What is 'Leadership'
Leadership is the ability of a company's management to set and achieve challenging goals, take swift and decisive action, outperform the competition, and inspire others to perform well.
It is tough to place a value on leadership or other qualitative aspects of a company, compared to quantitative metrics that are commonly tracked and much easier to compare between companies.
Individuals with strong leadership skills in the business world often rise to executive positions such as CEO, COO, CFO, president and chairman.
What are the Top 4 Qualities That Make A Great Leader ?
Honesty may be seen as transparency and openness- your willingness to communicate what you’re thinking or feeling, even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular.
Honesty may be seen as a willingness to listen and discuss issues before the data is completely thought through, when available alternatives are not fully crystallized, and when decisions are not yet final. It may also be seen as keeping your word, following through on promises, and delivering on time.
Finessing your brand vision is essential to creating an organized and efficient business, but if you don’t learn to trust your team with that vision, you might never progress to the next stage. Its important to remember that trusting your team with your idea is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Delegating tasks to the appropriate departments is one of the most important skills you can develop as your business grows. The emails and tasks will begin to pile up, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the lower the quality of your work will become, and the less you will produce.
The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. Find out what each team member enjoys doing most. Chances are if they find that task more enjoyable, they will likely put more thought and effort behind it. This will not only prove to your team that you trust and believe in them, but will also free up your time to focus on the higher level tasks, that should not be delegated. It’s a fine balance, but one that will have a huge impact on the productivity of your business.
Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership. You can teach a leader to be an effective problem solver; more decisive; a better communicator; how to coach, mentor and hold team members accountable; and many other fundamentals of leadership. Yet, without that leader first believing in himself or herself, true leadership will exist only in title.
A leader that is technically qualified for the position, but lacks confidence, will find it difficult to lead others. As Francisco Dao says, “Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best.”
Some people may think that leaders who are overly aggressive in their communication and/or leadership style have strong confidence. When taken to an extreme, leaders who are overly aggressive are even referred to as bullies. Interestingly enough, people with strong confidence do not have a need to be overly aggressive to get their goals accomplished. Being overly aggressive is actually a sign of a lack of confidence, not having strong confidence.
Good Leaders, Good Communicators
There’s no mystery here. Regardless of whether you’re talking about business, politics, sports or the military, the best leaders are first-rate communicators. Their values are clear and solid, and what they say promotes those values. Their teams admire them and follow their lead. Likewise, if you want your company to reach new benchmarks of achievement, you must master the art of clear communication. So, how do you do it?
First, you must realize and accept that clear communication is always a two-way process. It’s not enough to speak clearly; you have to make sure you’re being heard and understood. To facilitate this, use the following two-way communication primer:
- Prepare how you’ll communicate
- Deliver the message
- Receive the message
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the communication afterwards
- Take corrective action as necessary
Primers, of course, aren’t enough. You must go deeper and determine why internal communications are poor or ineffective, considering any potential barriers. Once the barriers have been identified, you’ll see where to improve.
Additionally, you’ll inevitably realize the stakes are high when it comes to communicating — if you fail to do this properly, you can poison the atmosphere between you and a colleague, as well as your company’s morale.
So the next time you’re drafting a letter, e-mail or policy statement, before you send it, stop and consider these common barriers to clear communication:
- Lack of respect by either party for the other.
- Poorly defined purpose for the communication.
- Failure to establish the best medium for the communication (e-mail and cell phones are NOT the best ways to communicate serious material).
- Assumption that the listener receives the message.
- Ignored emotions or sensitivities.
- Failure to get on the listener’s level of understanding.
- Intimidation by either party.