The more things change, the more they stay the same. In today’s ever changing world, leaders must have a number of new skills to be effective. But there are two leadership qualities that remain as important now as they did decades ago. They are:
Trust. There’s a reason why the Great Place to Work Institute and Fortune magazine rely heavily on the level of trust between managers and employees to produce the “100 Best Companies to Work For” list each year. Research shows that “trust between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces,” according to the institute. Trust is good business — companies with high levels of trust between managers and employees outperformed “the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.” Don’t overlook a strong relationship built on trust with your team members.
Integrity. A deep commitment to doing the right thing, regardless of the circumstances, is a hallmark of a great leader. Leaders with integrity are vocal about communicating their values and encouraging and rewarding members of their team who act with integrity. There are no shortage of examples of companies that in the last several years have leaders that acted without integrity — and their companies and employees have paid the price. Who isn’t familiar with the Volkswagen scandal or the Wells Fargo fake-account controversy? Acting with integrity couldn’t be more important today and helps leaders earn the respect of those they lead.