Boss’s Day is on 16 October, so we focus on leadership skills and what good managers need to be a true “captain of their ship.” Through the Leadership Development Programmes, The Mindspa Institute has offered for both national and international companies throughout the years, it became evident that leadership skills continuously require upgrading and refreshing due to the constant changes in the workforce and work environment.
Ronald Reagan said: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Managers need to realise that they mobilise their teams to take the organisation to new performance heights. We identified these 10 ‘Must-Have’ leadership skills to achieve just that:
There are a lot of other synonyms that can be listed under this point like truthfulness, honesty, reliability, etc. all meaning the same. This is the very foundation of any department or team. Trust and respect should be earned by both parties involved. It can’t be done if a manager is not honest and reliable, but instead manages by controlling their teams with fear. Lead by example. Do the right thing. Practice what you preach.
When you are a good communicator people will understand your vision. No person can perform without knowing what is expected of them, how to do it and what they are doing wrong. To be able to communicate each individual’s role properly and what is expected to be the outcome is one of the most important skills any good manager must have. However, a good communicator also has great listening skills. Active listening makes people feel heard. Managers, who let their employees feel heard, foster better relationships with them.
3. Emotional Intelligence
Emotionally Intelligent managers are highly sought after. High EQ skilled leaders manage their employees with empathy. They can put themselves in their employee’s situation and understand what motivates and inspires them to perform. Emotionally intelligent leaders make people feel wanted and needed. In essence, people don’t want to feel like a number. The more you care about them, the more they will care about you as their leader. Maya Angelou ingeniously said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
4. Problem-solving and Decision Making
Tough decisions and difficult problems in a business arise usually when there is some form of change. It also forms part of everyday life. Leaders who view problems as opportunities and take knowledgeable and proficient decisions with confidence are the leaders who are good managers. This is also a trait companies who are hiring look for in a good manager. To come up with creative solutions to problems, think innovatively about improving productivity, etc. as it makes for a good manager.
5. Mentor your team members
Coaching, investing your know-how, and sharing experiences with your employees will equip and inspire them to take action and achieve the desired goals. Subordinates need guidance and managers should teach them the necessary skills needed to grow in their careers. Another element of mentoring is also to build the confidence and self-esteem of all team members. Knowing your team has an ‘I can’ attitude makes for a force to be reckoned with.
A successful organization with diverse and motivated employees is destined for growth and prosperity. Great leaders continually invest in their people. They understand that motivation is different for everyone. Great leaders know that holding employees accountable for their actions is in itself a great motivator. They empower their employees with the knowledge and keep them motivated because they are in-tuned with the needs and wants of each team member.
Managers receive the team and the team receives the manager. Because each team member is expected to do work within the team, to know your team and each member’s strengths and weaknesses is the best starting point to get them all working together. Make your team a community. Teach them devotion and loyalty. Do a lot of team-building exercises so you can feel like a family.
Great leaders are always positive because they know it will help motivate and inspire their teams. Leaders are the people who make others see that every dark cloud has a silver lining. When managers adopt a positive attitude they too will excel in their role. A positive attitude is a choice you as a manager want your subordinates to mirror. If you as the manager or your team lack optimism, it is a good idea to start self-motivating and feed your team a steady regular stream of motivational material like talks, podcasts, videos, quotes, etc. There is a quote by an unknown author that reads: “Leaders instil in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.”
Leadership for managers means less involvement in the actual doing of the task and more participation in the strategy behind the task. Therefore a good manager with delegation skills will be able to shape the ideas of the team members rather than dictating the action plan. Develop your delegation skills and learn how to let go, trust your team members to do the work and hold them accountable to shape their performance.
The final leadership skill that good managers need is dedication and commitment. When the going gets tough the tough get going…and they stick. Leaders don’t run from a situation. They face their fears and find creative solutions to solve the problem.
There are many leadership training programmes out there that teach managers how to manage but not how to lead, or how to build trust and respect or how to care and have empathy. With the right leadership skills, any manager can become a great boss.
Remember also to not focus so hard on your people that you forget about yourself and your development. Identify the areas in which you need to work and improve them through enrolling in The Mindspa Institutes Leadership Development Programme. This programme proposes a great learning platform to master all these skills and more. Being a manager is a daunting task and without the proper leadership skills, you will not be able to assist your team with growth.