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During the workweek, we may spend more time with our colleagues than we do our families. That’s a lot of time! Why not enjoy it? We know that our work life is a direct contributor to our overall happiness. What we might not realize is just how important our relationships are at work. Not just professional relationships but real, meaningful relationships built on support and trust.

This is an excerpt of "Technologies on the C-Suite Horizon," from AESC's report Leading Transformation: Shaping the C-Suite for Business. In the excerpt, AESC member executive recruiters share what they think makes an innovative business leader in today's Business 4.0 world.

 

Innovators Are Courageous

Whether supervising people or projects, leadership is not only time consuming but can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Navigating difficult situations, working with strong personalities or balancing life and work, being a leader isn’t just a 9-5 job. It requires well-honed skills (sometimes new ones), discernment, decisiveness and the ability to act under pressure.

 “Where giggers were once responding to market conditions, they are now creating the conditions, disrupting the traditional workforce as we know it.” Korn Ferry Institute

With a name appropriated from performance culture where musicians play a limited engagement, or a “gig,” the gig economy describes the expanding labor market comprised of contract workers, freelancers, crowdsourced workers, and others who are hired for limited engagements, as well as platform-based systems—think ride sharing, delivery, and property rentals. Independent work is growing with the internet, and expanding from developed to developing economies as more of the world becomes digitally connected.

Being a leader is hard. If you struggle in a position where you’re affecting change, making decisions, and managing employees, learn from those who are already doing it well. Instead of harping on yourself, or running away from a great position, use these executive leadership ideas to get better.

With each task you delegate, every employee you empower, and each moment of self-reflection, you’ll find yourself becoming the leader you always knew you could be.

 

Hone Your Emotional Intelligence

Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. When we know ourselves and what we are good at, we can work smarter.  So it is no surprise that those with strong self-awareness tend to do better professionally. They tend to perform better at work, get more promotions and lead more effectively.

Self-assessment tests are helpful in sharpening your awareness of your strengths, weaknesses, interests and personality preferences, among other important aspects of ‘you’, including personal styles such as communication or problem solving styles.

Why Use Assessments?

Leadership has been defined as the process by which an individual influences a group and directs the group toward a specific goal or mission. Great leaders lead by example, possess strong communication skills and have both the trust and respect of their employees. True leaders inspire people to live the vision, mission and values of their organization while simultaneously empowering people to make decisions and contribute ideas.

Although there is no exact formula for becoming a “great executive leader”, there are many common traits, strengths, and skills that the majority of great executive leaders possess. Learning how to acquire, develop and utilize these attributes can dramatically improve your career performance and help you to stand out among other executive candidates.

In order to set yourself apart and excel as an executive leader, you must be:executive leadership

A Strong Communicator

Within every industry, there is a select group of executives who always seem to be in the spotlight. These leaders regularly speak at industry events and are consistently interviewed in well-known industry publications. You may even be envious of their spotlight—but it’s not the spotlight they’re after, it’s the branding.

While these leaders, some may even call them thought leaders, possess a wide variety of characteristics that make them likeable and successful, they share one, significant strength: the ability to brand themselves.

When seeking advice on next generation talent, we decided the best place to start would be talking to our very own. AESC recently had a discussion with 30 of the top young professionals in executive search across the globe—from Warsaw to Washington D.C., São Paolo to Shanghai— and asked them what clients should do to develop next generation talent within their own organizations. Here’s what they said were the best ways to deliver your young leaders and our advice on how to implement it:

 

next generation talent

1. Focused Development on Next Generation Leaders