What Leadership Skills Are Most Valuable?

There are many leadership skills that are essential to businesses and organizations, as well as to leaders themselves. The list is long, and it can be difficult to determine what are the most valuable. However, commitment, the ability to allocate and delegate, and confidence are certainly leadership skills everyone should strive for.

Commitment

Commitment is a leadership skill that is vital to an organization. It is tremendously difficult for other people to follow a leader that does not appear dedicated. When a leader shows devotion, he or she also shows others that the cause is worth the hard work that goes into it.

The influential Daniel Golman refers this to as Pacesetting, and it is one of his Six Leadership Styles. In simple terms, it is leadership by example. In theory, a leader that works very hard and shows complete commitment will motivate the workforce to become more committed as well. Productivity should increase as a direct result of an increase of hard work.

Allocation and Delegation

As previously mentioned, hard work is significant. There is certainly something to be said for a leader that will get their hands dirty, so to speak, especially because it displays their commitment to the rest of the organization.

However, hard work is not always efficient. There is a well-known concept that suggests people should “work smarter, not harder.” With that in mind, two leadership skills that are particularly important are allocation and delegation.

Leaders and managers should lean on employees or team members within an organization to handle specific roles. This is “working smarter” because a worker that can specialize in his or her function will be more efficient individually. When there is a team of individuals that are efficient, and therefore, productive, the entire organization will benefit.

This also allows the leader to concentrate specifically on his or her individual responsibilities. For instance, upper level managers should spend their time developing systems and goals for increasing sales or implementing strong marketing strategies.

This would be Golman’s Authoritative style, eloquently described in a recent Fast Company article by Robyn Benincasa as when a “leader mobilizes the team toward a common vision and focuses on end goals, leaving the means up to each individual. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be ‘Come with me.’”

Confidence

Finally, leaders must show confidence, both in themselves and in others. People must be able to trust their leaders, and managers that do not exude confidence can create doubt in employees or other followers. In other words, it challenges an employee’s commitment to the organization.

Also, a leader must be confident in themselves and in other members of the team in order to allocate and delegate. He or she must trust the “work smart” ideology and be confident in their ability lead both by example and in the Authoritative style. Doing so will create an efficient and effective organization.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaprive/2012/12/19/top-10-qualities-that-make-a-great-leader/

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/leadership-qualities-00100000089425/index.html

http://www.fastcompany.com/1838481/6-leadership-styles-and-when-you-should-use-them

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