You’re the manager of your organisation. Of late you’ve seen that the work is being finished at a consistent pace, yet you’re seeing an absence of eagerness and drive from your team. What would you do? Your first idea may be to have a conversation with your team. Profitability may be at a high, but is that worth it over the long haul if you lose your team’s dedication? The real conversation actually needs to be with yourself!
As a leader, you should search internally and centre around your own capacities, strengths and weaknesses. The capacity to self-talk, reflect and adapt behaviour is the first pillar of leadership and its development. Taking time to hone this capacity, turn the discussion internally and create new skills.
Aamer Naeem, is an experienced leadership development professional is sharing with us few of the essential skills a leader must have:
- Practice Discipline:
A good leader needs discipline. Creating discipline in your expert (and individual) life is an absolute necessity to be an effective leader, and to rouse others to be focused as well. Individuals will trust you and judge you based on your ability to lead yourself, control your work and your consistency in approach.
Show discipline at work by working within constraints, keeping promises, and finishing meetings on time. If this does not come naturally to you, start with the small things: take a stab at actualising this at home perhaps, such as getting up right on time, exercising every day, eating meals on time with the family and work your way up from that point.
- Take on More Projects
You are judged on what you deliver! But you also learn through experience. Build up your leadership skills by taking on greater responsibility. Of course, don’t take on beyond what you can deal with, however you do have to accomplish more than ‘the average’ and provide yourself with the opportunities to keep learning. You learn so much more on the boundaries of your comfort zone – so, stretch to there regularly. Venturing out of your usual range of familiarity is a sure fire way to pick up new ideas and skills, and doing so will get you seen as somebody who steps up to the plate. Aamer Naeem developed a portfolio career in order to help achieve this and works with leaders from across sectors in order to expose himself to more situations and opportunities.
- Be Flexible and Adaptable
Adaptability and flexibility are woven into the texture of leadership. Modern day leaders must realise that things don’t generally work out as expected and eagerly make changes to manage exciting bends in the road, emergencies and evolving needs. In an ever changing world, with unparalleled uncertainties, being comfortable with change is essential.
One approach to reinforce your adaptability is taking enjoyment in working with diverse people. Everyone is different and a good leader needs to be able to dance with others seamlessly. Set aside time to truly get familiar with the personality of colleagues and stakeholders. With each personality comes a differing degree of spontaneity, adaptability and drive.
Some may need a higher degree of oversight, motivation and direction whilst others can push ahead and sort things out all alone. Some need more appreciation whilst others are happy for recognition at the end of a project.
- Develop situational awareness
A characteristic of a good leader is somebody who can see the master plan, and envision issues before they happen. This becomes even more essential when handling complex undertakings with tight deadlines. The capacity to predict and give recommendations that mitigate potential issues is important for a leader. This capacity likewise causes you to perceive openings that others may miss, allowing you to progress ahead of the pack.
- Maintain Transparency
By acting in a transparent way, you move others and assemble trust.
In a frank and open workplace, individuals can talk unreservedly and consciously with one another. This helps with better coordination of effort, more grounded collaboration, greater efficiency and a higher commitment.
Aamer Naeem is an experienced leadership development coach, contact him for more information about leadership development programmes for your organisation.
Lack of transparency breeds gossip, doubt, grumbling, vulnerability and demotivation.
Try sharing both the good and bad news about the organisation with the team. Have legitimate conversations about trouble spots. Collaborate in finding resolutions and be open to challenge. Have regular communication meetings and allow for full participation.
- Find your higher purpose
Fundamental to leadership is understanding why you’re investing time and energy into your goals. Where are you heading? What drives you? Your initial reaction may be to consider a large salary or higher position. But, step back for a second. For what reason do you need that bigger cheque? What is your higher purpose for the money? Is it to help others? Leave a legacy? Build a community? These are higher purposes, and by distinguishing your own, you remain motivated to drive forward. By distinguishing it for others, you can align the right people with your organisational goals for mutual gain.
Becoming a great leader requires investment, focus and exertion. Your higher purpose will help you maintain the effort during challenges and uncertainties. Transparency and communication will ensure you bring people with you. Practice and understanding will give others confidence in your abilities.
Aamer Naeem is the Director of Innov8 Creative Solutions Ltd, providing operational and strategic services along with Leadership Development Programmes across public, private and voluntary sectors.