Empathy – I think gifted leaders will typically have a high EQ, which arguably over the course of time is a more important characteristic than IQ in today’s business environment. People and great talent make good companies. They also are a product of good leadership and gifted leaders with empathy and the ability to relate to employees at all levels and put hierarchy and egos aside will drive the best cultures.
“Walk the Talk” – Be prepared to tread the path shoulder to shoulder with the team or have walked it before. A good leader often leads by example and it is healthy and humbling to get into the weeds now and again. Respect is earned through demonstrating experience, knowledge and the ability to be able to impart that in a way that is inspiring.
Listen – As the saying goes, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listening is often over-looked and over-rated, especially in a world that demands instant responses. Know the moment to speak and engage and when it is more fruitful for others to do so. The loudest voice in the room isn’t necessarily the wisest and it is too easy to create a “Hippo” culture (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) as a leader. Don’t.