Although most managers think that the moment they climb up the career ladder, they are seen as leaders by members of their team, there’s lots of a difference between bosses and leaders in the business world. The word “boss” is mainly used in a very negative context and related to fear, punishment and salary reduction, while leaders are much more favorable people in a working collective. They don’t use fear for implementing their decisions, they use employee enthusiasm. Leaders also serve as an example to all of their employees and help them grow and develop. In this article we have listed some of the most important skills one manager needs to have to become a leader.
Leaders need to have excellent communication skills. They need to motivate their team by creating vivid visions of the future and enabling individuals to influence company policies, customer trends and their own communities with hard work and engagement.
Their communication needs to go far beyond giving orders. They should be able to communicate with all members of their team in many different ways that range from private office conversations to Skype conversations, e-mail messages and blog and social network entries. In addition, great leaders know when to support their worker’s ideas and when to be compassionate and cut some slack. They give motivational speeches and toasts and make everybody in their company feel special.
Research and Problem Solving Skills
A manager’s job is to solve organizational problems and that’s why a leader needs to have an analytic mind and great problem solving skills. They should be able to conduct a complex research and determine the main organizational problems in teams and find ways to solve them. This should be done by using the advantages offered by the market and higher company management, which is why a leadership role requires great analytic abilities and people skills.
With advanced problem solving they should encourage every team member to think about the company’s problems and develop their own ideas and solutions.
Being an Industry Expert
Although managers rarely go beyond organizing their teams, they should also have a wide knowledge of the company’s industry. It is advisable for university educated managers to enroll in courses that deal with the industry their team works in. Only managers that show at least the same levels of proficiency as other members of the team can be viewed as leaders. By enrolling in different industry courses, they will be able to understand the problems their employees need to deal with. This will enable them to take into account all relative parameters and extraordinary conditions that might come up, when evaluating employee’s performance, which is very helpful, since managers that stick solely to regulated work norms are usually seen as tyrants and quickly lose worker’s respect.
Ability to Apply Innovations
Innovation drives today’s economy and leaders need to closely follow new organizational trends in order to upgrade their team’s work results. Not every manager has the ability to innovate their work. Some of them don’t follow trends too closely, others are just too lazy to prepare their team for the implementation of new organizational models. Leaders can’t have excuses when it comes to innovation. They should constantly test and develop new organizational strategies in accordance with new business trends.
It’s logical that acclaimed leaders should have excellent leadership skills. That is why we have left this for the end in order to emphasize other important skills that are regularly being neglected due to the great importance of strategic perspective and leader’s integrity.
Great leaders don’t sit in their office and watch their teams. They are constantly in motion, trying to help employees and motivate them to produce better results and upgrade production processes with their own ideas. They also represent a strong link between their team and higher company management and are able to protect the interests of both parties in this process.
Becoming a leader requires a long learning and adjusting process. The digital world offers many opportunities for career advancement, including a long list of online courses. If you want to upgrade your status from a manager to a leader, you should choose skill courses that you are lacking the most. Of course keep in mind that other than learning new skills, leadership also requires a little bit of talent and in some cases a major attitude change.
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.