There are reports that Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, is not known for her charisma. The press says she rarely smiles and has yet to deliver a knockout speech.
Yet, according to surveys, she is the most popular political leader in Europe. She is ranked the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine for the fourth year in a row (Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton didn’t even make it to the top 30).
She even has a Barbie doll modeled on her.
So I wonder if there is a general lesson here for the 21st century leader to consider. While charisma is an important attribute for a leader to have, there are many more leadership competencies that are just as critical.
What are some of the leadership competencies that world leaders need in order to inspire confidence?
- They need to be an effective strategic thinker
- They need to analyse situations clearly and logically
- They should focus unwaveringly on clear goals
- They should develop confidence and trust in others
- They need to set high standards and lead by example
These are just a few leadership skills that are needed in today’s highly dynamic environment.
So what happens when leadership skills don’t come naturally even to the most passionate among us? There are easy to use leadership development tools available to help us understand where the problems are and what skills require more focus or development.
We have found that the Linking Leader Profile to be a useful tool for anyone wishing to develop their leadership potential. The Profile gives managers, leaders and team members a chance to review how well they are performing on up to 13 critical leadership skills (including many of the leadership skills listed above).
A 21st century leader needs to be a Linking leader. A good starting point for evaluating how satisfied you are with your own Linking Skills is by completing the online Linking with Others personal development module which is available for free this month.