A leader in today’s business world has to wear many hats. Gone are the days when management ruled with an iron fist and demanded respect without ever earning it. Today, a good leader is a diplomat when it comes to negotiating tough situations. Today’s leader is a counselor, often handling uncomfortable conversations they never could have envisioned participating in before taking on the role. A leader is a logistics and time management specialist. Being an effective leader takes a very specific set of skills. Here is a list of the top five most essential skills for managers:
Communication is a two-way street, and good managers have to master the art of decoding as well as encoding messages effectively. It’s not just about presenting your point in an effective way, it’s about processing feedback and deciphering the message you get back from your co-worker. Communication is key for any business relationship, but it’s amplified by the manager-employee dynamic. If you want to lead, you’ll have to communicate effectively. Communication is one of the most essential skills for managers.
Being a leader means that from time to time, you’ll have to make unpopular decisions and convey messages that aren’t going to be received well. You’re often put in a position where you have to do something you know will negatively impact a small base of your workforce for the betterment of the whole team. It’s not easy. Having an analytic mind can be useful, and certainly looking at things objectively can eliminate the filters emotions can place on our judgment. But a good leader has a heart as well, and sometimes making the right decision means going with your gut, even when you know the outcome might not be popular. Finding that balance between your heart and mind in your decision-making process can be imperative to being an effective leader.
Managing the efforts of others directly is important, but leading by example is as well. Driving the way your business works by developing and cultivating fresh ideas is a great way to show that you are ready to position your company and those within its walls for success. A great leader doesn’t just execute the strategy, they create the strategy. Find ways to show those who work under your leadership that you are committed to driving the business forward and they will follow your lead.
When you have kids, you suddenly realize that the tasks that were the priority in your life aren’t as high on the family’s radar as they used to be. The same holds true for business leaders. You have to get all of your work done, but you also have to be prepared to put your work on hold if it means helping one of your employees or teammates get their jobs done. You have to be “all in” and dedicated to the success of the entire team, not just your goals, if you are going to lead. You also have to be able to make sure that every individual is on task and not being over-burdened or under stimulated by the slate of work presented to them.
This is probably the most vital trait a good leader can have. You want things done on your timeline, but business doesn’t always work that way. You want things handled as if you were taking care of them yourself, but you have delegated your authority to the efforts of others, and they might take some extra time to do it the way you want it done. Patience is the one virtue that will guide you through the growing pains of learning to lead.
Upward Solutions is here to help you get the most out of your management team. Using the Everything DiSC™ suite of products not only makes you a better leader, it helps you put the right team around you to position you for success. If you’re interested in finding out how you can get the most out of your employees, and yourself, we encourage you to contact Upward Solutions.