Are great leaders born or made? This has long been a topic of discussion in the business world. While some are wired for leadership from an early age, most research suggests that if an individual has the drive to become a great leader, he or she can accomplish that goal.
So what exactly does it take? And what are companies looking for when it’s time to fill managerial positions? The following qualities and skills are universally sought after by organizations in many different industries.
Competence is key. This is why so many leadership roles require a combination of advanced education and real-world experience. A deep understanding of one’s field and a thorough knowledge base of business principles are the foundations for any effective leader.
Leaders have to make countless calls on a daily basis. This is not a job for someone who is indecisive. A strong sense of intuition helps with making critical decisions. Great leaders can quickly weigh their options and proceed with confidence.
Great managers are able to connect with people on a human level. They don’t assume they know everyone’s story; they ask questions to better understand their employees and genuinely try to put themselves in others’ shoes.
Managers encounter problems on a daily basis — it’s part of the job description. Analytical skills are key for systematically solving challenges and anticipating what’s to come. Through education and practice, the very best leaders learn to think critically and outside the box.
Open, honest communication is the hallmark of a successful team. This should start at the top. If leaders are not truthful, they quickly lose the respect of their employees. Transparency can be as simple as keeping everyone in the loop and asking employees to share their unique viewpoints.
The best leaders understand that their daily actions foster a culture - and that culture can be positive or toxic. While all managers certainly have challenging days, the most effectives ones do their best to remain optimistic, especially when communicating with their teams.
Become the Strong Leader Your Industry Needs
If you’re ready to move into a leadership position, a tailored graduate program can help you maximize your impact. The M.S. in Management & Leadership at Coker College helps students develop the competence and confidence to address today’s business challenges. Discover more about this online program today.