Leadership Skills Managers Need and How to Develop Them
As a manager, you have a lot of responsibilities.
You have deadlines, quotas and probably a lot of paperwork.
However, one of your most important responsibilities isn’t found on a spreadsheet. It’s to be a responsible, inspirational leader for your employees.
Your leadership skills as a manager are one of the important factors – if not the most important – in running a successful business.
Because leadership can sometimes be ethereal concept, without any clear definition, we’ve compiled some of the most useful leadership skills and some methods for developing them.
What Are the Most Useful Traits of a Good Leader?
Anybody who’s ever walked through the self-help or business section of a bookstore knows there’s a million different methods to becoming a better leader.
It’s hard to tell what’s snake oil and what’s the real deal. Thankfully, there are some leadership skills that rise above the others, in terms of proven effectiveness and real-world utility.
It might sound obvious, but being open to communicating with your workers is an essential part of being a good leader.
This doesn’t mean trite conversations about the weather or boardroom meetings where everyone trying their best to stay awake. Instead, it means being open to your employees’ feelings and opinions. This isn’t to say you have to give in to every one of them, but you should be open to hearing them.
Not only will the occasional great idea fall in your lap, but it will create an environment of intellectual curiosity, which, in turn, will result in a more productive, experimental workforce.
This should be a two-way street, as you should also be open with your employees. Let them know where you stand on work-related issues and always remain cordial. You want your workers to look up to you, but you still want to appear human. Having a rapport with their boss will keep your employees satisfied.
This one might sound a little corny, but it’s true. Along with camaraderie and discipline, your workers need to know they can trust you. This will result in employees feeling comfortable enough to bring you complaints or ideas and make the first trait in this list – communication – much easier.
Honesty itself is essentially an extension of a larger trait, which is integrity. If your workers have a negative impression of you, they’re not going to follow you. They’re going to question everything you say and drag their feet. By being honest with them, they’re more likely to see you as a guiding light, as opposed to a ruthless overlord.
As someone in a leadership position, you should be in a constant state of learning. Even if you’re the most well-read, highly productive manager, you should be fully aware there’s always more to learn. If you’re reading this right now, then you’re on the right track.
This is especially true in the world of business, where the landscape is constantly changing. A great leader needs to stay on top of the latest advances and trends in whatever industry he or she is involved in.
This is especially true in industries based around technology, as that’s the one part of your culture that seems to be progressing the fastest these days.
In addition to being informed on a macro level, you should also be informed at a micro level. This means keeping a close eye on your office, both in its results and day-to-day dynamic. By keeping an eye to the ground, you’ll be better prepared if any problems should arise.
How Do You Bolster Your Leadership Skills Resume?
Now you know a few of the most useful leadership skills, but it’s not like you can go to the leadership store and throw them in your basket.
Becoming a great leader isn’t that easy.
In fact, the struggle is part of the process. Here are a few methods that will help you hone your leadership skills.
1. Leadership Training
One of the most popular ways to learn some useful leadership traits is a leadership class. Not every class out there is going to be helpful, however, as there’s a lot hucksters who claim to be experts. But with a little research, you can find some worthwhile options.
The best training sessions will teach you innovative practices and program design, as well as focus on the most relevant, modern-day business solutions.
That last part is incredibly important, as you don’t want to become involved in a class that preaches dated policies. On the downside, some leadership training can be quite expensive.
2. Be a Leader All the Time
If you want to be a great guitar player, what do you do? You don’t play guitar only when you’re on stage. You play the guitar all the time. You play until you can play in your sleep.
The same goes for being a leader. Even when you’re not in a suit, sitting behind a mahogany desk, you still need to be flexing those muscles. This means being involved in a charity, your child’s Parent-Teacher Association or even a softball team.
All that matters is that you’re participating in an organization where you have to deal with others and make collective decisions.
The lessons learned in these situations will scale perfectly to your workplace dynamic. Sports, in particular, has proven to be a successful way to hone certain leadership skills. Among businesswomen with a C-suite position, a study found that 96% of them played sports at some time in their life.
With a number like that, extracurricular leadership is hard to argue with.
Put These Examples of Leadership to Action
In many ways, becoming a better leader is a personal journey, but one that benefits everyone.
You must learn to communicate effectively, create an impression of honesty, and always remain aware of the goings-on in your industry.
To help develop these skills, there are effective leadership classes available. If you don’t want to fork over the money, then become involved in an extracurricular team-based activity.
Hopefully, these leadership skills and development techniques can provide something of a road map.
Let us do the hiring for you, so you can focus on building your team and developing leaders. Contact Atlas Staffing today to hear how we’ve helped others just like you.