“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – General Colin Powell
Effective leadership has an enormous impact; it can make everything work seamlessly. Without good leadership, all other business resources are ineffective. With good leadership, the company culture doesn’t seem forced; rather, it is developed by everyone’s efforts. It leads to clear and effective communication, which allows the company to move forward and achieve greater levels of success.
According to a US study, high-performing executives under good leadership added $25 million more than average performers to the company value. Another study showed that good CEOs improved the company’s performance by 14%. Effective leaders exhibit trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, and ethics. Their words and backed by actions. They foresee where the company is headed and make plans systematically to grow the business while taking the risks into account.
An often neglected quality in a good leader is that of empathy. Good leaders should be supportive and must care for the well-being of others. They should provide solutions for challenges, and inspire the staff with their optimism. Let’s take a look at the skills required for an effective leader.
6 Must-Have Effective Leadership Skills
Apart from giving the right direction, demonstrating courage, passion, commitment, and ambitions, there are some qualities all good leaders have in common. Acquiring these skills is the first step to learning how to be an effective leader in the workplace.
1. Lead by Example
If all the leaders did was preach, the employees are highly unlikely to be inspired by them. In order to gain credibility and respect from others, a leader must set the right examples. This includes demonstrating the behaviour you want others to follow. You should be able to live up to the same standards you expect of your employees. Aligning your words with your behaviour sets the right precedent for your workers to follow.
A good leader’s job is not to just evaluate their employees’ strengths and weaknesses; they should also be self-aware. Knowing your own strengths and shortcomings helps you effectively leverage the strengths and work on the shortcomings. Effective leaders don’t let themselves be consumed by their ego. They don’t believe that they can do everything and know everything. In fact, they recognize their own weaknesses and continually improve their leadership.
3. Effective Communication
The ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and tactfully is a pivotal leadership skill. Communication involves more than just speaking or giving orders. A far more important part of it is listening actively and responding, clearing misunderstandings, and sharing valuable information. Good leaders also have the power to inspire and motivate their employees with their words.
4. Knowing the Team
An effective leader is perceptive and knows how others perceive them. It helps the leader understand the needs of the employees. Understanding what they look for in a good leader and what they need from you will help you cultivate strong company culture. You must also be receptive to feedback from people you’ve hired.
An effective leader stands tall when faced with difficult decisions and choices. As a good leader, you should be able to think on your feet and take quick decisions. When faced with a hard decision, you should have the right analytical skills to consider the possible consequences and alternatives to the situation. Your final decision should be made with conviction, and you should be able to take responsibility for it while making sure it is followed through.
6. Motivate and Inspire
The best leaders recognize the importance of investing in their people. They should drive their teams with passion, enthusiasm, inspiration, and motivation. By recognizing their strengths, needs, and priorities, leaders can empower and encourage them to demonstrate creativity and innovation. Good leaders continually provide positive reinforcement to their employees by recognizing their achievements and boosting their morale.
Examples of Effective Leadership
Companies may come and go, but the ones that last and can weather the ravages of time are led by great leaders. There are quite a few effective leadership examples that can inspire you to improve your company culture.
He is well-known around the world as the CEO of one of the most valuable companies, Apple. He took over after the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, passed away, and has since taken the company to new heights. His achievements include developing new product lines and expanding retail in China. He also led the publicly recognized battle against the FBI.
He led General Electric Co. as the CEO from 1981 to 2001. The company saw 600 acquisitions in emerging markets, and its market value increased from $12 billion to $505 billion at the time of his retirement. He exhibited great leadership by insisting that employees at GE embrace change and adapt to the constantly changing world. Thus, managers and employees had to constantly reinvent themselves. This led to evolving company operations and higher productivity.
She has been the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook since 2008. She founded a nonprofit called Lean In, named after her book. She has been a vociferous advocate for women in the business world. Sandberg made a successful transition from government work to the tech industry.
He is the co-founder and CEO of Netflix. He changed the face of online entertainment and streaming services. Shaking the very foundation of digital entertainment, he brought entertainment to the people. He continues to use his position and influence for promoting reform in the California State Board of Education.
Importance of Effective Leadership
A leader ties everything together in a business in order to make everyone work together. There are different types of leaders; some are dogmatic and boss their employees around, while others foster collaboration and creativity. Company culture depends on the leadership style of the leader. Facilitative leaders delegate tasks and encourage the subordinates to work cohesively and excel at what they do.
The secret of any successful business or organization is effective leadership. Well-trained leaders can plan goals for the company’s success and ensure that the goals are achieved. They facilitate the formulation of ideas and effective communication among employees. They motivate employees to work strategically towards the achievement of organizational goals.
The global business landscape is constantly evolving with digital and socio-political shifts. The focus of effective leadership has also changed from being quick and flexible to be agile and resilient. Effective leadership is thus important in helping the company recover and stay on course in the face of challenges.