Applying Leadership Basics - Improve Your Leadership Skills from SilkWeb

The most important skills involved in effective leadership include maintaining a sound vision, establishing a positive work culture, informed decision making, and building relationships.
By: Laurel Silk
 
Sept. 27, 2009 - PRLog -- The most important skills involved in effective leadership include maintaining a sound vision, establishing a positive work culture, informed decision making, and building relationships.

Maintaining a sound vision involves several things. Successful leaders have perception and knowledge of the tasks at hand. These leaders know what is and is not part of the scope of the work and they are able to anticipate challenges. They believe that the company’s objective can be achieved and they remain involved in all key aspects of a project. Successful leaders understand and apply positive involvement in the work. They avoid close monitoring of employee work and instead they invite employees to ask questions and they gladly provide the rationale behind decisions. They seek commitment to the vision from their employees and they ask for and expect full support for any and all changes. This personal “buy-in” helps to establish a positive work culture as well.

Establishing a positive work culture involves more than just obtaining employee approval though. People observe the behaviors of their leaders. It is this reason that makes it so important for us to exhibit a positive attitude in our communications with subordinates. Leadership is synonymous with power and can be applied in a negative or positive manner. Leaders should select a leadership approach that suits their style and project. Leadership approaches include directing, participating, and delegating.

Having a positive work culture in place will enable the lines of communication to stay open during times of change. Changes must sometimes be made swiftly. Communicating those types of changes is easier when a rapport is already in place. It is imperative that leadership decisions are made promptly and that they are based on a complete understanding of the circumstances. In addition, effective decision making requires research based on reliable sources and accurate information. In some cases, it is necessary for leaders to seek advice from others in order to gain information that is credible.

Building relationships with employees is yet another important aspect of being an effective leader. Superior leaders do more than just promote an “open door” policy in their environments; they actively seek out and create new opportunities to develop a rapport with their employees. Leading by example is an appropriate means to demonstrate one’s personal values and it allows subordinates the opportunity to gain an understanding of their leader’s attitudes and expectations in the workplace. While all employees will display individual personalities, it is important for leaders to not show favoritism but instead to foster innovation by promoting creativity in the workplace. Often it is individuals who do not quite fit the “norm” that have the ability to think outside the proverbial box and this can lead to creative problem solving for difficult issues. One way to promote this type of action is to hold problem-solving sessions where a leader asks for solutions to essential issues that the team is experiencing. This also demonstrates a leader’s willingness to involve employees in the decision-making process and an opportunity to reward good behaviors.

Does your organization need assistance in applying leadership basics? If so, please contact us and we will help assess the issue(s) and offer recommendations to resolve the issue.

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