No matter the industry that you work within, if you want to achieve great things in business, you are going to need leaders who can lead you there.
But what is meant by leadership when it comes to business, and what are the main qualities of a leader?
Let’s take a look at leadership in more detail.
If you look at leadership in its most basic form, then it is when you have one person (or a team of people in some cases) who are there to ensure that others follow them. Anyone can lead, so long as they have the right qualities to enable them to be recognised as a great leader.
Whilst leadership may come naturally to some; it is also a skill that can be worked on and developed over time. Taking people towards being a great leader who perhaps may not find it the easiest thing to do.
The idea of leadership is that you, whether that is a team or an individual, is to inspire those around you to achieve great things. This could be a shared goal or perhaps just simple things such as meeting a key deadline that you need to reach.
Rather than one person doing all the work to get you there, a leader will ensure that everyone in the team uses their own skills and abilities to get closer to the end result and to have the outcome that you are hoping for.
In order to be a good leader and to have effective leadership, you are going to need to have some key qualities that are going to help you to be the very best leader that you can be.
In order to be a good leader, you are going to need some core strengths that will help you to achieve and to get the results that you are hoping for. The first is self-awareness. When you are self-aware, you are going to know exactly who you are and your own strengths and weaknesses. Someone who is self-aware will also be aware of the things that may cause them to have an emotional reaction, and they will be able to move away from this or find a way to work around them.
As well as being aware of you as a person, a good leader should also be aware of the situations and circumstances around them. You should observe, and you should then consider all before you make any decisions.
A good leader is also someone who has excellent communication skills; they feel comfortable communicating with those around them and can use communication in a positive way to drive their colleagues towards their end goal, sometimes without them even knowing that this is the case.
A leader is also someone who can look at who they are working with and perhaps tailor their own approach to meet that group of people or person. It might not always be the easiest thing to do, but if this is something that you can do, then you will definitely see the results.
Another thing that a leader will need to do is be able to deal with difficult situations and also to make difficult decisions too. This could be to do with the work that needs to be completed or perhaps to manage the other people in the team, which can be tricky to do (more on these topics later).
Tactical leadership is when you, as a leader, are concerned by the present, the here and the now. A tactical leader will make short-term decisions that have immediate gains. Whilst these decisions are quick, they are not without thought, and the leader will need to be able to balance what is needed in the situation, along with the needs of the other team members who will actually be helping you to push forward to your end goal.
If tactical leadership is about the here and the now, then strategic leadership is definitely more about the long-term end goal. It looks at the long-term purpose and position of your business, and it ensures that you work towards these goals over a longer period of time.
A key part of strategic leadership is to ascertain what possible hurdles there may be along the way and decide on ways that they can be avoided or their impact can be lessened.
If you think about the fact that tactical leadership is more about short-term goals, then you may not think that planning is going to be a part of it. However, this is not the case. A strategic plan is going to look at more long-term goals, whereas a tactical plan is going to identify not only what you want to achieve in the near future but also how you are going to achieve it too.
This could be on a more individual level, or if you need to utilise the power of a team to get there, what part each team member will play in getting you there.
The main goal of leadership should be to get the business where you want it to be in the future. For many, this will be to grow and expand. However, leadership can also have much smaller goals, such as providing a high-quality customer experience (although this is important, of course) or perhaps being a part of a roll-out of a new product or service.
Leadership should make these goals easier to reach and ensure that every team member comes together to help you, as a business, to get there in the end.
Leadership is not something that comes naturally to everyone, and there are just as likely to be bad leaders as there are good leaders. One of the main issues that can come with leadership is the pitfalls that are linked to perception.
A leader who only focuses on themselves and their gain out of a situation (such as whether or not they will receive a bonus or perhaps be put forward for a promotion) is not really thinking about the wider team as well as their shared goals.
It is much better to look at the situation from a different point of view as this can help you to approach it in the right way and achieve great things in the end.
Leadership and being a leader are not always the easiest of things to do. There are lots of things that can test you and your leadership abilities. They can be frustrating when they happen, but we highly recommend that you view each one as a chance to learn, grow and develop your own skills.
Let’s take a look at some of the main problems when it comes to being a leader.
In order to get the very best from those who you work with, you need to know them and know their strengths. The only way that you can do this is to take the time to build effective relationships with those around you.
This can be hard to do, and you may worry about how to approach this, but the truth is, sometimes you just need to put some time and some effort into those working relationships. You will be recognised for this, and there is always a good chance that your colleagues will feel bonded to you simply because you got to know them.
Another tricky part of leadership is dealing with those around you. Especially if those people are known to be difficult, or they are in a difficult situation. We all have times in our lives when we are feeling stressed out or frustrated by the world around us, and there can be times when these feelings and raw emotions end up spilling into our working lives.
Not only this but there can be conflict within teams too. After all, just because you work together, that doesn’t always mean that you will get along. A leader will need to identify those key areas of conflict and work with those involved to try and come to a resolution.
All without approaching the situation or the people with any emotions involved.
We have already mentioned that communication is key when it comes to working within a leadership role. However, what you may not realise is that when you work in a leadership role, you are going to need to be able to communicate effectively with a variety of people.
Not only do you need to be able to take a bottom-up approach where you communicate with those that are above you in the business. But also top-down, which is when you communicate with those who you lead.
Both of these forms of communication need a different approach, and therefore you need to be able to do both effectively.
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