By Ryan Rhodes
Effective managers do more than give orders. They have specific skills that enable them to inspire and drive others toward success. Leadership can be the difference between a successful business and one that fails. A leader must establish a clear vision of progress and share that vision with employees. Leaders work to resolve problems among people who are responsible for achieving business goals. He or she must also ensure the coordination of the company’s economic resources for optimal performance.
A strong leader knows the value of his or her team and leverages their talents to maximize the use of corporate resources and drive success. Without one, management can fall into disarray, operations can lag and profits could tumble.
While management tactics vary from person to person, there are a few personal traits that every strong leader must have. Below are the top five leadership qualities and why each is critical in driving business success.
Strong communicators are better able to understand their employees, establish trusting and respectful relationships, resolve conflict, deliver difficult messages, solve problems and facilitate innovation.
In the age of constant interaction, this type of interaction may seem simple. However, the most effective leaders require a combination of interactive skills including nonverbal communication, stress management, body language and the ability to recognize their own emotions in addition to the feelings of those around them.
In order to improve their communication skills, managers can practice simple but useful exercises such as observing others, using body language to convey positive feelings and taking time to calm down when they are stressed.
The ability to embrace change is critical for managers seeking to drive growth. Today’s workforce is constantly working to adapt to changes in technology, diversity and the economy. Leaders who refuse to allow room for change will ultimately inhibit business growth.
Charles Darwin once stated that no matter how much intellectual and financial capital an organization has, it will struggle if its employees refuse to adapt to change. To perceive change as negative is a natural psychological reaction; one built into the human defense mechanism. However, change can also signify fresh ideas and the potential to innovate.
Strong teams welcome change by sharing diverse ideas and motivating one another. A workforce that serves as a support system for its members through transformational times is much more likely to achieve success. Leaders should spearhead these efforts.
It’s a universal business truth: employees that are more involved will feel more satisfied and invested in their role. Finding and retaining top talent can be difficult, but being open with people can help keep them happy and engaged.
Leaders should be honest with their potential customers and current clients. When speaking with an interested prospect, highlight the value they will derive from a partnership.
Be upfront about costs and let them know exactly when projects will be completed. Current clients deserve to know about both progress and failures. When something is going wrong, communicate the problem and how it is being resolved.
It’s also important for managers to be honest with themselves and recognize when they are trying to hide information from current or potential clients. Leaders should take the time to evaluate what is working and what isn’t, and what they could be doing to drive business success.
Leaders that know how to motivate their teams will quickly drive achievement. Motivation provided through managerial support and encouragement will boost employees’ willingness to work and improve their operational efficiency.
Businesses have a variety of organizational goals that cannot be accomplished unless its resources are fully utilized and its employees have a cooperative and driven work environment. To build this environment, leaders must enforce the importance of coordination and collaboration among team members.
Of course, a team that doesn’t get along is unlikely to be productive. One way to build friendly relationships among employees is to provide an incentive plan that will benefit and motivate them. The plan may consist of monetary or non-monetary incentives or promotion opportunities.
Organizational leaders are in the best position to drive team motivation because they have the closest contact with employees and best understand their needs and desires. It’s important for managers to understand that motivation is a continuous process because it is based on the wants of an evolving workforce.
The personal abilities and characteristics of individual team members can have a profound impact on the success of a business. Employees are the smallest building blocks of their teams, and their individual contributions affect the outcome of group projects. When people collaborate, their teamwork not only benefits the group, but the organization as a whole.
With good teamwork, employees can better share ideas and responsibilities, and more efficiently complete projects. Collaboration also facilitates strong professional relationships and helps individuals feel more valued within their organization.
Teamwork also provides an excellent opportunity for new or inexperienced members to learn from seasoned employees. Because organizational teams often consist of people with a variety of skills, their collaboration encourages them to challenge and acquire skills from one another.
Serving as a corporate leader is a challenging and rewarding experience. Strong managers will see their success not only in the form of completed projects and profitability, but in the collaboration and satisfaction of their employees.
Ryan Rhodes is an associate SEO specialist that works for Bisk Education and writes about Human Resources for Villanova University. He enjoys all things social media and the impact these channels have on businesses. Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter