Leaders or managers, this is the problem. While managers can be leaders, the reverse is not a must. In fact, these two roles are often separate. After all, modern businesses seem to prefer it this way. While leaders lead, managers manage.
On the other hand, every organization strives for success. Hence, any team wants to achieve, above and beyond. However, most often, management does not have a leadership role. In fact, management often deals with quality control and compliance. Also, they exercise control and offer accountability. Modern managers do all sorts of things, yet effective leadership seems to not be on the list.
And what’s most important of all, the best results happen with a combination of the two. Both effective management and effective leadership are responsible for success. Although effective management is widespread, effective leadership is hard to cultivate.
Here are the 8 skills and qualities you need in order to develop effective leadership.
1. Leaders are people-oriented
Team leaders are as good as the people they’re leading. To become an effective team leader, you should always stay in contact with team dynamics. If Susan has been feeling off lately, you need to know what’s going on. What does she need to get back on her feet? Who can help her do so?
Meanwhile, you should also consider how the rest of the team is feeling. They will have extra weight to carry while one member is down. Knowing your team is essential when dealing with sensitive situations.
Grow your business faster with better team communication!
After all, a leader knows how to read people. Also, leaders take a genuine interest in the mood of the group. In fact, they care about the needs of each individual.
People-skills are improvable. First, learn how to know yourself. Second, learn how to understand others. You can know yourself through meditation, therapy or coaching. And the list could go on.
You can learn to understand others in several ways. While getting a degree in psychology helps, experience is also an asset. A go-to solution is sales-training. In fact, any training in sales packs a lot of soft-skills development. Arguably, the best solution is a blend of the two.
2. Capable of making hard decisions
Risky or complicated decisions are hard to make. So, most people would rather avoid such decisions. Hence, your team will look up to you for guidance. And you should promptly take charge and offer the best course of action. After all, leaders inspire trust and determine others to follow.
Leaders must therefore be able to make hard decisions, often under pressure. Without this ability, there is no direction towards which to lead. However, hard decisions are hard because of several factors. First, the total number of options. Secondly, the complexity of their interactions. Thirdly, the immediacy of a required response. Finally, most people are not comfortable predicting the future.
To get better at problem-solving, do either math or logic or both. Perhaps a bit of coding. You could try “Project Euler” and go solve various basic math problems in Python. Some people work on International Mathematical Olympiad problems. Sounds like it’s too much? Training can yet again be a solution. Simply go for problem-solving and creativity training.
3. Inspire confidence in team efforts
Leaders are typically confident in everything they do. Transferring that to an entire team is challenging. In fact, it’s OK if you settle. Most of all, settle for each individual trusting team efforts.
One thing leaders must do is never diminish confidence in team efforts. They must always praise in public and criticize in private. Now extend this advice to a lot of other situations. For example, leaders should manifest interest with what each team member is doing. Or celebrate any milestone the team reaches.
The best solution is to have amazing recruiting. In fact, trusting your team starts with recruiting and continues with every achievement. And having each member trust team efforts becomes a breeze.
4. Think strategically
A leader has vision that inspires and carries teams ahead. A leader can also see the long-term goals of a team and individual team members at the same time.
Leaders must look ahead and analyze each step. Strategic thinking is at the core of any modern business. This is also applicable to modern leadership.
Vision and strategy. To develop vision, leaders need to make the right step. The right step is not one ahead, but rather, one above. Strategy is a step ahead, vision is a step above.
The solution is not simple. You can learn strategy. Play chess. It’s transferable. Spend 15 minutes everyday thinking about the 7 steps to improving something. Study algorithmic thinking.
Vision, however comes from a very special place. Vision is a place inside you where you let others dream. Most people cannot even open up to communicate.
5. Lead from the front
Lead by example and motivate others through personal actions. If employees have trouble following a tight schedule, a leader will be first to arrive and the last to leave. Closely following every deadline.
Issues with team collaboration? An effective leader will consider the best collaborative teamwork solution on the market. Perhaps even offer a minimal training to help the team adjust.
Leading by teaching is effective. Educators are leaders. So are trainers, professors etc. Usually, people involved with teaching others are leaders. This is why anyone interested in leadership should try becoming a trainer. Solution: attend a training of trainers :).
6. Capable of developing new opportunities
Leaders act, they do not react. New opportunities are something that leaders create, not something they encounter by chance. Also, leaders actively seek new opportunities.
They use strategic thinking to activate resources and invest in creating change. And they balance opportunity costs and focus on smart solutions.
This is most valuable when dealing with sales. Leaders in sales are constantly developing new opportunities. They know how to open. And they know how to close.
To develop new opportunities, open your mind. Decide that the universe is constantly offering you ways to grow. And see every situation as an opportunity. Worst case scenario, see it as a learning opportunity.
7. Direct team efforts with vision
Leaders can organize, partition and delegate work. By directing team efforts with vision, leaders become the heroes of flatten hierarchy.
They transform teams into vehicles that reach targets. And, most importantly, they take advantage of great ideas.
Having vision means being able to see the potential in everything. And when you see the potential of everything, you see the future.
Developing vision is personal. At least, it starts personal. We mentioned this notion before. Vision is a place inside you where you let others dream.
You first need to reach that place yourself. Also, you need to open it to the world. Lastly, you need to contemplate and come up with genuine answers.
8. Use effective communication
Leader are effective communicators. More precisely, they use correct information. 100% complete and to the point, well-aimed, available, understandable and on time.
When leaders speak, other people listen. They know the information they are getting is of value. Luckily, leaders are also rather loud and don’t wait for people to gather around them to speak up.
In conclusion, take a moment to see the potential. Ponder on the manager that has effective leadership. Realize where you are in your development. And take note of your next step. Most of all, learn to grow.