A leader’s skills make all the difference in the struggle for business positioning in the marketplace. Allen Woo, a labor relations and people development expert, found that one of the most important keys to determining a company’s success lies in the collaborative skills of its teams. That’sThat’s why he offers some skills that leaders must have to develop their teams properly.
A manager, now more than ever, must become a leader. A leader should be capable of motivating, inspiring, and coordinating his or her team so that it runs like a Swiss watch. The problem is that many companies assume that manager and leader are synonymous concepts. Therefore, it is still easy to find organizations where managers lack the necessary skills to assume this responsibility.
“Every leader should develop certain skills that can help him or her lead a team,” Woo suggests. “Leadership skills are qualities that enable an individual to make better decisions within a framework of accountability, allocate available resources more efficiently, plan well, and manage people from motivation, enthusiasm, and commitment.”
These capabilities are not related to the different types of leadership but to the personal qualities of the person who is in charge of guiding others within the organization.
As a skill, it is important to know how to delegate. Delegating tasks is one of the most difficult aspects for managers.
Some managers believe that delegating means losing control of the project. They end up doing many tasks which do not relate to their job or causing problems for their team by micromanaging.
If we accompany the delegation process with a reporting system of tasks and objectives, the feeling of loss of control will disappear. The manager will be aware of all the progress in the project.
“We must be able to coordinate and collaborate,” Woo asserts. “It is well known how important team collaboration and coordination are. That is why a manager’s ability to foster these behaviors is indispensable if he wants his team to achieve its objectives without wasting time and resources.”
Coordination and collaboration help to avoid work overlapping and to align efforts in the right direction. They also help innovate more, to identify problems more quickly and to find the best solutions for them. To encourage coordination and collaboration, the leader has to establish the techniques and tools that serve as a channel for such coordination.
Until recently, the possibilities were limited; teams communicated through meetings or email. However, in recent years, platforms such as Slack, TribeScale or Basecamp have emerged as more advanced technological alternatives.
“Strategic planning is also of paramount importance,” says Woo. “Strategic planning is a leader’s ability to know the current state of the company, the people and resources available to him or her in order to craft a “roadmap” that will enable his or her team to achieve the goals set for the project.”
Strategic planning is composed of several skills of a leader, such as intuition, creativity, and of course, vision. If a manager is immersed in purely executive tasks on a day-to-day basis, it is possible that he or she loses the overall vision of the company and, therefore, cannot develop this planning. This is why it is important that from time to time, he or she takes some time away from these tasks and takes a bird’s eye view of the situation.
Without good communication skills, it would be difficult to develop the other skills of a leader. The greatest and most inspiring leaders have always distinguished themselves by having great oratory skills, but let’s not fool ourselves. In communication, it is as important to know how to speak as it is to know how to listen.
This is also a sign of empathy. It is easier to put ourselves in the shoes and experiences of customers, colleagues, and potential users. This will allow us to better understand their situations and help us communicate with them to reach our goals.
And finally, there is the motivation and inspiration to be better every day. A motivated team is not only a team that works at a higher performance but is also happier and helps to attract and retain the best talent.
One of the objectives of a good leader is to motivate his or her team and to be an inspiration important enough for the rest of the members to follow his or her example. A manager who is not able to transmit this inspiration will never be a true leader.