It was Socrates who once said, “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” Great advice for today’s entrepreneurs and business leaders. And appropriate in the fast-moving world of business, where change is prevalent and malleable skills are required to succeed.
Leaders should never stop learning and no matter how high they climb up the career ladder, there’s always room for personal improvement. Here are seven key leadership skills required by today’s business leaders.
Whilst a psychology degree isn’t necessary for leadership, having a good understanding of people and different personality types (A type and B type personalities, for example) can help you get ahead in business. Understanding others, requires a level of empathetic thinking and tapping into this will help leaders build a better rapport with partners, colleagues and team members.
Ability to Inspire
Being a good leader is about influence over authority. Being an inspirational manager and having the ability to motivate others is much more productive than intimidating people into submission. In order to be influential, you must first lead by example and this means setting the highest standards for yourself as you do for others.
Problem Solving Skills
Problem solving skills are essential in all areas of the workplace. For leaders and executives, the ability to problem solve in a calm, timely manner will affect your decision making. And we all know that decision making is key for building a successful business.
Integrity and Honesty
Leaders need to lead by example and this means that business execs should try to be the very best versions of themselves. Working with transparency and promoting an honest work policy will allow team members to trust their leader, and acting with integrity when it comes to ethical or social matters will encourage colleagues to offer their full respect and support.
It’s great if you’re an ideas man -- or woman. But without communication skills, those fantastic business ideas have no way of coming to fruition. It’s important to know how to communicate your thoughts, feelings, ideas and strategies. But that’s not all. Good communication is a two way street and you also need to be a good listener. The finest leaders in the world know how to utilise feedback and they will always listen to those around them.
New ideas drive business growth, so today’s business leader needs to be highly innovative when it comes to product or service development. Innovative thinking should also be applied to all other strands of your business such as Research & Development, Marketing, Operations, or Human Resource Management. Having an innovative approach in every department will inspire even the most unlikely candidates to provide creative input.
A Change Champion
A good leader never gets stuck in old ways. Take the digital world as an example of how businesses need to be malleable with their strategies and how established companies need to rethink their approach now that online consumption overtakes traditional communication. Champion change and embrace the new for the greatest form of leadership.
Know when to ask for help
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. The ability to know the capabilities and limits of yourself and your team is not just good leadership, but common sense. Brite Advice is a business management consultancy. We help businesses of all shapes and sizes to make good decisions and take smart actions when it comes to things like business development, outsourcing, marketing and PR, personal branding, business processes, technology and document management.
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