How to Be a Better Leader


Travel Insider | February 27, 2019

The Travel Insider article, "How to Be a Better Leader," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Aimee Williamson, in which she offers her thoughts on the essential attributes of today's leader. The article is excerpted below.

Brutal single-mindedness, never sweating the small stuff, movie-star charisma: what were once seen as essential characteristics of the ideal CEO are no longer enough. As corporate governance becomes increasingly complex, and with disruption and data-handling challenging the inexperienced, boards are now questioning widely held assumptions about the attributes a chief executive needs to possess – or develop.

In fact, it's a person's blunders that business psychologist Aimee Williamson seeks out when she advises boards on CEO appointments. "When we look at competencies, vulnerability is definitely one of them," says Williamson, a member of the Leadership and Succession Practice at executive search consultancy Russell Reynolds Associates. "In our CEO testing, you get reactions from candidates such as, 'No, I'm not vulnerable. I'm competent. I take risks.' They find it uncomfortable to see vulnerability as a positive trait, whereas we see an admission that they don't have all the answers and that they seek the input of others as a strength."

"Historically, the factors noted in successful CEOs, such as being 'loud and charismatic', having a 'disruptive mindset' and 'leading from the front', is what got you noticed," says Williamson. "Steve Jobs was that type and that model can lead to success, change and innovation. But as the world shifts, those characteristics alone don't drive success."

To read the full article, click here.

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How to Be a Better Leader