Just as managers must be taught how to manage people effectively, being a leader does not automatically assume that you possess the necessary skills to do a good job. Sometimes career progression is a reward from sheer hard work, initiative or a time-earned right. However, being able to execute efficiently and amassing expert skills are not enough to guarantee that you can successfully transition from managing yourself to having departmental or functional responsibilities.
The onus is shared on the organisation to have an adequate leadership development program in place, but also on the individual himself or herself to recognise their shortcomings and seek help (be it internal or external).
Understand Why it’s important
Sometimes the mere visible presence of a leader is sufficient to generate huge rewards and improve staff relations and engagement. If you’re tucked away in your ivory tower everyday sending the occasional “well done team” communication, you are effectively invisible and almost lauding the fact that your time is just too precious to be shared with your workforce. How many episodes of Undercover Boss have you watched where the boss is actually recognised? Can you imagine if Richard Branson tried to disguise himself and work with his employees how long it would take before he was rumbled?
The role and style of a business leader is critical to the organization’s culture and how staff is engaged or feel isolated from the overall goals and growth objectives. Employees are a major quadrant (other elements being land, capital and entrepreneurship) of an organisation’s production capabilities, and the leader is the glue that binds all the elements together. Without a responsible leader at the helm, the organisation can soon become disconnected from the real issues and challenges their employees face and eventually suffer from a reduction in productivity and profitability.
As the organisation’s champion, today’s business leader needs to be in constant communication with their workforce to identify and resolve any obstacles to achieving operational efficiencies. Their style and leadership qualities can ultimately impact the culture and how the team members interact and perform.
Have the requisite characteristics
In a previous blog, I discussed the more popular leadership styles such as Autocratic, Persuasive, Democratic or Coaching. They all have their individual merits, but must essentially be founded on similar traits to stimulate and achieve an engaged and productive workforce.
Research has uncovered many variations of such characteristics, however I would recommend the following at an absolute minimum.
High EQ (Emotional Intelligence – the ability to recognise other’s feelings and manage them successfully to build strong relationships)
Positive Mental Attitude
You may think being a good manager is a given, but having a game plan and being able to successfully implement and drive the team to success is an art form that stems from experience; just like flying a plane, you’re never going to reach your destination if you only have the co-pilot to rely on.
What’s your action plan?
So this begs the question, where are you in your self-evaluation? Have you identified your style and is it an effective one? Are there gaps in your capabilities that need to be filled, or do you have other areas that need fine-tuning? Is there a leadership development program at your organisation, which can deliver customised programs to achieve your individual goals?
Recognising the many demands and responsibilities of leadership is the first step to becoming a more effective leader. The solution is personal development to ensure that your individual needs can be supported and fulfilled.
Together we can define the best approach to maximise your potential – firstname.lastname@example.org or 0415 984877.