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How to Be A Leader? Ideas to Develop Leadership and Management Qualities
Strong leadership qualities are what drive an organization forward and boost employee morale. Successful leaders form strong management teams that coordinate and ensure that everyone on the job knows what to do.
But just because someone is in a managerial or supervisory role doesn’t automatically make them a good leader. For instance, a boss could be the guy workers report to.
It is typically someone who has control over employees, who assigns tasks and duties and holds the authority to make decisions on certain matters.
But a leader is someone who leads by example. This is someone who inspires, supports, influences, and encourages employees and works continuously to achieve organizational goals.
So, while a boss has employees, a leader has followers. Whereas a boss administers and rules by authority, a leader innovates and inspires with trust.
The latter designation is often reserved for those who display a certain set of attributes in addition to practical business skills.
These leadership and management qualities are in high demand and for a good reason too.
While some leaders are born with these qualities, others may need to cultivate them. But this is not a hard thing to do anymore. There are various courses available either to attend in-person or online, which can help you develop leadership and management skills suitable to your profession.
Courses like Certificate IV in Leadership and Management are expertly designed for individuals looking to develop their role as an emerging leader in a range of enterprises and industries.
Such beginner courses are a great starting point for aspiring leaders while existing managers can benefit from more advanced courses to develop critical business strategies.
But wherever you are on the corporate leadership ladder, every leader should possess the following skills to formulate successful business approaches:
Integrity is a good quality to have in any given situation, but when you shoulder the burden of leading others as a team, people want someone they can always count on. Followers look for a leader who delivers on their word and never makes a promise they can’t keep.
Anyone in a position of authority who doesn’t follow through on their commitments invites others in the team to do the same. But integrity counters this effect and brings forth a concept of consistency in all areas of actions, methods, values, principles, measures, expectations, and outcomes. It shows a leader’s commitment to doing the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances.
When leaders establish a set of sound ethics policies and integrate them into all business processes, it becomes important for them to live by the same policies. Otherwise, they cannot hope to be effective leaders.
To get the most out of their teams, leaders need to be able to communicate their goals and expectations well. A good leader ensures that everyone knows what their role is and explains the expectations for that role.
When people have clear goals and expectations to follow, they are kept engaged in the job with something to work towards. Effective communication encourages employee engagement, which helps inspire a higher level of quality and productivity from employees.
Engaged employees do not hesitate to take the initiative and are even willing to work overtime without being asked. They will go above and beyond not just for a paycheque but because they are invested in the success of the organization.
It’s hard to envision successful leaders looking unsure and unclear. Instead, good leaders know how to move quickly and proceed with the available information rather than take more time and gather additional information.
Too often, people want to consider every possible alternative, thinking that they will have better choices and make the best decision. Sometimes, this exhaustive search is a way to resolve uncertainty on the assumption that if you go through everything, there will be no uncertainty.
However, when you’re presented with too many scenarios, you have a harder time deciding, and a lack of decisiveness often leads to missed opportunities.
Exceptional leaders often go with their gut when making decisions. They are able to trust themselves and their expertise without getting stuck in the cycle of overthinking. The more they know about a subject, the more reliable their intuition becomes, and the easier it becomes to decide.
Motivate and Inspire
Being proficient at motivating employees is, without a doubt, a true measure of a leader’s success. Motivation is important because it allows a leader to meet and even exceed their own organizational goals.
In fact, motivation plays a critical role in employee productivity, quality, and speed of work.
However, it is important to distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation means that individuals focus on an external incentive, such as receiving a reward or avoiding a penalty.
For instance, if an employee surpasses their sales quota, they may earn a bonus in turn. But, if they miss the sales quota repeatedly, their contract may be terminated.
Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, motivates employees to improve performance because it’s personally rewarding. Employees work on a project for its own sake instead of being driven by an external reward.
In another example, take a look at an employee who stays behind to complete a task because they find it enjoyable and interesting.
Since both types are equally important and should align with each other, good leaders focus on creating a work environment that is both intrinsically gratifying and extrinsically rewarding.
Another cornerstone of leadership and management skills is confidence. Someone in a position of authority with all the technical qualifications for the job, but lacking confidence will find it difficult to lead others.
Employees like working with leaders who are sure of themselves as there’s a tendency to trust people who appear confident. Oftentimes, working with a confident individual, assures others that the individual is also competent.
Confidence also ties into the other basics of leadership and management essentials such as decision making, conflict resolution, and delegation.
Solve problems effectively
Conflicts are inevitable, and the conflict-handling skills of a person-in-charge can make them more effective as a leader. When leaders are proficient at conflict resolution, they can see conflict as an opportunity to bring forth any hidden or lingering issues within the organization.
Effective conflict resolution helps increase understanding among employees while boosting both self-awareness and empathy. Those working with successful leaders able to resolve conflict usually find that instead of being alienated from one another, they can perform more cohesively than before.
But when mishandled, conflicts can be damaging. Conflicts can quickly turn into personal dislike, breaking down teamwork and wasting company time and talent as employees disengage from their work and leave.
A leader’s problem-solving potential can demonstrate that despite differences, different employees can work alongside each other and helps develop mutual respect.
Also, effective conflict resolution helps individuals re-examine expectations and goals and gain a better understanding of others’ perspectives.
Delegation is a careful process where the purpose is to get the job done according to company standards. Ultimately, the best leaders aren’t those who are the nicest or the toughest, but those who get things done and have tangible results to show.
To delegate effectively, leaders first need to know what to delegate. This means being specific and identifying and listing responsibilities that need to be assigned clearly.
It also implies matching projects to staff members appropriately. Determining which assignments would best suit each employee requires an understanding of the skills and knowledge of the staff and co-workers.
It’s also a good idea to offer projects you know employees will enjoy as they will be more enthusiastic about taking on an assignment if it’s something they like to do.
But successful delegation doesn’t stop after assigning a project. It’s equally important to follow up on your employees’ progress to see if they need any additional assistance or guidance.
And finally, thanking someone for a job well done is just as important as delegating effectively.
Enrolling in leadership and management courses is an excellent way to stay relevant in your field or industry. Leaders nowadays have a wide choice of learning opportunities to avail of everything from part-time courses to online classes.
Online colleges and institutes offer acclaimed courses like certificate IV in leadership and management online so that busy individuals can learn at a time and pace that suits them best.
Other ways to learn include coaching to build leadership skills, structured learning, and workshops to share tools and experiences within a team and shared 360 assessments.
Coaching helps leaders at all levels to unlock their potential to maximize performance; workshops are great for sharing skills and expectations, while assessments let leaders get feedback on their own leadership.
Continuous learning has the most impact when a combination of activities and learning experiences are implemented over time. Leaders who avail of these find themselves having a competitive advantage over others who don’t.