Wondering what you need to succeed as a leader? Here are some MUST-HAVE leadership competencies you need to know about.
Everyone in middle or senior management rungs of their corporate career think a LOT about how to be a good and effective leader! As you rise higher you WILL have individuals and teams reporting to you and managing them will be the MOST important part of your job!
So, no wonder leadership dilemmas keep many awake at night! How do you know if you are a good leader? What makes a good leader and what do you need to do to become one?
So, let’s start at the beginning with a list of some leadership competencies that most agree are absolutely critical for a leader.
1. Long-term Vision and the ability to reach these goals
These are two competencies rolled into one! A leader must be able to see the big picture and plan for it. It’s almost like a game of chess. You have to predict at least 7 moves ahead to cover all contingencies and get to your final goal!
But that’s not enough – all this strategy has to be executed as well. So, a good leader should also know how to get his/her hands dirty. They need to ensure that an actionable plan is created and people are put in place to carry out the whole thing. AND they need to able to step in when things go south.
2. Trustworthy, fair and consistent
The biggest job of a leader is to create an environment where his/her team feels safe and well cared for. When you, as the boss, ensure that everyone follows the same rules, you instil a sense of fairness. An employee knows what to expect, and this gives them the stability to relax and focus on performing well rather than cover their backside.
3. Delegate with confidence
With seniority, workload increases and becomes more complex, and at this point, it becomes obvious that the most successful leaders are the ones who can empower others around them to do their work. Delegation can be difficult for managers stepping into new leadership roles – but finding the right person and then giving them the freedom and the power to do their work is one the key competencies of a leader.
Leaders are role models and its vital that their team sees them sticking up for what’s right! To succeed as a leader, you cannot be someone who doesn’t stand up for what you believe in. Not standing by your principals, is a sure-fire way of losing the respect of your team.
5. Promote growth
A confident leader nurtures his/her team. They have a growth mindset which allows team members to develop both personally and professionally. Listening to what they say, letting them take ownership of projects and providing them with valuable L&D training opportunities are some of the things a leader should promote.
A leader may not have all the answers all the time, and yet they are expected to lead others towards the corporate goals. This requires being able to understand themselves better and manage their own emotions. Understanding what drives them, how they react in various situations and how to keep themselves motivated in all situations are some of the key things leaders need to know about themselves. Unless they are able to do this with themselves, how can they be expected to manage others?
7. Influencing Skills
At its core, leadership is about influencing others, so a good leader needs to be a master of social influence. Especially in this age, throwing your weight around or being bossy will not get you the desired results. Seeing things from another’s perspective can help you understand what they want and allows you to focus on win-win situations and present your points in a way that it is well accepted.
Naturally, there are many more qualities that a leader needs to have – highly developed social skills is one – but the ones listed above are some of the most essential. As you can see, they are connected to developing a mindset, not a skill so, if you are wondering if these competencies can be developed then yes it’s possible.
Coaching and training are ways to ensure that individuals become successful leaders. The most successful training interventions are the ones that give the manager/leader actual opportunities to implement what they have learned and to get regular feedback on how they are doing.
A failure to invest in this training and development means that most companies will struggle with leadership issues, as they continue to place unprepared managers into leadership roles.
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