Leadership functions to maximize your organization’s efficiency and achieve long term business goals. According to a team of researchers led by psychologist Kurt Lewin there are three specific leadership styles that are present in today’s business world: authoritarian, participative, and delegative. Without sound leadership your company will suffer from lack of coordination, morale boosters, and overall guidance.
Good leadership is a quality that can be felt throughout the entire company. When good leadership is in place the corporate culture becomes open and inviting to present and future employees. On the other side, bad leadership can be felt throughout the organization in negative ways. Office politics run rampant and gamesmanship becomes apart of the daily routine. Uncertainty and lack of specific objectives can run a company into the ground faster than anything. To prevent your organization from falling into a trap of bad leadership, I have come up with 5 specific criteria that every business leader is measured by:
Recruiting: In order to sustain development and intellectual property it’s important for a leader to be a great recruiter. Being able to source top talent is extremely important for any organization that wants to be seen as a leader. Being able to hire top engineers or marketers to fine tune a product is essential for a company when their #1 goal is to become the best, or be bought. The War for Talent speaks highly of the challenges companies face in an economy where top talent is few and far between and those who are able to capture that talent will succeed.
Skill Development: When someone is put in a position of power or leadership it’s usually because they have acquired the right skills to lead an organization into the future. It’s important for these leaders to serve as mentors to those under them in order to make sure the company grows exponentially instead of relying on a core group of people to carry the innovation. Mentorship is one of the most important aspects in cultivating an environment that is poised to become a top player in a specific industry.
Operations: Operations is an area that can easily be sidetracked by focusing on sales and the growth of a business. In order to successfully grow exponentially, a leader must possess great operational skills. It’s one thing to increase sales, but Fortune 500 companies don’t get where they’re at without processes in place. It’s important that a leader is able to understand that while sales and growth is a top priority, unless they’re able to grow with processes in place things will only get worse down the road.
Engagement: The Open Door Policy was created by many top companies to cut through the red tape and destroy the idea that a manager or leader isn’t able to hear the concerns of entry-level workers. A great leader knows how to engage and participate with their staff in ways that boosts morale and encourages employees to stay engaged. This practice heavily ties in with mentorship and leadership styles.
Leadership: Its importance seems obvious, but it can’t be stated enough. A good leader shows a balanced leadership approach. The third leadership style that Lewin spoke of was participative leadership. He concluded that the democratic approach found in participative leadership was the most effective. A leader that expresses this style encourages group members to participate, but retains the final say in the decision making process. As a leader it’s important to take a role in each decision that is being rendered, but it is equally important to empower others to make sizeable contributions to the direction of the organization. This type of environment fosters productivity and creativity, which will end up increasing the efficiency of your organization.
These five structures or practices are essential for a leader to grow and retain their position with the industry. Without a great leader your company will fall by the wayside due to lack of direction, morale, and operational development.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs, Huffington Post and SmartBrief. When she talks, people listen. Photo Credit MarketPlaceLeaders.
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