7 qualities every new-age leader must possess to inspire employees’ performance — KNOLSKAPE
Given the uncertainties of the current industry ecosystem, business leaders are now required to develop talent rather than just gather it. Knowing how to bring out the best in your team members has now become more necessary than ever.
Ineffective leadership in business can lead to more than just loss of morale in people. Poor management results in teams that are less productive, less lucrative, and more likely to experience turnover. According to Gallup data, 24 percent of employees are actively disengaged. Effective leadership is crucial for this reason. You need people who can successfully explain the firm’s vision, lead teams, and influence change in order to retain employees, satisfy customers, and increase corporate productivity.
In fact, according to a study by DDI and Harris Interactive, 98 percent of employees with effective managers are driven to perform at their highest level, compared to only 11 percent of those with ineffective managers. Here are seven top qualities you need to have as a leader if you wish to inspire change and bring out the best in each employee:
The most effective leaders share the ability to provide and receive constructive criticism. The secret to this skill is knowing when to give your team members constructive criticism so that they view it favorably.
Those who can see this flaw in their organization’s management structure and know-how to take action to fix it are the leaders who produce outcomes. Engagement and productivity can be greatly increased by being proactive about involving workers in continual discussions about performance. Additionally, enhancing these KPIs might result in quicker, better outcomes at work.
The capacity for specific, quantifiable future thinking is another crucial quality for effective leadership. Creating and implementing a long-term strategy can be challenging for many people as they may be wired to prioritize the present rather than the future. This quality immediately distinguishes real leaders from the crowd because it is not a skill that just anybody can possess.
Any work comes with stress, pressure, and the unexpected. Not everyone has the necessary skills to deal with these emotionally challenging situations effectively, much less with grace, efficiency, and a focus on the future. Because of this, effective leaders also have emotional intelligence.
This does not imply that you are immune to the damaging effects of pressure, stress, or challenging circumstances. Instead, it implies you can restrain your innate tendencies to withdraw, lash out, or panic. Instead, you can be aware of these feelings and then consciously decide to take a moment to reason through the best course of action to achieve the desired outcomes.
Establishing and retaining your company’s competitive advantage depends on experimentation. Great leaders are aware of this and promote innovation and risk-taking within their companies.
Employees are more inclined to test hypotheses or put forth novel ideas when they work in an environment where failure is celebrated because they see that their creativity is rewarded. That can mean encouraging experimentation for some businesses: In an effort to “make it safe to fail,” Google’s innovation lab, X, pays bonuses to every team member who contributed to a project that the business ultimately opted to abandon as soon as it became clear that it couldn’t be scaled.
Leadership must first demonstrate openness to learning (and altering direction) in order to foster employee learning. Try to enter discussions about solving problems without any predetermined agenda or goal in mind. After everyone has had a chance to speak, reserve judgment and assure everyone that their thoughts will be taken into consideration. There will be a larger range of ideas.
Failure is a necessary part of learning, but our unrelenting focus on outcomes can deter employees from taking risks. Leaders must establish a culture that encourages taking risks in order to address this issue. Utilizing controlled trials, such as A/B testing, that allow for minor failures and necessitate quick feedback and adjustment, is one approach to do this. This gives a foundation for developing collective intelligence so that workers can also learn from one another’s failures.
In a survey conducted by the consulting company Robert Half, 75% of respondents identified a leader’s “integrity” as their top quality. In a different poll conducted by Sunnie Giles, the founder of Quantum Leadership, 67% of participants named “strong moral standards” as the most crucial leadership quality.
The best leaders are aware of their limitations and embrace them. As they pave the route forward, they are learning. They have the capacity to be receptive to other points of view while also being aware that in a complicated environment with an abundance of information, quick decisions are required.
One essential quality of high-performing leaders is resilience. For leaders to progress and thrive, they must foster resilience. Additionally, they are accountable for aiding in preserving the energy of the members of their teams. Leaders that are resilient have the capacity to maintain their enthusiasm under stress, handle disruptive changes, and adapt. They recover quickly after failures. They also conquer significant obstacles without acting dysfunctionally or hurting other people.
Leadership resilience is not the same as being tough. It is the capacity to bounce back from failures, to transform oneself, to persist in moving forward despite obstacles. It’s about learning to be at ease in unpleasant situations while yet having the confidence, empathy, and courage to lead others.
Professor Nancy Koehn of Harvard Business School defines resilience as “the ability to not just endure huge obstacles but to grow stronger in the middle of them.”
Effective Leaders Empower
Apart from the above 7 sought-after qualities, effective leaders also tend to empower others.
Great leaders are aware that for their team members to succeed in their roles and have an impact on the rest of the group, they must first empower others.
This can be achieved by having faith in your team to put in a lot of effort and achieve the objectives you’ve set for them. They can be inspired to think creatively, act, and overcome their fear of failure. They will feel more at ease taking the initiative as a result.
How can new-age leaders develop these crucial skills?
I think there is a distinction between managing people and motivating them as an effective leader. Delegating work is only one aspect of effective leadership. Additionally, you must demonstrate your support for them, encourage them, and give them the confidence they need to carry out their own ideas.
You must commit to personal development if you want to reach your greatest potential as a leader. There is always room to improve as a leader, no matter where you are on your journey.
Some other ways which can help you in developing leadership skills are:
Success in one role does not automatically translate into knowledge, abilities, and subject matter competence in another. You’ve been promoted, so it’s obvious that you have the skills, but there’s always an opportunity for improvement.
Leading oneself, leading a team, and leading a business are the three pillars of leadership. The most effective leaders exhibit mastery of all three areas.
Leading yourself: Self-aware leaders perform best. They are aware of their advantages and disadvantages, and they make an effort to fill in whatever skill gaps they may have. They can apply what they’ve learned to become a better, more capable leader.
Leading a team: Leaders must have an understanding of how to inspire, involve, and manage their team members. They must be able to give direct criticism, engage in challenging discussions, and offer assistance when workers require it. Leadership is about leading from behind, facilitating people’s success.
Leading the business: Results are what leaders are held accountable for. Leaders must be at ease with strategy and change management as well as be able to take calculated risks if they are to achieve those goals.
Companies need to take an active approach to leadership development
When employees are promoted into leadership roles, they don’t often receive leadership training, or the training they do receive is focused on processes and procedures. Leadership skills training is always a good investment, as more effective leaders create more effective teams and employees. Good leadership has a trickle-down effect, just like poor leadership does.
Companies also need to identify talent and create a leadership pipeline, so that people are ready when opportunities for promotion come up. People can plateau at certain points in their leadership journey, especially when it comes to moving up into executive roles. For this reason, the companies need to be quite intentional about diagnosing and assessing where leaders are and then figure out the gaps. From there, learning can be targeted to strengthen those specific areas and better prepare leaders for their future roles.
How can leadership training benefit leaders?
There are many advantages to leadership training, from professional and personal growth to a discernible effect on an organization’s bottom line. Business leaders benefit from a training program’s immediate and direct impact on their performance as it increases their efficacy, self-awareness, and strategic thinking. The advantages of experiential and creative leadership training programs extend to the entire organization and go beyond personal growth.
Here are a few organizational benefits of coaching leaders:
An organization’s culture is its shared ideals, norms, and practices. The rules — both explicit and implicit — are what new employees are taught. One of the key factors influencing employee retention is culture, which is also one of the top markers of employee satisfaction. It has a significant impact on a company’s success or failure and is greatly influenced by the actions of the organization’s management.
Company culture can be dramatically influenced by leadership coaching. Business leaders can benefit from coaching to create and reinforce culture-supporting habits. Through coaching, leaders can learn which habits might undermine the culture and offer suggestions for changing them.
The effectiveness of a team has a big impact on a business’ success. By providing expert coaching to your team leaders, you can improve the productivity and efficiency of your teams. In order to ensure that team projects are completed on schedule, coaching team leaders can help them define clear, quantifiable goals and build project management skills. Team leaders might benefit from coaching to enhance their communication abilities so that all team members and stakeholders are informed and involved. Coaching can create the ability to bring individuals together and contribute their knowledge toward a common objective, which can foster innovation and team collaboration.
Business executives who receive coaching develop their emotional intelligence, which includes increased self-awareness, empathy, and self-control. Professional coaches help leaders establish personal development plans by providing observations and feedback about their progress. Coaches also serve as role models for managerial techniques for encouraging and developing their direct reporting. A manager can employ coaching techniques to have more fruitful performance dialogues with their staff, including asking questions, active listening without passing judgment, and giving practical feedback. Leadership coaching lays the groundwork for managers to provide their staff members with the improved feedback they need to succeed and realize their full potential.
Companies may create a more diversified talent pipeline with the aid of leadership coaching, giving underrepresented groups a great chance to enhance their leadership abilities. Individual leaders can benefit from coaching by learning to empathize, which encourages them to explore alternative viewpoints and evaluate biases. Coaching may strengthen leadership behaviors that guarantee employees are treated fairly and with a sense of belonging, inclusion, and worth as well as prepare leaders for challenging, respectful talks about differences.
Everyone is aware that contented employees are more likely to stick with the company, provide excellent customer service, and fulfill their leader’s requests. Sometimes it may seem impossible to create engaged staff and bring out the best in your people. However, an effective leader can build a work atmosphere that promotes employee happiness with consideration and diligence. It might not be as challenging as you think.
It’s important that you identify and focus on the traits that create a good leader. Ultimately, investing in yourself is the best way to realize your full leadership potential. Be eager to study, push yourself, and make it a goal to pick up new knowledge every day. These qualities will in turn inspire your workforce to perform better too.
Originally published at https://knolskape.com on July 27, 2022.