Management does not equal leadership. In fact, there are plenty of managers who lack basic leadership skills. There are many key factors to being an effective manager, and even more to be an effective leader. And the really good ones do both. Managers who are successful leaders know that it is more than delegating tasks, setting schedules, and conducting performance reviews. It’s leading by example, mentoring, developing, listening, and responsiveness that sets strong leaders apart. Here are five leadership competencies that managers who strive to be good leaders must be able to exhibit.
- Communication: Frequent, consistent communication is perhaps the most important characteristic of an effective leader. Remember, leading by example includes setting the goal, the expectations, communicating the path and progress along the way. Your team wants to hear from you and learn from you which means speaking up and offering guidance and suggestions early and often when a goal or project is off target.
- Decisiveness: Leaders make tough decisions every day, and these decisions must be made in a timely, confident, resolute and purposeful manner. When communicating a tough decision, it is helpful to provide background or context that supports your decision. Don’t think you have to defend your decision, rather simply provide some of the key factors that contributed to the decision made. Transparency may also be important, but that comes with its own set of considerations as you have to determine what level of transparency is appropriate based on the specific circumstances surrounding each situation.
- Understanding: Empathy is defined as “the ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.” The most effective leaders can be empathetic without being taken advantage of. You are their manager or boss, not necessarily their friend. As with all relationships, boundaries are important. But that does not mean you can’t be understanding and flexible when it makes sense for all involved.
- Development Focused: Most applicants ask about growth opportunities during interviews. Professional development opportunities impact employee engagement. Giving team members room to grow through stretch assignments or goals, resources for learning, challenges to face, and career paths to aspire to are all important aspects of individual development planning and motivation. Strong leaders are always developing their team members to be future leaders of the organization.
- Accountablity: A great leader isn’t just a task manager or delegator. They have their own responsibilities and projects and they have to hold themselves accountable to the same level of scrutiny as they hold their individual team members. Again, leading by example is a key attribute of a successful leader.
As with all of our blogs, we like to highlight the key functionality of the Truvelop app that promotes or speaks to the content included. Well, here it is. Managers who use the Truvelop App are able to put these critical leadership competencies to work by following the valuable, data-driven insights and proactive performance-based development recommendations Truvelop provides.