So how can leaders make a better assessment of their own abilities?
Hougaard breaks this down into three key qualities.
1. Mindful leadership
Mindfulness in leadership means presence, focus and awareness despite the myriad of distractions.
The value of this is clearly recognised, with 96% saying they would like to be more mindful, yet 73% said they mostly feel unmindful.
A mindful leader is able to observe and manage their thoughts and emotions, which can often hijack rational behaviour.
Although It may not be as easy as it sounds.
“If you look at research on how irrational we human beings are, it’s shocking. We think our decisions are based on rational thinking.
However, 95 per cent of decisions is based on emotion.
A Canadian study showed that even judges trained to give measured judgments tend to give shorter sentences before lunch and longer sentences in the late afternoon when they are hungry.”
2. Selfless leadership
The research also revealed that the more leaders are preoccupied with themselves, the more their behaviour is corrupted.
“Leaders with a strong sense of self-create more conflict and make more mistakes.
Selfless people are better at showing gratitude and being inclusive, and less vulnerable to criticism or susceptible to manipulation.”
He explains, “try not to use I, me, my or mine. Studies conducted in Australia on candidates running for office showed that there was a strong correlation between how people referenced themselves and who wins and loses.”
3. Compassionate leadership
Although compassion and leadership are rarely positively correlated, the research showed that a strong leader has at the core of their focus, a drive to be of benefit to the people they are serving.
Of the leaders surveyed, 91% believe compassion is very important for leadership, and 80% said they wish to increase their compassion but don’t know how.
Assessment tools are a good starting point to build an understanding of different motivational drives and give teams a language to navigate the hurdles that arise from these differences.
The research also showed that organisations with more compassionate cultures and leaders have better collaboration, improved loyalty, more trust and lower staff turnover.