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Is Leadership Missing From Your Organization?

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Leadership Is a Manager’s Most Important Skill

leadershipLeadership is the ability to influence, inspire, and inform your team to achieve a common goal. A great leader will become a great manager because they have the ability to get everyone working in the same direction. As a manager or a small business owner focusing on your leadership skills will be essential for having your team/staff continually reach goals.

organizationHistorically great and bad business can suffer from a lack of leadership, and this can cost the business greatly. Just recently my brother was hired at a cosmetics manufacturer (a well known national brand). Recently, they have changed the way they do shipping and receiving. The new system was not working well for the company as trucks were delivering late and missing orders. Keep in mind this is a huge company and an industry leader that was having new problems that were on the verge of becoming a major damper on the whole business. The thing that was missing in the shipping department was the lack of a leader. The whole department was very unorganized and products were not arranged so drivers had to spend hours looking for the crates they were supposed to load on their trucks. My brother cleaned up the entire department within 2 months. He said the main reason why the company was struggling is because after they switched their operations there was no one to lead the current staff and organize the department.

This is just one example of how a even an established organization can lose sight of it’s leadership. Smaller organizations with new managers and aspiring entrepreneurs may not focus on their leadership enough or realize how important it is for the business. This post will focus on leadership skills that you can use to help inspire your team and get everyone working efficiently.

7 Great Leadership Skills

1. Honesty

Honesty is very underrated. Its not something you can do sometimes and not do others either. If people cannot trust you then they are not going to work hard for you. They are also not going to willing follow their your lead, because they will not trust that you are making the right decisions for the business or their careers.

There are so many ways you need to be honest with people it’s impossible to list them all. Although you need to be honest all the time here are a few examples where not being honest will give you a one way ticket to loss of trust. Keep in mind if anyone within the organization catches you lying at anytime no matter how small it is your integrity will be breached.

a. Where people stand within the organization

b. Performance reviews

c. Salary and raises

d. What roles and tasks they will be expected to perform (job description)

2. Positive Attitude

positive attitudeA positive attitude goes such a far way within an organization. During the course of business things go south from time to time. It happens to every company. Growth wasn’t as fast, sales are down, and costs increase. Bad times are inevitable. A great leader knows this and also knows that you must maintain a positive attitude even during the most difficult times. If the leader of the organization, department or team doesn’t have a positive outlook how is anyone else supposed to? You know what they say believing that you can achieve something is the most important step to accomplishing any goal.

3. Listen to People

Don’t just hear people, instead actually listen to what they have to say. Two brains are better than one. I know so many people who don’t listen to people they just wait for their turn to talk. It’s a lot like a debate not a conversation. You hire people because you believe they can do the job you need them for. So you need to trust that they have something valuable to say when reflecting on their position. Maybe they have a different way of doing things or adding some value to the organization. Maybe they are complaining about the current status quo. By listening to people and understanding them you will be getting a lot more in return.

4. Communication

communication skillsI remember doing an exercise in college where we had to direct our partner to draw a few objects. Almost everyone in the class had trouble with this. Its a difficult assignment because you have to guide the person and they don’t have the same train of thought as you. Everyone looks at things from a completely different set of eyes. What this assignment taught me is that communication is hard. Even crystal clear instructions might not be comprehended by someone else. As a leader it is your job to make sure the person fully understands what you are asking them to do.

5. Responsibility

There are two types of people in this world those that blame other people and those that blame themselves. A leader needs to take responsibility for their failures. Even if it was someone within your team that messed up, it was your fault you put them in charge of something they could not handle or you did not clarify their assignment. It’s not their fault. Putting the blame on other people is a very narrow minded way of looking at things. ┬áTake responsibility for the failures and share praise during successful times. During a time of success everyone had done their job correctly. It was due to good leadership and hard work on the parts of the employees.

6. Confidence

confidenceYou need to believe in yourself if you are going to have others believe in you as well. Confidence is one of the most important traits for leaders to have. There is a fine line between being confident and being cocky. A confident leader inspires people around them. They believe in themselves and their team. They let their team know that they can handle what has been assigned and that they are doing a great job. Once this crosses into bragging then then it can become a negative. Over confidence is something that could be dangerous for an organization. As a leader it’s important to remain confident without becoming overconfident.

7. Organization

Think of the example I mentioned above with my brother and the shipping department. The biggest element that was missing was organization. The staff was unorganized, the warehouse was unorganized and efficiency was way down. Organization is a critical element to have for success. The ability to organize operations, people, and tasks will ultimately determine if you are successful or a failure at your position.

There are many ways and tricks successful managers use to remain organized. Some managers like to wake up early and meditate for an hour to clear their mind and plan the day. Others like to goto the gym and workout to clear their mind and plan for the day. Ultimately, you should find some time where you can collect your thoughts and think about now and the future. By clearing your mind you will have the ability to see things from a new perspective and it could make organization much easier.

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