In keeping with today’s fast-changing times, adaptability and the ability to deal with uncertainties have emerged as the top two leadership traits, according to a survey.
What determines success for leaders?
Conducted by Executive Access (India) exclusively for TOI and based on responses from 350 CEOs/CXOs, the survey has slotted ‘quick learning ability’ and ‘high emotional quotient’ among the top five traits that will determine success for leaders. The ‘ability to innovate and think out of the box’ emerged as the third key trait with 44% votes.
'Change is only constant'
According to Executive Access (India) MD Ronesh Puri, the biggest imponderable today is that nothing is certain, and the contours and demand of business keep changing. Even the rules of the game can change as regulators today can virtually alter anything. “Therefore, a successful CEO must be adaptable and happy with the changes. Some individuals are uncomfortable and not adaptable, they struggle in today’s ecosystem.”
Trust that gut feeling!
Related and a close second is the ability to deal with ambiguity as structures keep shifting as do a variety of parameters. “Several decisions that a CEO takes today are based on a gut feeling as the time for response has really shrunk." Often, Puri said, CEOs complain that in today`s environment they need to shoot in the dark as there is no time as well as data available for several decisions. Industry experts said traits like adaptability and the ability to deal with ambiguity are important from the perspective of spotting new business opportunities and potential threats.
According to D Shivakumar, group executive president (corporate strategy and business), Aditya Birla Group, two important issues are at play today. One, every industry is going through a transformation and, two, the average tenure of a CEO is between four and five years for both the Fortune 500 and listed companies in India.