There are many different leadership roles in every organisation, but they all require a certain set of skills. In short, the most important attributes for a leader to have are dedication to the company, their team and their personal development.
However, this is not all that is needed. Every leader needs to make sure they put in the effort to develop other practical skills for the workplace.
Fear not: these skills can be learned! To help you target them all, we’ve put together a handy list of ten of the most important.
Creativity is at the heart of being a great leader. You must be prepared to think outside the box and reconsider old ways of working. While traditional approaches are often valuable, there is no point sticking with something just because that’s how it has been done in the past.
Lead your team by example and inject creativity into your role. In this way, you can save administrative time and energy, while also improving the results.
No good leader does it all on their own. Instead, they are involved in getting the most from their team. When everyone is contributing their best work, there is no need for the leader to micromanage every interaction.
This depends on your organisation and leadership style, but on the whole, being able to delegate will improve your leadership.
A functional team will look to their leader in times of difficulty. As a result, it’s important that you put in the work everyday. A one-off spark of creativity is all well and good, but this is not enough to make a great leader. Establishing a reliable and trustworthy chain of command will improve the hierarchy of the organisation.
Flexibility is an often-underrated skill for a leader to have. All too often, organisations get trapped in one way of doing things. Being adaptable at all times will allow you to improve your internal processes.
The past two years have shown us how important flexibility is. Nothing is ever 100% certain, in business or life, so you have to be prepared to face reality. Even if you are committed to a project, sometimes it is necessary to make changes if they will benefit the company.
Time management is one of the practical skills that is important at every level of the organisation. However, when you’re a leader, it becomes more important than ever. Effective project management involves overseeing multiple areas at once. You have to make sure you are not wasting time on the things that don’t matter.
Taking a broad view of the information you have is crucial when it comes to effective leadership. Consider it analytically rather than accepting what you are told at face-value. Remember: you have become a leader for a reason. Apply the critical thinking skills that have got you where you are today.
You might be brilliant at weighing up the options, but to be a good leader you need to take control of the decision-making process. This only works if decisions actually get made! The difference between a leader and a follower is that a leader has the confidence to make the final call.
This doesn’t mean rushing into decisions without research! But it does mean knowing when to be decisive. Don’t waste the critical thinking skills you have by not applying them to practical choices.
When you are in a leadership role, you can’t afford to lose motivation. The drive to succeed has got you where you are for a reason. All the other skills on this list are limited if you don’t have motivation. Of course, everyone has off days, but the ability to push forward despite this is the hallmark of a strong leader.
But motivation isn’t just about motivating yourself, it’s also about getting the best work from your team. When you have a positive attitude to work, it will spread to the rest of your team.
Even if everything is functioning well, your team needs to be aware of where they stand. Otherwise, how will they know to keep on doing what they are doing? Some feedback can come in the quantitative form of KPIs.
However, it’s important that you also offer qualitative feedback. If a member of staff is not putting in their best work, there may be a reason for this. By offering constructive feedback, you can see whether the problem is avoidable.
You can also use employee surveys to gain a better understanding of your team. Feedback can work both ways!
Every skill on this list is important, but communication underlines them all. Even if you are the most motivated, positive, creative manager in the world, you need your staff to know about it. Whatever their title in the organisation, an effective leader needs to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Being a leader is not easy! The everyday challenges you face are much more complex and the consequences are more severe. As a result, you need to make sure that everything is set up for you to succeed.
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From creating an agenda to establishing a strong admin trail, every step of the process should be as smooth as possible. With the right software, the complex task of governance can be much easier!