Seemingly Simple, but Always Essential Skills Successful Leaders Have
Leadership has always been an important aspect of any situation faced by any group, but arguably no more so than in business, the success of which investments and livelihoods rely upon.
The concept of leadership is hardly anything new, as it has existed for as long as living beings have. However, as the demands of the position have changed, so too has natural leadership become insufficient. It is because leaders of the present are responsible in facing a myriad of complexities, as those working among the higher ups of most companies can attest.
Fulfilling the role now goes beyond high-ranking titles and having one’s own team, however, where the nuances of the company or market that a leader works in, can sometimes make some seemingly simple, but always essential, leadership skills be an afterthought.
Honest and With Integrity
Great leaders throughout history had always been quite honest and transparent, and exude a great deal of integrity. By saying what needs to be said, while at the same time standing by one’s words, leaders help their ranks move forward, while at the same time making sure their teams have little uncertainty regarding their company, or their own personal performances.
As Umpqua Bank CEO Ray Davis shared in his book Leading Through Uncertainty, “I always tell our people that they’re entitled to get answers to every question they have. That doesn’t mean they’re going to like the answers. But it’s going to be truthful, and I know they can deal with the truth. This might create additional questions, but we’ll get through them. And we do.”
Is Results Driven
In relation to moving forward, another key characteristic for most successful leaders is being results oriented and being relied upon to get things done. Whether it was the explorers of the eighteen-hundreds, or the business tycoons of now, most effective leaders have always had a preference for moving forward, even if slowly, than not moving at all.
While from a business standpoint, being results driven may only seem to be for the sake of ensuring best use of company time and resources, effective leaders know that developing an efficient and results driven team also means helping each member make better use of their time and have enough left for personal use.
Inspires and Motivates
Considered by more than 330,000 bosses, peers, and subordinates as the most important competency from a list of 16 key leadership skills in a study conducted by leadership development consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, inspiring and motivating contributes greatly to how committed members of the team or company are when seeing their work through.
Effective leadership includes being able to cultivate a vision that is vivid and compelling, one which specifically also motivates employees to make it come to fruition. Almost everyone wants work in or be part of a group that makes a difference in the world or has a significant impact on the market. Leaders are in the best position to best help team members or subordinates to realize what impact their role has on clientele and/or the community.
Adaptable, and Even Champions Change
It’s no secret that in business, or mostly anything for that matter, are subject to constant change. This is particularly more rapid for the former, however, making it necessary that people and the organizations they are involved with are always ready to change along with it. Effective leaders tend to see change on the horizon, and constantly push their people to be ready when those changes take effect.
As shared by Jacqueline van den Ende, founder and CEO of Lamudi Philippines, change seemingly also leads to new opportunities. “Our company came at exactly the right moment, because online and everything digital is exploding, and every Filipino knows that they can go to the Internet to find property. Had we not been ready and decided to come in later, then our competitors would be better established, and we may not have the place we have in the market today.”
Communicates Powerfully and Prolifically
Great leaders don’t just communicate with their people often, they are capable of doing so in a variety of different ways. Knowing particularly when and how to communicate with each individual member of the team is paramount, as it allows a leader to better understand his people, especially when addressing their weaknesses and recognizing their strengths.
Being a good communicator also encourages members to communicate more themselves, which helps effectively in knowing the needs of everyone on a team. Building a strong team is easier when a leader is well aware of the values and goals of each individual, as well as what they require from their company and its leadership.
For any business or pursuit, there comes a time when things may not go according to plan. The best of leaders know how to navigate such situation, putting out proverbial fires and ensuring the people he or she is in charge of continues to maintain a high morale. A great deal of confidence is necessary to consistently be able to successfully work through such storms the team or company goes through.
This same confidence is necessary when successfully delegating responsibilities. While almost all leaders have a long-term vision of the future, the most effective know how to convey this to their people, and trust them enough with their talents and strengths to have responsibilities delegated to them to make the vision a reality.