Although technical skills are important, they can only take an individual so far in career development. Since few people are born as leaders, and leadership skills are considered to be important traits which help individuals get on top on their career fields, organizations must provide the opportunities for employees to develop critical leadership skills. What are some key strategies for building effective leaders in the workplace?
Good leaders are able to foresee potential problems before they arise. Therefore, good leaders take initiative which allow them to foresee opportunities, and take advantage of them to benefit their company and employees. For example, most bosses assign employees tasks as they prove themselves adept. However, leaders don’t wait to until they are given more responsibility, but go above and beyond in their current position, taking on extra projects outside their job descriptions.
Second, good leaders listen effectively. One of the most important leadership skills is listening. Individuals who do not practice good listening do not position themselves to get feedback from others and develop a sense of what their team members like and dislike about the projects they are working on. Effective listening requires one to maintain eye contact and avoid distractions which cause you to respond inappropriately.
Third, good leaders motivate others. According to John Quincy Adams, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” In other words, true leaders influence others for the good. They help energize people, when they lose their ambitions and their passions. Good leaders motivate others by knowing what they need and want. For example, if an individual is motivated by personal recognition, a good leader will offer the recognition they deserve.
Fourth, good leaders practice discipline. A person can have a good idea, yet lack the discipline to carry it out. In order to execute effectively, you must have discipline. For example, you can have lots of ideas to create a business plan, but lack the discipline to ensure your presentation for presenting the plan is rehearsed. Good leaders are self-disciplined and ensure those on their team are disciplined as well.
Regardless to where you are on the career ladder, more than likely you will be handed a leadership role and you will be expected to hit the ground running. Click here for more information on developing leaders in the workplace.