Emotional and technological intelligence is at the heart of the best future leaders

ACCORDING to an in-depth new research report, if business leaders in the manufacturing and industrial sectors are unable to tap into their emotional intelligence and communicate better, there will be no place for them in the board room.

The ‘World Class Leader Report’, produced by executive search and recruitment specialist TS Grale, reveals that future leaders must also be adept at networking, able to embrace technological change, and value corporate social responsibility.

Jason Saunders, co-founder and director at TS Grale, said: “It’s clear from our research that the old models of leadership skills and roles are no longer fit for purpose. Over the next decade we will undoubtedly see huge shifts in the personality traits and leadership skills required to succeed, and this report shines a light on what they are.

“Good leaders need to be self-aware and have excellent clarity of thinking in order to understand themselves and others. They must have strong emotional intelligence, a trait often associated with women, and also genuinely live and breathe all of the core values of genuine corporate social responsibility.

“Importantly, they must listen to their teams and peers from across all industry sectors, in order to maximise opportunities. Good listeners who network extensively will be able to grasp new ideas quickly and great communicators can implement visions effectively.”

The findings from the ‘World Class Leader Report’ are based on interviews with board level executives and directors across private, listed and private equity backed businesses, with turnovers ranging from less than £20m to more than £1bn.

Jason added: “The emotional side of leadership will continue to grow in importance – some of the best ideas will evolve from the bottom up – and it takes a leader that can listen, place value on new ideas, evaluate and accept elements of risk, whilst using their own experience to commercialise them.”

Technology, and the ability to embrace it, is another vital quality that the leaders of the future must have according to the report. Jason explained: “World class leaders have to relish what the younger, tech-savvy generation bring to a business. It’s not something that can simply be delegated, the best future leaders must be open minded to new technological solutions, but crucially, understand them too. An appreciation of what the next generation can bring to a business – both through their ideas and technological advances – is critical for future leaders.

“Great leaders need to appreciate that they don’t know it all, they must be hungry to keep learning and emotionally intelligent enough to understand that other people will only share their ideas if there is a real open platform for them to do that within a business – and this is something that has to come from the top. The best leaders must engage with all their employees, industry associates and professionals from the wider business environment, and really listen to them, if they want to see long-term value and commercial success.”

TS Grale is incorporating its latest research findings into its selection processes, in order to help develop world class leaders of the future. The firm provides executive search and recruitment services across the industrial, manufacturing, and engineered products sectors, as well as working in construction, the built environment and consumer sectors including food and drink, packaging and non-food FMCG. From its offices in Leeds city centre, TS Grale has attracted a global client base spanning the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, USA and Canada.

TS Grale has recently secured retained contracts with several North American companies, which will see it identify and assess talent for senior sales and infrastructure roles. In addition, TS Grale has recently won projects with tier-one automotive and engineered product suppliers to identify Managing Directors for UK and European subsidiary businesses.

The ‘World Class Leader Report’ can be downloaded from TS Grale’s website at https://tsgrale.com/leader-report