Four Leaders Describe the Ideal Leadership Qualities of 2023

A profile of four female Chief Executive Officers in The Story Exchange includes some profound thoughts regarding the qualities that business leaders should aspire to throughout the new year.

One of the most important aspects that leaders can focus on in the workplace is authenticity, or being as "real" as possible. Lauren Caggiano, CEO and Founder of New Heights Fitness, says that bringing one's whole life to work is of the utmost importance when trying to foster transparency with employees. Caggiano, a cancer survivor, found that being honest about her experience positively impacted her relationships with employees, clients, and business partners.

Next, Brittany Coleman, the CEO of Tough Cutie hiking socks for women, says that compassion is something a leader can't do without. Coleman says that without help from others, her business wouldn't succeed, and that help is always necessary to fill gaps in experience or knowledge. In order to get the right kind of help and to foster a connection in which support is quickly asked for and received, leaders must strive to have empathy for those around them.

Curiosity is another key part of any founder's success. According to Alexandra Schuman, Founder and CEO of Barometer XP, leadership is about constantly coming into new situations with a fresh heart and mind. Business is full of twists and turns, and often, CEOs can feel like they don't know what the next steps are on a path that hasn't yet been traversed. But having curiosity can inspire you to see these developments as exciting rather than scary or dreadful.

Finally, the fourth quality every leader needs this year is grace. Founder and CEO of Ujjo hot sauce Lauren D'Souza says that though the world may be overwhelming and the entrepreneurship landscape may be demanding, being kind to yourself is invaluable. This allows leaders to attempt to achieve perfection without holding themselves to an unrealistic standard.