4 Skills All Leaders Need To Be Effective
If we had to decide on what one independent variable has the power to make or break a business, without hesitation, we would say leadership. Without hesitation. The reasons for this are infinite and immeasurable. Of course, to use such a generic statement is hardly going to hold the gravitas required to hold your attention, these reasons include the fact:
- Employees quit managers, not companies.
- Leadership is what refines employees, giving them the skills to succeed.
- Leadership defines your company’s purpose.
- And leadership motivates passion.
Like we said, the list is infinite, but you get the point: the way you lead – and the leadership skills your managers possess – is the most important weapon in your company’s arsenal. Period.
Unfortunately, too many business leaders get it wrong on this front. For some, they have made the ill-informed decision to lend their weight and expertise on “more important” business functions, like meeting clients, developing market-ready products and creating the kind of exciting new opportunities that could see you retire at 45. For others, they simply don’t know how to be an effective leader, despite all their efforts.
That’s where we have some good news for you. We have spoken to some of the most experienced, successful names in the business – both at the top tier and those with small enterprises – and compiled a list of what they deem to be the most essential tools of an effective leader.
(Oh and, just in case you were wondering, they choose these because of the direct impact they will have your business)
Never Stop Learning – 4 Skills All Leaders Need To Be Effective
Being an effective leader is a skill. This means it can be developed and improved, and the best way to do that is through the acquisition of knowledge. How you go about acquiring knowledge depends on who you are as a person and the way in which you prefer to learn. For some, heading back to school, or becoming a Master of Business Administration online graduate, could be the most effective way to picking up the tools, strategies, and knowledge needed to excel.
For others, it could be attending seminars and leadership talks that would have the most desired effect. It could be setting aside an hour each evening to watch relevant TED Talks and read relevant books. Whatever your style of learning, run with it. The single most important thing in life is learning. It is bettering ourselves. It is expanding our knowledge so that we can move forward. Remember that.
The Art Of Delegation – 4 Skills All Leaders Need To Be Effective
Ask any successful business leader on the planet what their most valuable commodity is and they will sing the praises of time like you have never heard. The reason we are telling you this is because far too many – far too many – business leaders feel the need to control everything that goes on within their companies. Every little detail. All the minutiae. We need to give you it straight. By doing this you are walking along an unstable tightrope that leads to one place: disaster.
We mentioned the importance of learning above. Well, the key to being a successful leader is learning how to delegate. You need to learn how to delegate responsibly so that tasks are completed, and you need to learn how to delegate your authority so that these tasks get completed on time and to the high standard you champion. Not only will this allow you to multiply the amount of work you get done, it will also boost the development of your employees.
Improve Your Communication – 4 Skills All Leaders Need To Be Effective
Whatever the reasons and excuses you are feeding to yourself, they need to stop. Open and transparent communication is one of a universal qualities of all successful leaders and that is because they understand this underlying risks: a lack of communication leads to a lack of trust and that is what leaves room for doubt. It’s simple; the more you encourage and promote open communication the more effective you will be as a leader.
We’re not just talking about relaying the latest organizational changes or project management methods here, we’re talking about improving the way you communicate with your employees so that the entire communication culture follows suit. After all, the most difficult situation to navigate and distance to overcome is the distance created by miscommunication. Look at any leader – business or world – and where you will find they excel is communication. This includes President Trump. No matter what your opinions of him are as a person, he knows how to communicate.
Eye On The Prize – 4 Skills All Leaders Need To Be Effective
We are all like ships lost at sea when we haven’t got something to aim for. That is why setting goals are one of the most effective tools a leader can use. Goals create a system that motivates individuals, teams, departments and entire companies. By giving an individual employee a target to reach, you are giving that person a sense of direction and a destination. You are giving them a purpose. But on top of that, you are ensuring that entire teams are collaborating to reach a common goal as well.
The influence clear and obtainable goals have is well understood by business leaders, which is why they are constantly striving to improve their methods and approaches on this front. It isn’t just achieving the desired outcome that makes this such an important part of being an effective leader, though. Common goals are also known to improve both organization and productivity, which is an investment in the future. As such, we recommend you find ways to set your employees specific and – more importantly – measurable goals. One this is done, make sure you allocate time to monitor their progress so that you can see where to improve next time around.
As we said at the very beginning of this article, being an effective leader is a skill that you need to develop and refine, which tends to mean trial and error. Yes, that means time and effort, but like everything in business, knowing what is a good investing is the key to success, and that is reason enough to put leadership improvement at the top of your to-do list. Get that right and everything else will follow.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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