There are many contributing factors that lead to effective leadership. Every successful business owner knows that the biggest reason for their success is great leadership. While not everyone possesses the characteristics necessary to be a good leader, they can often be developed. For some it comes naturally, for others it requires a bit more work.
Communication – The #1 leadership skill
Communication skills are probably the most important factor in an effective leader. Without it, problems go unresolved; areas of business that could be improved or made more profitable remain just as they are, when certain areas could be made more productive or efficient. In leadership, it is absolutely necessary that an individual is able to convey ideas and thoughts to employees, and that employees be able to offer feedback so that the company is made better as a whole.
If problems exist among workers, someone with exceptional leadership skills is often able to iron out the problem by offering a viable or satisfactory solution. This assists in making for a calm, stable work environment.
Are you a motivator? Another essential leadership characteristic
People need to be motivated; after all, with no goals or end result to look forward to, employees tend to stagnate. Good leadership includes challenging workers to do better. Some employees even enjoy being assigned a project or challenge that is beyond their normal “scope” of duties. It increases their motivation, and they get an extra boost of confidence simply because you felt they were up to the challenge or task. Effective leadership often involves helping those who work for you as a whole feel better about themselves and their capabilities.
Avoid being the only person capable of handling details
Those who have good leadership skills understand that employees want to feel that they are part of the “team”, that their input will make a difference. More importantly, they want to feel that you are part of the team as well; that you’re not just a leader who feels that you are above their level, giving them directions without becoming actively involved in reaching a solution.
As someone in a leadership role, it is important that you realize that others need to feel capable of making decisions on their own; everyone has potential they may not use. By letting your employees use their untapped potential and make some decisions on their own, you will become a better leader who is also well-liked by the “team”.
Outstanding leadership requires an open mind
Listening to the ideas of your employees is essential in great leadership; by listening to the ideas and opinions of your workers, they will realize that you care and trust them to offer sound ideas – even if you feel that what they have to say is outside your own thoughts. Restrict judgment until after you hear what your employee’s have to say – you may just find that they have some great ideas that you haven’t thought of!
Effective leadership does not mean that you take on all problems and solutions yourself. Give your employees the chance to air their take on things, let them handle more responsibility, and above all, make them feel as though YOU are part of THEIR team.