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Outstanding business leaders do not evolve on natural talent alone. The abilities of leadership can and should be learned. Even the most experienced and adept leaders grow by sharpening their skills in guiding their team.
Our approach to leadership is founded on eight core competencies. Below we review competencies four through eight, which round out the doing and delivering aspects of leadership. To learn about the initial three competencies that lay down the principled foundation of leadership, read our companion piece The 8 Core Competencies of Leadership Part 1.
4. Manage Your Priorities
Workload management is a top priority for any leader striving to motivate a team towards company goals, while remaining on the cutting-edge in a competitive business environment. With conflicting priorities and moving targets part and parcel to a leader’s responsibilities, prioritization is an absolutely essential skill. For that matter, it is fundamental for any position. Honing prioritization abilities and leading staff to enhance these capabilities can transform a workplace.
How do you and your staff pivot when new challenges or unforeseen circumstances arise?
Are you and your reports using time to full advantage?
Do tasks align with short- and long-term goals?
Do you and your team feel you are making progress and have purpose, or are just putting out fires and spinning plates?
Building a strong prioritization structure and incorporating it into all work processes alleviates these uncertainties. A worker of any profession must possess the ability to quickly assess which competing tasks are most important - taking into account urgency, resources and goals - to meet immediate demands, expected deliverables and reach personal and company goals. This is central to workload management and personal development.
5. Measure the Effects
Appreciating the effects of one’s work is paramount to employee satisfaction and the achievement of stated goals. How can a leader or report learn from setbacks without awareness of the effects of their work on production? Can a worker thrive without understanding how their performance informs team outcomes? The answer to these questions is of course no.
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of each team member and how their work fits together is required for group accomplishments. When every worker can measure their effect and appreciate their ability to manifest positive change, a company reaps the rewards of a self-motivated and aligned workforce.
6. Own the Performance
A leader sets the example by taking accountability for the company. But accountability does not start and end at the top.
Accountability is a must for teams to meet targets and deadlines. When each team member takes individual ownership of their performance - mistakes and successes - then the efficiency of the entire team can be assessed. A culture of accountability affords a number of productivity-boosting advantages:
Improves forecasting and planning
A smart leader encourages everyone to own their performance and ensures that the right people have the proper authority to perform their jobs.
7. Influence the Participants
Leadership is about inspiring and working well with any member of a diverse team. There are different techniques for influencing others, any of which can be useful in specific circumstances.
Meetings are particularly significant situations for influencing. Being the example in how to conduct effective meetings is paramount, as is recognizing potential sources of conflict and mitigation methods. Of course, meetings are opportunities to connect directly with your team and build communication and rapport.
8. Continue the Improvements
Finally, the last skillset is designed to ensure ongoing positive change - a critical component for success in a competitive business environment. A continuous improvement methodology, as the name suggests, is an indefinite process that maximizes outputs and minimizes inefficiencies.
In a continuous improvement model, assumptions relating to protocols and their effectiveness are ever under question. This flexible approach requires a strong leader to garner staff buy-in since the uncertainty and change initiatives connected to continuous improvements may breed apprehension. In addition to the clear benefit of always seeking better ways of doing things, a continuous improvement model also fosters a culture of learning.
Learn More: Continuous Improvements for Employees
Becoming the Leader You Were Meant to Be
A leader’s effectiveness is ultimately measured by the effectiveness of their team. Yes, companies today face pressures unimagined just a few years ago. The tenuous business landscape is daunting for some, but for those meant to lead, the uncertain situation is a welcomed challenge to be confronted.
Become the leader you were meant to be with guidance that taps into and enhances your natural aptitude. Leadership training tailored for you, rather than abstract skills taught in a theoretical vacuum, reaps real-life tangible and measurable outcomes.
Priority Management designs instruction specifically for a client's workplace situations. We have been entrusted by companies around the globe for over forty years to teach leadership and workload management skills that result in noticeable and lasting improvements.