What are the eight essential leadership skills?

Last night, at a glittering gathering at The Shard, Oystercatchers’ managing partner Suki Thompson launched a brand new survey revealing key skills for leadership in the 21st century. Guests enjoyed cocktails during a sneak preview of the research along with insights from the man behind The ShardIrvine Sellar, together with Benny Higgins, Tesco Bank CEO, and Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2.

“It’s Tough at the Top”, conducted by Suki in her role as Chairman of the Marketing Society in collaboration with Accenture, held in-depth interviews with 50 CEOs and company Chairmen to discover what makes chief executives and senior business leaders tick.

Some fascinating facts came to life, many debunking currently-held views, about what it takes to be a leader in today’s volatile and uncertain business climate.

Interestingly, the eight major areas of influence uncovered include:

  1. Give a clear sense of direction
  2. Bring the customer into the boardroom
  3. Communicate clearly – inside and outside
  4. Be flexible but not floppy
  5. Take risks but don’t bet the company
  6. Build the team around you
  7. Listen with humility and act with courage
  8. Earn your reward through building trust