Finding a strong and effective leader is crucial for the success of any organization. Leaders act as a guide for the employees and the organization and help in improving their performance. A strong leader empowers, motivates, and inspires the team that results in the formation of a high-performance team. So, the presence of an effective leader can change the face of the organization.
But the true strength of leadership is tested during tough times. In this current scenario, where business and the way of working are evolving at a rapid pace, how leaders handle the challenges will determine the success of the organization.
Here, in this article we will share top eight skills of leaders which distinguish them from others.
Start By Setting Goals
Goal Setting is important for every employee, and it is one of the first steps toward effective leadership. Once a leader is clear about the goals and vision, they can translate the same to the team effectively. It will help employees to align their personal and professional goals to the organizational goals. Moreover, having specific and SMART goals helps employees to stay focused and gives them a sense of purpose and direction.
Leadership fails to create an impact and is not effective without a definite goal or a vision.
Become Self Aware
Self-awareness is a fantastic skill for anyone to have. But more so than others, it is good for leaders to be self-aware and critical. Just as they need to be aware of their strengths, they also need to be aware of their failings (no one is immune to weakness). They need to recognize when they can contribute effectively, and when they need someone else to step in and take over. Self-awareness is not so much about acknowledging you do not know how to do something as much as it is about recognizing your limitations and making decisions that have the most acceptable outcome.
Empathy is one of those soft skills that are absolutely necessary for everyday life and most definitely in a corporate setting. It is good for leaders to have a head for business, but empathy is also an equally important skill. It is as simple as recognizing the efforts your employees are making. Understanding that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you cannot achieve your end result. Empathy is realizing that different people work differently and as a leader, your job is to integrate that into a team, rather than digging your heels in.
Accountable and Responsible
Accountability and responsibility are two skills that go hand in hand. If you handle an organization, or a team, remember, you are accountable for it as well. The essence of leadership is accepting the bouquets along with the brickbats. This means, when the going is good, stepping back and letting your team take the spotlight. And when the going is back, stepping forward and accepting accountability for what happened. Sure, maybe you did not directly affect whatever happened. However, as a leader, you need to take charge, especially when the chips are down.
Being honest doesn’t mean you have to be honest to a fault. There’s no need to spill your guts or that of the organization to everyone. However, the type of honesty that matters most in an organization is the honest acknowledgment of troubles, obstacles, mistakes, successes, etc.
When leaders are honest and attempt to be as transparent as they can, they engender loyalty among employees. On the other hand, if leaders are secretive, or very inscrutable and difficult to read, employees feel alienated and might even assume the leader is doing something shady, even if they really are not.
Be A Great Listener
It is one of the most undervalued and ignored aspects of leadership qualities. Being a good listener helps leaders to pay greater attention to their employees, and it shows that they care for them. When leaders are an active part of a conversation, they understand not only the verbal cues but also the non-verbal ones.
When leaders pay undivided attention to their employees and listen to their opinions and concerns, employees feel valued and are more engaged at work.
Be Flexible With Your Employees
Does flexibility mean that leaders have to be absolutely easy going and accepting of everything? No, that is not it. Leaders need to be disciplined and stern however, flexibility is also an important skill to possess. Leaders need to be flexible in the sense that they need to realize that at times, things will not go as per plan. Or maybe, employees have a certain amount of bandwidth and beyond that, they cannot be pushed. Or for example, it is not possible to over-perform and over-deliver frequently without causing discord and tension. Flexible leaders look for alternate options, are considerate of employees and do not expect gold to be made out of thin air.
Be Ready To Embrace Change
Most successful leaders value the importance of change and know that it is inevitable. Leaders need to be open-minded and accept change willingly. It reflects the preparedness of the leader when they face uncertainty and challenges. Moreover, when leaders are open to change, it promotes a sense of open culture in the organization. It encourages innovation and new ideas among the employees. When employees are motivated to give their input and ideas, it increases employee engagement and boosts their morale.
When a leader is open to change and adopts new or alternative ways of thinking, it brings positive growth to the employees and the organization.
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