Your effectiveness as a leader is dependent on three factors – your leadership skills, personal traits and job requirements.
When others talk about leadership skills, they often refer to one’s soft skills, also known as emotional intelligence. An important component of your success, emotional intelligence is your ability to lead change and effectively work with others. Your leadership style and the ability to adjust it to fit the situation you are in are another factor. A high degree of emotional intelligence is one of the key characteristics that all effective leaders have in common.
These include your cognitive abilities, such as big-picture thinking or analytical reasoning, your natural desire to be open to new experiences, tendencies to be an extravert or introvert, etc.
In many instances your knowledge of technology, processes and industry trends plays an important role in your success. For example, in the field of finance this could be your understanding of financial statements and accounting concepts, proficiency in Excel and reporting systems and knowledge of federal laws pertaining to finance. In the field of software engineering this could be your analytical and problem solving skills, familiarity with algorithms and programming languages and understanding of various platforms. You would also need to understand the industry, your customers and partners, the competitive landscape and how the ongoing of future trends impact your organization.
Analytical and technical skills matter a great deal. However, they are just the minimum requirements for executive positions. Emotional intelligence is the most difficult to develop, but is the most important component of your success as a leader.