Infographic: What does World Class Leadership look like?


What does world-class leadership look like? What will be required of future global leaders? How do the best global leaders engage, communicate and influence? What are world class leadership behaviours?

Find the answers to these questions and more in this fascinating leadership infographic.

World class leaders are people that can inspire those they work with. Yet research shows that 63% of millennials don’t believe their leadership skills are being fully developed. How do we identify and develop future leaders? Our research shows these are the key attributes and skills of a great leader.


(1) Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (also known as EQ or EI) is the single biggest indicator of a world class leader.

Emotional intelligence (also known as EI) affects how we manage social complexities to achieve positive outcomes. It involves being self aware of your emotions and staying aware of how they affect you and those around you.

People who are highly emotionally intelligent can regulate their emotions so that they control impulses and think before they act. Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to recognise other people’s emotional states and understand them, then apply this knowledge in order to build and lead stronger teams that focus on collaboration.

Two measurable behaviours that are exhibited by emotionally intelligent people are that they (1) find personal ways to self-motivate and pursue their own goals for personal achievements, and (2) they actively manage social relationships, building networks and creating a positive workplace atmosphere.

EI outcomes and impacts:


  • Emotional intelligence competencies account for 67% of the most desired attributes in new employees,
  • Employees are four times less likely to leave when they are under a manager with high emotional intelligence.
  • Executives that lack emotional intelligence are rarely rated as outstanding in their performance reviews and their divisions underperform by 20% on average.
  • Extraordinary leaders can more than double a company’s profits.


(2) Absorption and commercialisation of ideas

Leaders need to be open to listening to new ideas and use their experience to commercialise them to create a productive work environment. Here are three practical ways that business leaders can deliver value and impact:

Pair junior staff members with senior leaders during on-boarding, in order to integrate them into your workplace faster.

Actively foster a workplace environment that encourages innovation and collaboration at all levels – create time for this and reward it.

Create a results oriented business workflow with a focus on customer centric practices.


(3) Listening

Listening is our most important communication skill. The ability to actively listen and understand others (from staff and stakeholders to clients and customers)

is vital for any leader that wants to learn and improve business outcomes. When people feel listened to, they are more likely to trust us and share their insights.


  • We spend around 70% to 80% of our waking hours communicating; and of that, we spend 45% listening.
  • Customer centric companies are 60% more profitable compared with companies that fail to focus on their audiences.
  • Loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase and seven times more likely to try new offerings.


(4) Clarity in execution of vision

World-class leadership involves strong intellectual agility to dissect and solve problems and provide simple solutions that positively affect the workplace.

Promoting a market-orientated team ethos is important to encourage your team to work together on the same wavelength.

Your vision must inspire others to invest in your business, your brand and your message to your audience.

Offer clear communication of your company’s vision by enabling market and customer engagement.


  • 67% of people prefer to work for a company whose mission and vision align with their own beliefs and ideals.
  • Employees in a poor office culture are 24% more likely to leave their job in a year.
  • 59% employees that are engaged and thriving are 59% less likely to seek a new job in the next 12 months.


(5) Values social responsibility

Consumers align themselves with companies that are socially responsible and demonstrate transparent and ethical behaviour. Openness, a broad mindset and honesty are valued when it comes to operating a business.

Developing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan can help establish socially responsible working practices and demonstrate your values externally. Business leaders can demonstrate social responsibility by becoming actively involved in advocate creation through networking and engagement.

A diverse workforce is also key to introducing skilled individuals to your workforce and becoming a desirable employer that attracts talent.


  • Customers have a 37% higher retention rate when referred by other customers.
  • Corporate social responsibility can reduce staff turnover by 50% and increase productivity by 13%.
  • Diverse team are up to 87% faster at making decisions than individuals.
  • 94% of Generation Z (under-25s) think that companies should address critical issues such as biodiversity and social responsibility.


(6) Understanding existing and future generations

World class leaders must create a positive environment to nurture talented employees and recognise their polarised needs, ambitions and values. They must possess the ability to create a sustainable organisational capacity, making efficient use of resources.

Our World Class Leader Report identified the importance of senior leaders being open to listening to, and learning from, junior members of staff, particularly in relation to new technologies.

Early adoption of new technologies is becoming increasingly important to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive.

One example of a tactic to engage and develop younger members of staff is by encouraging two-way mentoring. Not only does this prepare junior recruits; it also introduces innovative ideas and processes to senior team members.


  • 68% of workers say that training and development I the most important office policy.
  • 57% of businesses aim to use some form of automation by 2020.
  • Employees are 59% less likely to look for a new job if employee retention and salary management strategies are in place.
  • 81% of manufacturing firms interviewed by the BBC said they struggle to recruit the right staff for their firms.

These insights and findings from our World Class Leader Report, underpin our new executive assessment tool and inform our innovative, tailored approach to seeking leadership candidates overseas and in the UK.

To find out more, contact us online today or call +44 (0) 113 487 9300.

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