It is hard to coach or teach leadership in a few paragraphs.
But let’s try by limiting this short insight to a list of the five principal tactical skills of a great leader. These are not the strategic visionary skills, like leading companies through risky product launches, or steering the course through economic storms where leaders become oversized personalities for their superhuman efforts. These are the skills of daily operation, the ones that make or break a company – from the top.
Think of those leaders from your past or present whom you respect most. Compare their leadership style with these five skills.
Skill number one: delegate.
Nothing is more of a turn off to a subordinate than having their leader do the work for that person. Worse yet, failures to delegate make the leader the principal bottleneck in the flow of work through an organization. A great leader learns to delegate, first.
Second: measure the results of delegation.
If there is no attempt to measure, no-one will know if the work is up to standards for timeliness, quality, or the vision of the leader. There are many types of metrics, some very easy to manage. But failure to find and use them regularly is a failure at the top.
A leader’s duty is to make sure that anything s/he delegates, and measures is given a chance of success by providing the tools required to perform the job. Those include funding, people, training, and facilities.
[Email readers, continue here…] A great leader is a great cheerleader, knowing when and how to reward effective achievement through all levels of the organization. People naturally work for rewards, from simple recognition to financial incentives.
There is no greater feeling than to achieve a goal and to celebrate that with some form of out-of-the-ordinary event. It can be a simple handshake and comment in front of others who count, or an all-company celebration after achievement of a major goal. A leader who fails to follow through and celebrate misses a major opportunity to enhance the culture of the organization and motivate the troops to further achievements.
Delegate, measure, support, reward and celebrate.