As the old adage goes, a team is only as strong as its weakest link -- but you'll also need to pay close attention to who's at the top. An organization can only achieve as much as its leaders allow, according to a column on the Six Sigma business institute website. Strong leadership includes being able to communicate, motivate and plan effectively. The results of effective leadership include a stronger team and increased productivity.
As a person at the top of the pyramid, a leader is responsible for making sure everyone else does her job the right way. Thus, one of his key skills is the ability to motivate others. Without this ability, his team won't perform to its potential, which can hurt production and cost an organization money. Part of the ability to motivate people is to be a good role model and set high standards of performance, accountability and behavior, according to a column by sales training expert Brian Tracy. The result will be a team that strives to achieve those same high standards.
A Vision for the Future
One of the most important attributes of a leader is vision, and one of the most important skills related to vision is the ability to see areas of opportunity and act on them. Looking to the future is the trait that most separates leaders from non-leaders, according to an article by business educators James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in the Harvard Business Review. A successful leader is part dreamer who cooks up ideas and part pragmatist who turns those ideas into reality. With a well-executed plan, leaders can create growth and prosperity for the organization. With that vision comes a need to communicate ideas in a clear and authoritative way.
Crises happen even in the most well-planned environment. Skilled leaders are those who can deal with the inevitable crisis effectively and quickly. In fact, a study published in the European Journal of Economic and Political Studies found that strong leadership during emergencies minimizes the impact, while poor leadership can actually make the problem worse. Once again, good communication is key. In the European Journal study, strong communication was cited as the No. 1 skill necessary for crisis management.
A Spirit of Collaboration
Another important skill for leaders is the ability to guide staff on how to do their jobs with minimal management. In the modern business environment, leaders are not tyrants who bark orders. Instead, they're the people who listen to staff members, ask questions, and foster an environment where employees have the tools and confidence to thrive on their own when necessary. Leaders foster a spirit of collaboration among their staff members. This contributes to high morale and greater productivity.