Leadership is a way to ensure that those working in an organisation have the necessary skills to reach their goals.
It is the company’s management to set and achieve organisational goals, build a vision and inspire organisational members to perform their best.
In this post, we will find out why companies need a good leader and how to become one.
What is leadership? Why is good leadership important?
Leadership is the ability to create a vision and makes sure that team members have the training and skills to follow that vision.
Research has shown that good leadership can increase employee satisfaction and reduce employee turnover, as well as increase the income of the organisation.
A leader inspires people and exchanges constructive feedbacks regularly to improve the team and individual’s effectiveness. A good leader does not act like a supervisor, but rather as a guide to his team members.
Are leaders born or made?
In understanding leadership, a prominent question has been asked throughout history which is “Are leaders born or made?”
Research shows that only one-third of the variance of leadership qualities is hereditary and 57% of top executives claim to have learnt their leadership qualities through trial and error.
Leadership is a skill and similarly, as in all other skills, it is natural some are going to be better than others at leading. No two people learn a skill in the same way and neither do they apply it alike. Through proper leadership training, anyone can learn to be a good leader.
What are the differences between managers and leaders?
A successful organisation needs both a good manager and a good leader. Oftentimes, they are considered identical roles. However, there are differences between these roles.
Managing is about administering the tasks and making sure operations are running smoothly, while Leading is about taking responsibility and guiding others towards achieving a common goal.
What is the difference between a good and a bad leader?
A good leader achieves to communicate a clear vision and motivate his team until the end goal is reached. A good leader shows integrity. Integrity is defined as leading with example, taking accountability and showcasing ethical behaviour, thus generating trust among the team.
A bad leader sets unrealistic visions or is not able to communicate his vision correctly. This bad leadership will demoralise the team and make it harder to achieve the final goal.
Good leadership, in fact, is difficult to achieve. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership showed that more than 50 % of new leaders fail within their first 18 months. And only 42% of business leaders and 30% of HR professionals are satisfied with the leaders in their organisation.
This is why it is important to identify your leadership style and seek improvements.
Understanding and identifying your leadership style is the first step towards becoming a better leader. Being in a position of leadership is not the same as leading. By holding themself accountable, a good leader sets an example for others to follow.
“I think a great leader is one who makes those around them better. There are many litmus tests for a great leader, but I really look to those around them: Are they growing, becoming better leaders themselves, motivated, etc.?”Dana Brownlee, Founder of Professionalism Matters
What are 3 qualities of good leaders?
Every leader has a different style, however, all styles have some qualities in common.
1. Good leaders have a compelling vision
Great leaders envision a better and successful future for everyone. They always strive to work for a better organisation and facilitate teamwork. A successful leader will be able to carefully analyze the company or team in which they operate and have a thorough knowledge of its strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats.
2. Good leaders set SMART goals and take ownership
Leaders set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based) goals and prioritize them.
Leaders are responsible for the positive or negative outcomes of the team. They hold themselves and their subordinates accountable for their activities, instilling a sense of ownership.
3. Good leaders practice effective communication
Effective communication and effective leadership are intrinsically linked.
A leader must be willing to listen to and interact with people from all sorts of backgrounds, including roles, geographies, social identities, and more.
The efficacy of leadership communication within your firm has a huge impact on the success of your business plan. Thus good leaders make sure that everyone understands their goals.
What is the difference between traditional and modern leadership?
Since organisations are going through the millennial evolution, the style of leadership has changed considerably.
In the traditional leadership style, the owner was considered to be the sole leader and there was a strict top-down hierarchy in which the orders were followed.
Modern leaders lead people without being assertive. They stimulate ideas that encourage people to reach their goals, instead of forcing and pushing people towards their common goal.
In a modern sense, everyone can become a leader and take ownership, thus making the whole team much more effective than in a traditional leadership style.
The majority of the organizations believe that it’s important to have leaders at all levels in a company. Leadership increases the morale of employees, instils confidence and creates a positive environment.
By communicating a compelling vision, setting SMART goals and practising effective communication everyone can become a good leader and make their team more successful.
With our articles, we are trying to provide as much free and valuable content as possible, if you want to go deep into understanding how to be a modern leader and improve your leadership skills, we recommend you apply to our EWOR Academy.
During the course, you will have the resources to read this content and also speak to experts such as Stefan Homeister, Founder & Owner of SHL GmbH who has been our major inspiration behind writing this article.