Great leadership relies on a variety of talents, skills and abilities and never more so than in our current competitive business world. Leaders today need additional and different skills than they needed in the past, and many of them are finding it challenging to keep on top of their ever changing roles.
Leadership development has not always been at the top of many organisations’ agendas. This does seem a bit short sighted when you think that without effective leaders, organisational performance and productivity suffers. Some companies have preferred to focus efforts in delivering management development programmes instead. Whilst this is of course an important area to focus on, leaders have been left out in the cold when it has come to their own development.
This lack of attention and investment in leadership skills training and leadership skills courses has resulted in some skills shortages. I have listed below some tactics organisations can put into place to address such shortages:
Good strategic planning is not just about setting objectives, it is so much more than this. Some leaders struggle with seeing the bigger picture and creating inspiring visions of the future. Creative brainstorming, visualisation and ‘right brain’ thinking facilitator-led sessions will help with strategic planning.
The ability to truly engage the hearts and minds of employees is a skill which many leaders lack. Instead they focus on employee incentives, reward and recognition schemes and processes. In order to effectively engage employees, leaders must develop empathy and exceptional communication skills.
People admire leaders who are not afraid to deal with conflict effectively. Unfortunately, some leaders prefer to turn a blind eye in the hope the problem will simply go away. Supporting leaders to identify how well they handle conflict and equipping them with techniques to manage it will improve their capability in this area.
Managing performance is crucial to ensure that people are performing to their best ability and that productivity is maintained. Some leaders do not reward high achievers enough which can result in them leaving the company, while others ignore poor performance entirely. Good performance management training for leaders is a must to avoid this happening.
Every leader should be developing their successor but many do not, for fear that they will be out of a job. Even if this is not the case, many are unaware of how to develop people effectively. Developing people is such an important part of being a successful leader that every leader needs to receive training in this area.
By: Karen Osborn