The 2019 Covid Pandemic showed us that we are not prepared to face change. The Pandemic brought on changes in every sector and disrupted the flow of the economy when literally everything — from local shops to industry giants had to pause operations, postpone Firefly launch, etc. Some businesses, led by savvy leaders, rose to meet this challenge, while many others succumbed to chaos and eventually were forced to close down.
Successful leadership skills are incredibly important in times of uncertainty. Statistics have shown that from those businesses that managed to keep their heads above the water in the first two years of the Pandemic, four in 10 employees feel unmotivated and unappreciated. This is a direct result of ineffective leadership. A CEO, or a team manager, should be the driving force behind a business and should possess certain leadership skills to guide their team through recovery. Here are four successful leadership skills that every business leader needs to master to stand apart from the competition.
Be Understanding and put people before profits
What is successful leadership? Is it an ability to generate profit? Or is leadership about making everyone happy? In fact, leadership means combining both profits and satisfaction into one. And leadership is not an easy thing to balance.
Many leaders in high positions do not understand that their business isn't just ones and zeros and large stacks of money, but a collaboration between people. When it hits bone, a business will bleed blood, not cash. Effective leadership skill is the ability to feel empathy for your fellow co-workers and put yourself in their shoes. These days, many people face a wide range of challenges such as fear, anxiety, stress, and adjusting to ever-changing work conditions. Many people work long hours while receiving less pay due to economic decline. Thousands of skilled workers have been left without employment.
A good leader will address these issues and speak with their team. You must know people that work with you to understand what they need to become an optimal workforce. There are many leadership tips to help achieve that:
- Create a work culture centered around feedback and support;
- Encourage workers to speak their minds, even if what they say is not flattering;
- Offer incentives for hard-working people to stimulate a friendly competitive culture;
- Offer counseling or guidance for people who need it;
- Interact with your employees, rather than simply observe them;
- Above all else, always remember that the important part of a business isn't the head, but the body – people.
Lead by example
Have you ever heard a saying, 'Do as I do, not as I say?' This saying is simple but holds a lot of leadership wisdom. Many CEOs or managers of large companies say one thing but then act in a completely irrational way. Among successful leadership styles, one that sticks out is leading by example.
Successful leadership pros demonstrate their abilities by behavior, performing tasks, and communicating with their team on a regular basis. Successful leadership means acting like they are the company's face so that other employees can emulate that behavior and improve. Leadership by example is hard but is one of the best successful leadership traits as it demonstrates a commitment beyond just words.
Many leaders fail at this simple but effective leadership rule by behaving like big bosses in charge, often disregarding their employees or even admonishing them. This is not a sign of a good leader.
There are many ways one can lead by example:
- When you say you will do something, follow up and actually do it;
- Walk among your employees and offer help with their tasks;
- If there is a learning seminar, join instead of simply observing;
When others see you taking an active role in your work, they are more likely to do the same.
Transformation is the opposite of stagnation; every business should move forward rather than sit on its laurels and do nothing on improving itself. With the Pandemic disrupting many sectors of society, we also managed to advance our tech enough to allow communicating online much better than in the past and starting an online business. One of the keys to successful leadership is adaptability. People should see their leadership take an active role in changing a company and embracing new technology. Once workers know their company's direction, they can take a more active role in making sure any transition goes through as smoothly as possible.
- Don't be afraid of new tech – embrace it.
- Make changes with your company structure if there is a need for a change;
- Make your plans for a change heard by common workers;
- Ask for opinions, not only from other leadership but from workers in other departments. Feedback is important.
No matter where you land on the totem pole of your profession, there is always room for leadership improvement. Among the most successful leadership traits is the ability to continue learning even though you've already reached the top. For example, Bill Gates is among one of the wealthiest leadership pros in the world, yet he frequently takes online seminars in leadership, Business Management, and Finance. Why? Because he wants to stay in touch with modern trends and continue to learn leadership.
If your employees see you demonstrate successful leadership characteristics such as learning and improving, they are more likely to do the same. Many companies host frequent learning seminars that range within a wide variety of subjects. Show that you are a team player and take part in the seminars. Learn some skills that you expect your employees to learn. Take an active part in a corporate community.
Research shows that employees who work closely with their leadership are also 20% more productive. Why? Because they feel like part of a team, rather than just a cog in a giant mechanism.
There are many valuable and successful leadership qualities – from listening to confidence, we can't hope to mention all of them within one article. Just use your common sense and act in a way that you would have wanted your leadership to act. Putting yourself in someone's shoes is a great way of seeing the other side for what leadership is.
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.