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Which leadership traits do employers value the most?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Everyone has their own opinion of what makes a good leader, but a survey of CFO’s agrees on a few top qualities. Do you hold the leadership qualities that they value?

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Leader of the pack

How many times in job interviews have you made the claim that you’re a “good leader”? Even if this a true trait of yours, what exactly does it mean to be a good leader?

Strong leadership is one of the top characteristics that an employer looks for in an employee. However, leadership is something of an umbrella term where there are so many components that fall under it.

The top three

Kristen Wong reported the top traits that employers value in a potential candidate. These traits are based on survey results from thousands of CFOs who chose their top three traits.

The surveys were given by Robert Half, a management resource group. The results found that the top traits are: integrity (46 percent), fairness (45 percent), collaborative mindset (39 percent), transparency (33 percent), accessibility (33 percent), strategic mindset (32 percent), competitiveness (30 percent), and decisiveness (22 percent).

Reasoning behind the values

A press release about the survey stated: “When it comes to the people who lead them, professionals place a greater emphasis on personal qualities than a hard-driving business edge. This feeling is consistent with the C-suite, according to the research. CFOs most commonly reported they value integrity in business leaders.”

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“Decisiveness and competitiveness were the least-cited traits among financial executives.”

Employees’ preferences were also taken into consideration with the survey. They agreed with the CFOs that integrity is the most important leadership quality, but valued decisiveness more than the CFOs, with 37 percent saying that it was a top trait.

What do you value?

For something like this, it is always good to check in with yourself and ask what you value in a leader.

Once you’ve determined the traits you deem important, you should then ask yourself if you hold those qualities.

After speaking with a few management professionals, other agreed-upon characteristics of a strong leader include: a grasp of the company’s goals and objectives, ability to fit within the company culture, a personality fit with their department and those who report to them, strong communication skills, appropriate job skills, and sincerity.

When going into your next job interview, it may beneficial to ask the employer what it is that they value in a leader. This will give you good insight into whether or not you hold those qualities and can fit in with the company.


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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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