How Good Are Your Leadership Skills?
Who do you consider to be a good leader?
Leadership is the ability of an individual or group of individuals to lead, guide, or influence other groups of people or an organization. Leadership entails; having a clear vision, the ability to communicate the vision to team members, the ability to organize in an effective and efficient manner, inspiring subordinates towards the fulfillment of the organization’s goals, and balancing the conflict of interest of all subordinates and stakeholders. Leadership encompasses all spheres of life; family, political, management, or economic.
Leadership requires skills although it can be learned, improve through mentoring and coaching but it is more of a skill. The core skill of leadership is influence, in fact, John C. Maxwell defines leadership as influence, how well you can influence your subordinate or situation makes you a leader: a leader is someone who guides or directs others.
Not everybody can be a leader before you can be, you must possess leadership qualities similarly, all managers are not leaders, a manager will be regarded as a leader if they carry out the leadership role of management effectively and efficiently which include, communication, motivation, providing guidance, and encouraging employees to increase work input for better productivity.
Every organization is established for a definite purpose and to accomplish this purpose, leadership must be set up. Therefore it is imperative to know and understand the importance and qualities of a good leader.
Importance of Good Leader
1. Providing Guidance
Guidance involves training, instructing team members along with the vision or goal of the organization, and ensures no deviation from the vision or goal even though it will warrant adopting corrective measures. It also entails the ability of the leader to give counsel that will allow team members to grow and develop.
2. Encouraging Creativity
Good leaders abandon their egos and give room for their subordinates to express themselves in order to encourage new ideas, innovations that can trigger an organization to move into the new millennium.
For instance, a leader may decide to stay away from a particular task, for team members to complete just to boost their creativity. Because creativity lies in every man but the mechanism to unleash it may be different and the leader is in a pole position to unleash the creativity each member of the team possess, even if they are unaware of it.
Motivation is vital to the achievement of an organization. A good leader ensures team members’ energy is high to perform the job to their very best. An efficient leader motivates team members by building trust and confidence in them so that, they take a positive approach to the job and the organization at large.
Motivation is also achieved by creating a hitch-free environment by building trust among team members so as to enhance togetherness among the team members in relation to company objectives, rather than focusing on individual goals. Incentives also can be a medium to motivate team members.
4. Communication Skills
Co-ordination of work in an effective and efficient manner requires excellent communication between the team leaders and team members. Communication involves the exchange of ideas, information, and messages between people at a particular place and time through speaking, writing, or gestures. Effective communication is the bedrock to effective leadership and its essence is to create understanding.
Rollo May, American psychologist comments, “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing”. A good leader will be able to create an understanding of the vision, values, and direction of the organization to the team members or individuals involved in the business in clear terms.
5. Foster Good Values
The exhibition of good values is vital to the achievement of an organization. A good leader will endeavor to foster good values among team members by exemplifying it. For instance, a leader that displays humility, integrity, and kindness will serve as a model for the team members to imbibe such character thereby enhancing the productivity of the organization.
6. Conflict Resolution
A productive leader manages conflicts that stand as a threat to the unity of team members, productivity, and motivation. Conflict is best dealt with in the primitive stage therefore it is important for a leader to discern signs of conflict early before it escalates.
However, it is germane to understand that there are positive conflicts that may arise that require different approaches. To resolute conflict, a leader would have to evaluate the situation, develop a common understanding of the problem, adopt solutions, and by agreement select a solution. Tools effective leaders engage to manage conflicts include, Avoiding; not all conflicts can be avoided.
Accommodating; in the interest of the team, a team member may need to step down, Compromise; one of the parties involved in the conflict may need to step down, Collaborative; by working closely with the team a team leader can foster co-operation among team members and Force; exercise authority if deem necessary.
Leadership Qualities That Make Good Leaders
The impact a leader has on its team members determines the exploitation of team members. A leader by exemplification deposits a sense of hope, energy, morale, focus, and feeling of accomplishment into team members thereby creating an enabling environment that is gear towards productivity.
2. Communication Skills
Good leaders communicate clearly both verbally and in written form in a way the team will understand the objectives leader must be able to listen actively and understand from the perspective of the team members, listening also includes observing the body language and other environmental signals.
Effective listening empowers the leader to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the information.
A good leader knows the responsibilities to share and who to share it with so as to improve productivity. Delegating certain responsibilities permit a leader to focus on more productive matters.
A good leader must be confident and must be able to instill confidence in team members. A confident leader does not waver over his decisions.
A good leader must possess exceptional organizational skills in order to coordinate company goals and objectives in such a manner that will enhance team members’ productivity. It also involves setting up parameters that guide team members towards attaining company aim and objectives.
- Negotiation: Negotiation is the process of establishing a mutually acceptable interest in the conflict of interests. An efficient leader must be able to negotiate indifference in interests of team members and establish a common interest.
- Unbiased: A leader must be unbiased in dealings with team members. Unbiased in rewards and recognition also unbiased in disciplinary actions.
- Integrity: It is imperative for a leader to possess integrity. A good leader must show honesty at all times so to gain the trust of team members.
It is imperative for a leader to possess integrity. A good leader must show honesty at all times so as to gain the trust of team members.“A great leader is someone who does the right thing, even when it’s unpopular or extremely tough to do so.
You have to find something to care deeply about in your business and in each individual that touches your business. Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.” –Steve Farber, President of Extreme Leadership, Inc., Author and one of Inc’s Top 50 Leadership Management Experts.
“The ability to praise is one of the most underrated leadership qualities out there. Recognition and appreciation serve to not only motivate and boost employee morale but also make employees continue to strive to impress you. It creates mutual respect; I work for them just as much as they work for me.”-Lena Request, President of ONTRAPORT
“Effective leaders take the time to listen deeply to every person related to the business, group, or organization. Often overlooked, creating and modeling a culture of listening in one’s company is the key to connecting with customers and employees, making each person feel valued as a person as well as a member of the team.
I’ve seen listening grow businesses, make money, and build relationships and it’s the key ingredient to being an effective leader.”–Marilyn Shannon, Founder of Women’s Empower Networking, LLC.
9. Ownership / Accountability
“Leaders who take ownership and are accountable for their work can quickly implement any successes, as well as learn from any failures. Beyond making or saving a company hundreds of thousands, these leaders also typically develop their employees to do the same.”-Micah Pratt, Director of Medicare Health Plans
“Great leaders are inquisitive and use strong, open-ended questions to learn about their staff, identify opportunities and threats to their business, and challenge their top employees to take risks, think critically, and increase engagement. Of course it probably also goes without saying that asking a great question isn’t enough… great leaders also know how to listen and leverage the answers they receive to make good decisions.”-Jamie Newman, Founder of Your Best Manager and Host of “Your Best Manager” podcast