As leadership conference week starts at the Foreign Office, Sir Simon Fraser shares his advice an leadership skills.
Leadership skills can play a large role in career development. Often, your technical skills can only take you so far. To help you move forward in your career, you need soft skills such as the ability to be a good leader. Therefore, leadership skills are considered to be important traits which can help you get to the top of your career field. You’re more likely to be hired or get a promotion if you’ve been successful in leadership roles in your professional or personal life.
Few people are born to be leaders. Most of us need to practice being a good leader, and that’s why leadership development is so important. There are many different types of leadership, and there are many skillsets that can help you become a successful leader.
Most bosses will assign their employees tasks that the employees have proven to be adept at. Therefore, don’t wait to take on more responsibilities. Go above and beyond at your current position. A good way to develop your skills is to take on extra projects outside of your job description. Remember, the more work you do, the more you are learning. Learning more and taking on more responsibility can help move you into a leadership role in your workplace.
To be hired for a high-profile job, you will need to be a critical thinker. Good leaders are able to foresee potential problems before they happen. They can then develop ways to prevent the problems from happening. Good leaders are also aware of potential opportunities and take advantage of them to benefit the company and employees.
What makes a leader the most? To find out the answer, this Ivey professor interviewed more than 30 leaders around the world, capturing their observations on what it takes to make a truly connected and effective leader. Those observations, revealed in this article, confirm and validate what many of us hope that a good leader ought to be made of.
Are leaders born or made? That never-ending debate is central to this paper. But the purpose here is not to take sides since the clear answer is “Both.” There is no question that some remarkable people enter the world with the confidence it takes to make difficult decisions along with a desire to lead and the natural ability to attract followers. Other leaders are nurtured, including many that succeed despite being thrust, often reluctantly, into leadership roles. Leaders from both camps, however, have been known to excel and fail to live up to their potential. So the question that really matters is: “How do good leaders learn to lead?”
There’s a programme currently running on BBC Television in
the UK called – “Little Angels.” It’s a series that offers
help and advice to parents who’re experiencing behaviour
difficulties with their children. I’m sure there are similar
programmes in other parts of the world. The children are
often out of control, won’t do what they’re told and
generally dominate the family.
Part of the programme shows the parent dealing with the
child while receiving instruction from a clinical
psychologist through an earphone. The psychologist watches
what’s happening and constantly tells the parent to reward
the child, with words of support, when they do something
well. When the child misbehaves, the instructions are to
ignore and leave them alone.
There is a huge temptation for the parent to reprimand the
child but this is not permitted by the psychologist.
Succession planning is all about making managing people much more effective, creating spaces for whoever you are, with people management responsibilities, to focus on your job, not theirs. Through empowering them, you generate enthusiasm and engagement. Everyone thrives, especially your business or organization your business.
By cranking up others development to meet your business needs, big or small, not just for right now, but for the future, you will find payoffs, big-time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Building Relationships By ensuring that you have informally built good relationships with every one of your team, you will have a head start when developing the intelligence needed for effective succession planning. This is not just about the business, it is about aligning with whatever is important to each individual and showing an interest in them.
- Create a Vision Clearly understanding what ‘good looks like’ is the first stage of planning for the future. Taking the time out to develop this is well worth the effort and provides a marker against which all decisions, people or otherwise are made. If possible, involve as wide a range of people in this activity.
- Right People, Right Place, Right Time – Ignore Names Once you have your vision, deciding who is need, when and where becomes easier. It important that you focus on the facts rather than the emotion first, so that you ignore individuals in this assessment. You can fit people in afterwards, as long as they will have the capability to deliver your vision for your business. Some may be a work towards.
- Consistent Performance By considering your key people, their aspirations and expectations for the future, you will gain an insight of where your gaps might come and then you can start planning to avoid problems. This will enable you to provide for anticipated change and start developing others to cover at least. This also helps when changes happen unexpectedly.
- Confidence Grows As individuals are involved in the possibilities for their future, without over-promising, they start to want more. They appreciate learning and developing as they see what might unfold for them. As they learn and experience more, their confidence builds and they want stretching.
- It’s Cultural As your communication processes involve everyone in Succession Planning, a groundswell of positivity generates a shift in your business culture. Your people start to realise that there is more to this than a job – it’s building their feelings of self worth and future. This culture becomes just ‘the way we do things around here’ and new employees commence at a higher, different level.
- Many Winners As you start to build the capacity of those around you, there is a lot that can be delegated safely as a development opportunity, suitably supported and coached. You crate space to do the more important things in your role. They develop and build confidence. With confidence comes improved customer relationships, greater efficiencies. So managers, employees, the business and ultimately stockholders all are winners.
- Time Efficient There is a certain amount of workload involved in creating a Succession Planning process. Once these initial stages are completed, only a small amount of time outside normal activities is required. In fact, with the added skills and development of your people, far greater efficiency and effectiveness results.
- Manages Performance Using a Succession planning process sits very appropriately with Performance Management. As potential has been identified, the next steps in development are constructive and clear. The individual takes accountability for their own development and practically self-manages their performance.
- Value-Creating By using management skills far more effectively, skilling up all the people in the business and creating seamless transitions when people move on, all improve business performance. Developing the latent potential of many of your people raises the bar for their performance – it is just shifted up several notches. And ultimately with greater sales and efficiency, bottom line profit is maximised.