Leaders at various levels of an organisation or company face various challenges. To overcome these challenges, individuals must develop certain skills and attitudes that make them good business leaders.
A good business leader should motivate employees, assist others in seeing and believing in a vision, and lead innovation in the company. Having a good leader at the helm is something that all employees, customers, and investors want.
Essential Skills to Become an Effective Business Leader
Whether you are an individual contributor, a mid-level leader, a first-line manager, a senior executive, or something else, there are four critical leadership skills you need to concentrate on if you want to advance in your career. These are fundamental and timeless skills needed by leaders in every organisation and are significant irrespective of role, location, or industry.
Fortunately, these core areas of leadership are usually taught in leadership development workshops.
Communication is one of the most fundamental, across-the-board skills that individuals must develop and refine during their careers. Effectively communicating ideas and information is constantly rated among the most significant leadership competencies for business leaders to succeed. Communication is also lodged in other core leadership skills, such as developing and mending relationships and participative management.
Speaking clearly, writing concisely, and active listening are all components of the communication equation. While moving up the career ladder, you will notice that communication in leadership roles extends to behaviours, such as building trust, encouraging discussion, and conveying strategic intent and vision. At each leadership level, communication is a crucial area to improve on.
Knowing and being able to lead yourself is key to becoming an effective leader to others. However, acquiring greater self-awareness is usually not simple. It takes time and effort to analyse your natural abilities and growth opportunities, figure out how to compensate for your weaknesses and maximise your strengths, and realise your own biases, values, and perspectives.
Taking some time to reflect and contemplate upon these things and consider how your social identity and background have shaped you can help you develop greater self-awareness. Ultimately, being more aware of yourself will transform you into a better leader.
To develop as a leader, you must be an active and agile learner. All leaders should be in the process of constant learning, searching for experiences to facilitate leadership growth, realising when new skills, attitudes, or behaviours are necessary, and accepting responsibility for building those. Learning agility is ultimately crucial for career longevity.
Learning agility basically involves asking for insightful enquiries, learning from mistakes, and being open to feedback. Oftentimes, it also includes maximising opportunities to learn, learning new abilities quickly, and responding effectively to new situations. For senior business leaders, learning agility can also mean inspiring learning in others and creating a culture of learning throughout the company.
Influence can greatly vary at various levels in the organisation. Most often than not, knowing your audience and stakeholders is key to becoming an influential leader. For individual contributors or leaders in the early stages of their careers, influence is all about working efficiently with others you do not have authority over. It requires having the ability to present compelling and logical arguments and engage in give-and-take.
Later on, when you already take on more executive or senior-level leadership roles, your influential leadership skills will be more focused on driving long-range goals, motivation, and inspiration. That being said, influence remains a critical leadership skill throughout your career. In essence, influence enables you to get to the business of finishing things and attaining desirable outcomes.
Always remember that every leadership skill must be constantly enhanced or built on as you go. To be an effective and efficient leader, you must continue developing, adapting, and strengthening these core leadership abilities – communication, self-awareness, learning agility, and influence – throughout your career because there is no end to learning. As you acquire leadership skills in a single area, you will realise there is more to learn and practice, especially as you take on bigger roles and challenges.
Develop or improve your core leadership skills by signing up for our leadership development workshops and other online corporate training courses here at StrengthsAsia. We are committed to helping individuals become effective leaders, no matter what roles they take on in an organisation. Our great selection of workshops is designed to enable our clients to become better business leaders who lead companies to guaranteed success. To learn more about our courses, you can contact us here.