Executives around the world name the top 10 leadership competencies

What makes an effective leader? While each individual boss has unique qualities that set him or her apart, there are several core competencies consistently exhibited by the best leaders.

Sunnie Giles, PhD, a certified executive coach, leadership development consultant, organizational scientist and president of the Quantum Leadership Group, designed a study to pinpoint these key leadership qualities.

In the first round of the study of 195 leaders in 15 countries across 30 global organizations, participants were asked to choose the 15 most important leadership competencies from a list of 74, she wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

Here are the top 10 most important leadership competencies, according to Dr. Giles' study.

  • Has high ethical and moral standards — indicated by 67 percent of respondents
  • Provides goals and objectives with loose guidelines/direction — 59 percent
  • Clearly communicates expectations — 56 percent
  • Has the flexibility to change opinions — 52 percent
  • Is committed to my ongoing training — 43 percent
  • Communicates often and openly — 42 percent
  • Is open to new ideas and approaches — 39 percent
  • Creates a feeling of succeeding and failing together — 38 percent
  • Helps me grow into a next-generation leader — 38 percent
  • Provides safety for trial and error — 37 percent

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