After the past few years of turbulence, the U.S. economy is experiencing slow, yet steady growth. However, even amid a stable job market, there has been a shift in the expectations of how businesses should operate and engage with employees.

Now, more than ever, organizations need talented leaders who can overcome hurdles, embrace change, and seize emerging opportunities. Given the constantly evolving business landscape over the last year, which skills, competencies, and traits should organizations look for in potential leadership candidates?  


Effective leaders should be prepared to change strategy based on the environment and business conditions around them. Businesses are now seeking their next ‘new normal’ after the pandemic, and this may mean returning to the way things were in some respects, while keeping the developments that are working. At times like these, leaders need to assess the information at hand, make decisions, lead organizational change, and be prepared to adjust the plan strategically.  

When it comes to technology, leaders must stay on top of new developments, reviewing their merits and risks, implementing those that add value to the business. Building a culture of continuous improvement is critical, and good leaders should be open-minded and willing to try new technology advancements.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility  

Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives are continually raising the bar, and businesses need to build strategies in the face of incoming regulations, as well as public and employee sentiment. It is important that leaders embody curiosity, commitment, and awareness to keep initiatives an integral part of operations. As best practices constantly evolve and adapt, remaining a part of the global conversation is essential if they are going to be successful.

Vast differences in global legislation and regulation requires effective leaders to maintain a thorough understanding of their operations to guarantee compliance. Delegation and collaboration are crucial skills that all good leaders possess, and they’re undoubtedly valuable in determining team members who can add value in sustainability and DE&I.

Building Effective Partnerships  

Leaders should be able to effectively disseminate information to different departments that need to work together. From senior leadership to peers and junior employees, it’s important to adjust language, content, and details to ensure teams are collaborating across functions.

When it comes to business partnership and team management, establishing and maintaining trust is an important skill—this is key to building lasting relationships that add value and increase transparency across the organization.

Team Management and Development  

Employees are essential to running a successful business, which means their satisfaction, well-being, and training needs being met is imperative. Whether in-person or remotely, leaders should be regularly communicating with their teams, supporting employee growth, and identifying burnout and other potential issues.

To keep morale high, leaders need to make sure their teams are not being overloaded. Recognizing when employees are taking on too much and rewarding them for their effort requires strong oversight.  

Understand a leader’s approach for continuous professional development can tell a lot about how they manage people. They may put employees forward for formal courses and training, but on-the-job training is just as important—if not more so. Leaders should show a willingness to create opportunities or delegate certain tasks to give employees room to grow.  

Emotional Intelligence  

The ability to perceive, express, and regulate emotions is perhaps the most important skill for engaging and motivating colleagues. A lack of empathy in leadership can create a toxic environment where employees feel unsupported and undervalued. This in turn can lead to high turnover rates, low morale, and poor performance—all which impact business performance.  

Being aware of other's feelings is one thing, but leaders must also be aware of their own. This includes the ability to manage emotions in difficult situations and being able to accept responsibility for mistakes. No one is infallible, and a leader’s ability to exhibit humility, grace, and reflection reveals a high level of emotional maturity that can be the game-changer for an organization.  

If your organization is hiring for a leadership role, explore our services and start a conversation today.  

Talent Trends 2024: Understanding workplace expectations

Find out what talent insights our survey of almost 50,000 professionals across 37 markets has uncovered and what it means for employers.   

Download your report

Get in touch

Fill out our form and we will call you back to discuss your recruitment needs.

IMPORTANT: By submitting your email address and any other personal information to this website, you consent to such information being collected, held, used and disclosed in accordance with our PRIVACY POLICY and our website TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

Looking to Reduce Employee Turnover?

Key Insights to Reduce Turnover and Improve Hiring Strategies in 2023.

Don't Miss Out