For a long time, some people have held the narrative that leaders are born and not made. However, this narrative is quickly changing as most people are of the idea that leadership development is possible through the adoption of specific skills. Leadership skills are essential in all levels of the organisation, and they come in handy when organising workmates to attain a set goal.
Effective leadership is a very crucial component in the success of any organisation. For instance, good leaders aid in the creation of strong teams that ensure work functions and assignments are completed successfully. Leadership is not only a single skill but a combination of several skills, as discussed below.
Strategic Thinking Skills – It is one of the most crucial leadership skills that a leader needs. Strategic thinking means envisioning where you want to be, devising plans, and working to achieve that goal. A strategic thinker always has the big picture in mind and is not interrupted by sideshows. A leader with this skill not only creates a vision but also communicates it to their followers and brings them on board to achieve the desired goal.
Communication Skills – Effective leadership requires one to be able to clearly and concisely communicate to their followers about the firms main goals and the specific tasks to be undertaken. Good leaders should master the art of using all forms of communication.
Listening is an integral part of communication, and a leader should work towards creating a smooth flow of communication between themselves and their followers. Besides, leaders should avail themselves as often as possible to discuss issues with their followers and come up with solutions. A good leader should be an active listener, articulate, and clear.
Delegation and Empowerment- A good leader should attend to the core responsibilities while allowing others to take on the non-core manageable tasks. A leader should allocate jobs to followers, offer them the needed resources, guide them, and allow them to have a certain level of responsibility. By doing this, followers feel empowered and responsible for the achievement of the outlined goals. Besides, the delegation of tasks allows the leadership development of employees or followers. Delegation also enables a leader to identify the abilities of each follower or employee, and jobs are assigned to match their skills.
Creativity and Innovation – Sometimes as a leader, you will be faced with issues that do not have obvious solutions, and as such, you will be required to think outside the box. Creativity and innovation always involves approaching problems from a non-traditional view. Innovations enable a leader to solve a rather unsolvable problem. Employees will always look up to a leader who goes out of the ordinary and safe way of solving issues.
Commitment – A good leader should follow through with the plan of action they have laid out. Commitment involves doing everything possible to ensure a goal is achieved even if it entails putting in extra work and time. Employees or followers will also commit to their jobs if their leader leads by example.
Responsibility – A leader is accountable for all successes and failures of their team or organisation. Leadership encompasses taking responsibility when something does not go as planned. Employees expect their leader to accept failures and come up with new solutions for improvement rather than pointing fingers and putting the blame on others.
Decision-Making Skills – Besides a futuristic vision, a leader should be capable of making the correct decision at the right time. Decisions made by leaders tend to have a considerable impact on the performance of a team or organisation. A leader must think deeply before making a decision and stand by it once it is made. Also, consulting key partners is essential before making any decision.
Empathy – Empathy is a skill that is often overlooked, and a leader must develop empathy towards employees or followers. Most leaders prefer dictating things to engaging followers and understanding what they would want. Employees feel closer to an empathetic leader and are likely to communicate, interact freely, and perform better where they feel wanted.