to perform effectively together. Each person is aware of the importance of his or her contribution to the collective success, feels valued and wants to be involved in the success of projects.


4.  Provide colleagues with the opportunity to get involved and take the initiative

Being in a leadership position requires assigning responsibility and decision-making authority to team members. Talented leaders know how to delegate and channel their expertise into managing high-level mandates, thereby fostering the professional growth of their colleagues. As Bill Gates put it, “Leaders are those who empower others to act.”


5. Base their actions in a global strategic vision

Leading a department or a team requires the ability to align the organization of daily mandates with the overall mission of the company. In other words, the manager guides the teams so that they can easily navigate between the objectives to be achieved and the strategies to be applied.


6. Put all situations in perspective

Leaders put every situation (even major mistakes) into perspective. By maintaining the big picture and focusing on clear objectives, they concentrate on what’s important and not on less significant details.


7. Adapt to the new realities of the job market  

The pandemic gave employees the chance to reflect upon their needs, expectations and career goals. General managers, managers and team leaders must be sensitive to this reality, in particular by being more flexible, responsive and proactive.

For example, if an executive with potential aspires to more responsibility or a change in position, it is important to pay attention to this request. To retain talent, managers must accommodate employees, offer support and create a pleasant work environment.

According to our recent survey of business leaders, here are the top 3 responses given to the question “What will be your strategy to retain your top talent?” Develop new work/life balance policies or initiatives (28%); implement new training programs to stimulate employee development (28%) and facilitate internal mobility within the company and access to key positions (23%).


The agility principle

One common element among the key qualities of leaders is agility. In a management context, agility is the ability to adapt quickly and effectively to change. It is the ability to solve problems creatively, resolve conflicts tactfully, and respond to demanding customer requests with flair.

Above all, the leader of today knows how to renew himself to be the leader of tomorrow. He or she evolves according to the realities of the work world, according to the needs of clients and according to the synergy of his or her teams (which are not static).

Michael Jordan put it well when he said that the notion of agility is important to succeed as a team leader: “Earn your leadership every day!”


Executive search firm

Glasford International Canada offers high-level management recruitment services to companies, industries and organizations. You can count on the strength of our network of 400 recruiters, who have a bank of qualified and experienced candidates in Canada and in over 25 countries!

Contact us today at info@glasford.com to leave us your contact information and explain your CEO recruitment or senior executive search needs!

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