The Critical Leadership Mindset – Traits to Thrive in 2019

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As the new year approaches, there are more challenges and pressures than ever facing today’s Denver-area executives. From uncertainty about the future, to big data to finding the right talent, local executives must address these challenges and identify critical traits in order to thrive in 2019. On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, to inspire leaders to develop actionable items for success in the new year, Webolutions presented the topic of the Critical Leadership Mindsets to Succeed in 2019 at its Executive Roundtable luncheon.

More than 16 Denver-area leaders — from nonprofits to small businesses — gathered at the Webolutions office to address the challenges they are currently facing and the traits needed to successfully lead an organization.

Engaging, Finding and Understanding Talent

Leaders began the discussion by stressing the importance of asking questions and really listening to colleagues to understand the issues that are important to them. Addressing these issues, however, sometimes puts leaders in an uncomfortable situation where beliefs and morals clash.

One Denver-area non-profit executive brought up an example where colleagues and volunteers refused to participate in an event that featured a visit from a federal official. The staff expressed that they did not want to participate due to different political beliefs from the presenter. While the overall event turned out great, he said, the Denver executive had to accept and manage the closely held beliefs of the staff. Some of the leadership traits he said he needed to address this issue were delegation, discipline, discernment and mentorship.

Mentorship was also a common task that Denver-area leaders brought up in evolving critical mindsets for success. “I have great managers, but I want to convert great managers into great leaders,” said one executive. “It’s easy to be the tip of the spear, but it’s not as engaging,” added another executive. Other Denver-area leaders chimed in about nurturing and investing employees to where they become like family, which translates to a great customer experience. When leadership comes first, Denver-area leaders agree that the values dictate the behavior, and the behavior dictates the company culture.

While company culture may be embedded within employee engagement and traits such as discernment and delegation, many executives said they struggle with finding specialized quality talent. How have leaders retained good workers at their organizations? The answer: they foster and grow company morale within their management. When leaders engage managers to be leaders, company morale becomes much stronger, resulting in quality leadership. One Denver-area executive addressed this practice by presenting a quote to the group from renowned thinker and lecturer Peter Drucker: “The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make a system’s weaknesses irrelevant.”

Discerning the Data

To succeed in 2019, Denver-area leaders believe that each organization needs a healthy balance of quality leadership and operations. In one example of finding that balance, an Aurora executive discussed while she enjoys connecting with her community, it’s equally important to collect and organize data. She had a mantra forlooking at the numbers and avoiding getting lost in the data: “Don’t lose your identity.”

Another executive brought up the example of getting emails during Colorado Gives Day on charitable donations. In regard to data, his general belief was that the ones who did well on Colorado Gives Day were the ones that were heard more frequently. But there’s more to a Denver nonprofit’s success besides the raw numbers. “Nonprofit success on Colorado Gives Day can’t be just measured by money. What about new contacts? What about what’s happening inside the organization?”

By understanding the right data to analyze without distracting them from the company vision, executives said that companies can find that harmony of growing leadership and making informed decisions.

Key Traits to Succeed in 2019

In our changing world with technology, problem-solving, and embracing change, Webolutions brought up more than 20 traits — including integrity, decisiveness and empathy — to executives and asked each attendee to identify the ones they needed to develop further in the new year. Many Denver leaders narrowed down the list of characteristics to these key points in order to help them develop a successful mindset for the new year:

  • Integrity: Mistakes will happen — own up to them.
  • Trust: Provide a safe environment for employees.
  • Empathy: Take a moment to see things from another’s perspective.
  • Intimacy: “Treat the employer like family,” said one executive.
  • Commitment: Express transparency and positivity with employees.
  • Adaptability: New technologies are constantly being entered into the workplace. Some of them may be worth researching. “Let’s embrace new technologies,” said one Denver executive.


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