When companies search for a leader, they might not be looking at the same candidate pool as they would have just a few years ago. Business leaders, hired or promoted to company presidents and CEOs, often had many similarities. They were strong, dynamic, powerful, competitive, and maybe even ego-driven, forceful, unyielding, or ruthless.

That is starting to change. Companies are now seeking out leaders who have additional personality traits to go along with their strong, dynamic leadership skills. They are looking for someone whom they can trust, their employees can trust, and their clients can trust.

I recently read an article (see link at bottom of blog) by Charles Green in Forbes that detailed this transition in the business world. He said this change isn’t just a fad, but, instead, it represents a solid shift in how leaders are viewed and hired.

And, the reason is that the old rules of business no longer work as well. The business world has shifted from vertical to horizontal. Instead of following a leader’s direction blindly in a world where one leader’s opinion is all that counts, now collaboration is the key. The lowliest employee in the company could have the best idea, or the inexperienced client might just well know the best direction for an initiative or product as opposed to the experienced experts.

Green writes that the ability to find a leader who can be trusted is vitally important because it allows countless relationships to grow and flourish. “The key success factor becomes the ability to persuade someone over whom you have no power to collaborate with you in pursuit of a common mission,” he wrote.

The new leaders now will be:

  • Skilled at trusting
  • Good at collaboration
  • Operating with principle
  • More intrinsically than extrinsically motivated
  • Skilled at the art and science of trust

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