A smart leader embodies many things. They have unclouded visions and the ability to communicate them clearly and think strategically to deliver them. They see game-changing ideas and possibilities with tangible outcomes. They are self-aware, empathetic playmakers who invite a collaborative, inclusive approach to both the “what” and the “how” of any situation; they don’t impose their views or operate from a place of “command and control,” but they also know when and how to delegate, weigh the pros and cons, and make decisions quickly, even in uncertain situations.
Ultimately the objective of any business is the same: create original ideas, understand those ideas, and have everybody work together to make those ideas happen brilliantly. Smart leaders play a crucial role in this process. But how do businesses develop such leaders, or how do you become one yourself?
At Portman Partners, we know a thing or two about finding leaders who can enrich the enterprises, people, and communities involved in data centers and digital infrastructure. Since our inception, we’ve been asked a lot of questions—and learned a lot—about what smart leadership looks like and how to bring it to the table. Here are some of our top tips.
How can you develop the traits of a smart leader?
Understanding the needs, concerns, and strengths of the team is as fundamental to smart leadership as the pursuit of excellence and meeting business goals.
Becoming an effective leader involves seeking and being open to continual feedback, which provides insight into your strengths and areas for improvement.
You must also be willing to take risks and evaluate different potential outcomes to improve decision-making skills. You want to create an environment and culture that values collaboration, teamwork, and trialing new approaches.
Emotional intelligence is also critical to smart leadership and can be developed or improved. In addition to active listening, providing support, and empowering people around you, seek out a mentor and learn from other successful leaders in your field.