Executives reveal the most important leadership qualities they look for when hiring

If you’re pursuing the corner office, you need to have the ability to empower your employees.

A recent report released by Universum, a global research and advisory firm, reveals that 41% of executives expect future leaders to possess this quality. Universum’s 2020 Outlook survey is based on over 2,000 interviews with CEOs, HR professionals, employer branding managers, and marketing managers in 18 countries.

The next most important qualities, according to these executives, are: the ability to be a role model and being goal oriented.

Here’s the full list of what they expect from a future leader:

These findings are not too surprising. However, when Universum broke down the responses and compared those of CEOs and HR professionals, they saw a discrepancy in opinion (see chart below). “Nearly half (48%) of HR professionals say a leader should empower their employees, yet only 26% of CEOs feel the same way,” they reported. “A goal oriented leader is deemed important by CEOs (31%) but only 24% of HR professionals selected that option.”

Lesson learned: Know who you’re talking to and what qualities they value when interviewing or going after a promotion.

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