What makes a great leader?

The gap between ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ leadership is closing, says Standard Chartered’s Europe and Americas CEO.

by Tracy Clarke

Until the late 20th century, leadership roles were mostly held by men. As women gradually took on leadership positions, their role models were also male, reinforcing traditional male leadership characteristics. 

Today, men and women are learning from each other, and are aspiring to emulate qualities that would previously have been considered male or female. This will ultimately lead to better leaders, and more diverse, balanced leadership teams, essential both for the current and future crises, as well as business as usual.

One of the things that I have reflected on during the COVID-19 is what makes a good leader. Some leadership traits are essential: leaders need to be resilient, results-oriented, bold and aspirational, whether running a country or a company. But the crisis has accentuated the difference between good and great leaders. 

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