6 EQ traits executive leaders have and what to look for

This month we will discuss how to hire for executive leadership positions. This approach may look very different to your standard role hires and recruitment drives. 

When looking for a potential leader or CEO, there are many things to consider in your decision making. 

Over the next month we will explore some of these things, including how to manage the negotiation process, what to look for when scouting for talent online and questions you may ask as a part of the interviewing process. 

One fundamental attribute every successful CEO must hold is emotional intelligence (EQ). So what EQ traits should you look for? 

Here are our top six. 

1. Empathy

Empathy and the ability to ‘put themselves in someone else’s shoes’ is a core trait of any great leader. 

But what does great empathy actually look like? It’s one thing to be able to communicate “I know how you’re feeling”, or “That must have been so hard for you”, however deep empathy requires the ability to put any judgements or assumptions aside and really step into the world of another person and experience what they’re experiencing. 

They may ask the right questions to understand what is going on for someone, or what their pain points might be. 

2. Visionary thinking & innovation

A highly developed EQ skill is to be able to think originally and creatively, while simultaneously taking into careful consideration trends, markets and forecasts to come up with innovative and accurate solutions for businesses. 

Painting a picture of what possibilities may lie ahead for people within a company and then motivating and inspiring them to take action on a new and exciting vision is something great CEOs and leaders do organically. 

3. High social skills 

They can speak to anybody and connect deeply and relate in just a few short moments. 

A great CEO knows that people are at the heart of any business — whether that’s staff, board members, customers or governing bodies. 

They have the ability to relate and connect to any person, at any level, in any setting and communicate clearly and effectively, with powerful influence. 

4. High stress tolerance & risk assessment

CEOs generally have a high risk appetite and can manage stressful situations in a calm and regulated way. 

They can look at a risk and assess the impacts with high accuracy and precision and see where the benefits lie. They also have a high level of accountability when it comes to accepting responsibility for any ill-coming of a risk. 

Whether it’s a multi-million dollar loss or having to make the difficult decision to lay off hundreds of staff, they can remain calm, rationalised and effective in situations that would normally create high levels of stress in others. 

5. Problem-solving & advanced strategic skills

CEOs are fast thinkers. They can solve problems at lightning speed and have the skills to look laterally at a situation and see beyond restrictions or limitations. 

They are advanced when it comes to looking at the strategy and big picture that sits behind every decision. 

6. Motivation and passion 

CEOs and great leaders are natural motivators. They have a passion and zest for life that is often infectious. 

They are great at being able to motivate themselves and others, and operate from a strong sense of purpose and ‘why’. 

They understand what motivates others and how to link passionate pursuits to high-yielding outcomes. 

Need support with your next hire? Bespoke HR specialise in recruiting for executive leadership positions. 

Book in a time to speak to one of our highly qualified consultants about finding your next rockstar candidate.

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