Good leaders are immensely important within every single business. The simplest way of explaining the need for good leaders in business is to paint a picture of what a business would look like if it had exclusively bad leaders. A business helmed by bad leaders is unfocused, its workers are unhappy and its strategies and aims are undefined. It has issues with bullying, its workers fail to represent it to clients and customers, and it is marooned on an island without meaningful connections to other businesses. Good leadership changes all of this.
There is something of a crisis in business leadership at the moment. The so-called ‘great resignation’ has involved a great many people quitting their jobs before they can be trained to be good leaders. Companies have countered this trend by attempting to swiftly promote people from within in order to inspire loyalty and encourage wise and experienced leaders. They have created competency frameworks that outline the kind of skills their leaders should have and have been more active than ever in trying to identify and nurture those skills within their existing workforces. But what are the qualities and competencies that a good business leader must possess? In this article, we take a quick look at some of the most important leadership qualities in business.
All good leaders are clear communicators. Leadership in just about any field of business is essentially a communicative task first and foremost. Clearly communicating roles, tasks, strategic aims and personal expectations is massively important. Communication should, ideally, be a reciprocal matter. Leaders should listen avidly and express themselves clearly. Good communication skills are surprisingly hard to develop and assess. Many businesses prefer to hire leaders from within because this gives them time to assess the communicative prowess of the people they are promoting. Hiring for leadership positions from within is generally considered to be a wise choice in modern business.
While business leaders don’t have to be mind readers, they do have to have a healthy degree of empathy for the people working around them. They need to be able to appreciate the problems those working in their teams focus and to use their empathic knowledge to formulate solutions. Employees will have a great deal more respect for their leaders if they are aware of their empathic nature.
If a person is being promoted into a leadership role within an engineering company, you had better hope that they have a working knowledge of engineering concepts. Business leaders with a working technical knowledge of their field have a significant advantage in managing their organization. Technical knowledge allows leaders to better understand and anticipate changes in the industry, and to make informed decisions about product development, marketing, and investments. This knowledge can also improve communication and collaboration with employees, as leaders are better able to understand the challenges faced by their team members. Leaders with technical expertise are better equipped to identify and implement new technologies and innovations, leading to greater efficiency and productivity.
The higher up in a company a person is, the more they have to have their eyes firmly on the strategic aims of the business. In order to have a good strategic vision, a leader must have the ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture – beyond the management of everyday tasks. They should be willing to engage with and work towards Key Performance Indicators – or KPIs – that can be directly correlated to the achievement of long-term strategic aims. A good leader will have enough of a strategic vision to formulate Key Performance Indicators that directly link to strategic success. They must also be comfortable with conveying the importance of strategic aims to people working below them in the chain. If they cannot do this, then the workforce they have taken charge of will be near enough aimless.
As you might expect, leading a department (or an entire business for that matter) is by no means plain sailing. Business leaders at all levels are expected to deal with complicated problems as part of their work. They should be able to keep a cool head and use their analytical skills, technical knowledge, and relationships with others to find a solution to any problem that happens to arise in the workplace. There are too many problems to name in this article that commonly face leadership personnel in modern business environments. Some businesses use learning technology providers like Thinqi.com to help develop problem-solving skills in their leaders.
There are plenty of ways in which business leaders can approach problem-solving. Problem-solving lies at the very core of every leadership role. It should be one of the most exciting and motivating parts of being a leader at work. Good leaders do not see the occurrence of a problem as a distracting road block, but rather as a strategic enabler that inspires broad change. Strategic enablers are the key capabilities and resources that enable a business to execute its strategic plan effectively. These may include technological infrastructure, skilled workforce, financial resources, efficient processes, problem-solving protocols and effective leadership. By focusing on developing and leveraging these enablers, businesses can achieve their strategic goals and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
A good leader knows how to inspire the people around them. An inspired team is more engaged, motivated, and committed to achieving the goals of the organization. When leaders inspire their team members, they create a positive work environment that fosters creativity, innovation and growth. Inspired employees are more likely to take the initiative and to be super proactive in finding solutions to problems. When leaders inspire their team members, they build trust, respect and loyalty – which leads to higher levels of employee retention and a stronger team culture. Business leaders should ideally serve as role models for their team members, demonstrating the behaviors and values that are critical for success in the organization.