6 Skills Needed for Leadership Excellence
Leadership excellence is not always a measure of how successfully a manager’s directions have been followed. True leadership excellence is much more the result of their ability to inspire their teams to achieve the extraordinary. They must be effective communicators, decision makers, visionaries, students, and coaches. Undertaking senior leadership training programs can help leaders become more effective and successful.
Maintaining a consistency in your beliefs and values affords you the ability to lead with integrity. Operating with a guiding set of principles will make it easier not to compromise those values when faced with challenges. To lead with integrity we must first develop an understanding of what our personal values are. A personal values assessment will help to determine how the qualities you value in leadership align with your perception of the current and desired culture of your organisation. Hold yourself accountable, and others will do the same.
Everyone likes hearing that their efforts are appreciated. Great leaders know this and express their gratitude freely, no matter how small the contribution. This is not to say that they are over praising individuals when they are meeting expectations. Rather they display genuine appreciation for necessary but often overlooked efforts made that have a significant or positive impact on the project. Acknowledging your team’s ongoing hard work and celebrating their accomplishments, reinforces a strong work ethic and fosters a positive team environment.
The key component of genuine praise and criticism is that it is provided honestly. Compliments mean more to us if the person giving them, truly means what they are saying. Similarly, we are less likely to take personal offence to criticism if we can recognise the truth of it ourselves. An often cited example of this idea comes from Brene Brown. In her book Dare to Lead™, she states that “Clear is Kind, Unclear is Unkind.” This is a significant focus of the Dare to Lead™ leadership development program. It is better to be honest in your critiques to allow for development, than it is to be vague in an attempt not to hurt someone’s feelings.
If you have ever found that your team’s progress on a project has stalled because they are waiting for your approval, you may consider removing yourself from the process if possible. By delegating entire processes to your team and entrusting them with more responsibility, you empower them to make better decisions and become high performers. Engaging them in leadership training programs, and even coaching them yourself, promotes autonomy and accelerated performance amongst your team. Delegation does not mean that your role as leader transfers from you to someone else. In developing leadership excellence, you understand that mistakes will occur. You should still be following up on delegated tasks and providing support when necessary.
Having a clear vision or direction for your organisation is an integral trait of leadership excellence. Defining this vision and communicating it effectively with your team ensures that each individual understands the goal you are aiming to achieve. Communicating vision and inspiring others to act on it is a trait that is not always considered particularly skilful. This could not be further from the truth. Developing insightful foresight takes just as much practice and experience as any other leadership skill. Doing so can be the difference between a successful execution or an unsuccessful one.
Great leaders constantly seek to improve upon their existing skills to keep up and even get ahead of industry trends. Training for leadership excellence means identifying areas that can be improved and building upon already proven strengths. For some, this may require them to identify those areas with the help of a Hogan 360º Report or assessments from an executive training program. Industry standards and processes are always evolving and leaders must evolve their expertise along with it to continue to grow their success.
Building leadership excellence requires dedication to both yourself and your team. Senior leadership training can be an effective tool to help leaders understand their own values and how to become better communicators. Leadership development is an ongoing process that will only result in benefits for you, your team, and your organisation as a whole.
For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.
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