What makes a good leader? My takeaways from the emerging leader summit

April 1, 2019 | 3 minute read
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Last week I had the amazing opportunity and honor to attend Oracle Women Leadership’s (OWL) first Emerging Leader Summit in the EMEA region. Amsterdam was chosen as the venue to welcome more than 200 women who were identified as “emerging leaders” from many different cultural backgrounds, career levels, and lines of business to get together and explore topics around leadership, transformation, and management. I was so inspired that I’ve decided to share my top 15 takeaways as a way to “pay it forward” and hopefully inspire many other emerging leaders out there!


1. Self-awareness will make you a better leader

Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, chief talent scientist at Manpower and professor of business psychology at Columbia University and London’s Global University took us through the importance of understanding how personality affects not only the success, but especially the effectiveness, of leaders. As there aren’t objective ways to evaluate business performance, it is absolutely key to develop deep self-awareness, learn how to make the most of one’s strength, control any “personality derailers,” and work on elements of weakness. Being self-aware allows you to constantly review your behaviors, evaluate your responses to certain situations, and be reminded that humility makes the best leaders.


2. Negative feedback is good and necessary

Contrary to common assumptions, the best leaders are humble and aware that they can always improve. Humility allows them to recognize their own shortcomings and accept that there might be things they need to work on. This doesn’t mean eliminating positive feedback; it just means that focusing only on strengths might not be the best, and most objective, way to develop. So, always seek feedback, and be ready to embrace it with a smile on your face!


3. Ability, likability, and drive

To that point, how could we ever be led by those who aren’t strong enough to recognize their own shortcomings? As humans, we tend to believe that the best attributes in leaders should be confidence, assertiveness, and narcissism, with some confusing strength with aggression. Instead, great leaders should be identified based on competence, humility, and integrity. Why? Because competence is necessary to operate in any environment in order to make informed decisions. Confidence can help you make decisions; however, ability allows you to make the right decisions. And assertiveness might be a great way to clarify priorities, but how can priorities be addressed if nobody is actually listening to you? 

Likability, humility, and being easy to deal with are key not only to making the right decisions but also to getting the right people behind you. The best leaders know how to adjust their reputations and behaviors to resonate better with people, so try and be a slightly “filtered” (as in aware) version of yourself at all times.

Finally, drive is actually the engine of everything. Passion, resilience, and a positive attitude have been proven to be contagious, so identify what makes you get out of bed each morning, and do that every day. Everything else will follow!


That said, how open are you to getting involved in situations that make you uncomfortable? And how often are you honing your skills to stay up to date with all the latest trends? Find out what other traits and additional takeaways from the event will help you thrive in a leadership position here.


About Carlotta Zorzi

Carlotta Zorzi is a Senior Strategic Account Manager at Oracle Data Cloud. With a history of creating cross-channel strategies and building strong and long lasting relationships with key clients, Carlotta has worked with some of the world's most innovative brands including: Disneyland Paris, Uber, Pernod Ricard and Universal Pictures, making her well versed in managing big accounts. She loves travelling, languages, learning new things, choir concerts and chubby squirrels.

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