- 3 April 2023
- Posted by: M-author
- Categories: Leadership, Workplace
Business success is in part determined by those in leadership roles. A strong, respected leader can drive the team towards desired outcomes, whereas poor drives employee resignation. So how can we identify those with the skills to engage, motivate and guide the team?
What is Human Leadership?
Human leadership is directing people and their resources towards an end goal. It is a social relationship that requires investment and understanding. The better you know the people in your team, the easier it is to influence, convince and motivate them into action.
What Determines Strong Leadership?
Effective human leadership relies on others having confidence and trust in your abilities. These attributes are not in place simply because of a job title, they are earned. The team need to see evidence of your commitment to them and the goal. What’s more, they want fair recognition for their part in the process, rather than you, the leader, getting all the credit.
Human leadership is a position of power, however, this comes with responsibility. Your right to this position of power will be judged through performance.
Strong leadership includes good communication, being quick to respond to issues and assertive in the face of challenges or conflict. It means regular interaction with the team to keep track of the mood and to invite feedback and ideas. You also need to be decisive, whilst having the courage to adapt your plan.
A strong leader can motivate others towards an end goal. This is achieved by helping everyone to understand the direct benefits of success. What will each individual gain from reaching that goal? The better you know the team, the easier it is to offer meaningful incentives.
When the rewards of reaching the goal are valued by the team, and everyone is clear about the role they play in contributing to that end goal, the leadership role becomes easier. Time can be spent streamlining the process, ensuring everyone is equipped with the necessary resources and nipping issues in the bud.
Sometimes members of the team will not see the point of the goal or disagree with it. Equally, they may have little respect for the leader or the leadership style. At these times, it is important to listen to understand and consider different approaches that may influence positive action. Unfortunately, until you have the majority on your side and motivated, the chances of success are slim.
The Challenge of Recruiting Future Leaders
In many organisations, individuals are promoted into leadership roles because of their strong technical competence or length of time in service. These individuals are experienced and knowledgeable, yet lack the skills or desire to structure a plan and persuade others to follow. They keep their distance, expecting that everyone will just get on and do their job.
When the need arises to address issues, introduce change or even reward success, they don’t know their team. This makes it difficult to deliver anything meaningful and inspiring to those they are meant to be leading.
The other recruitment option is to develop those with leadership potential, but how can you identify this? Those who see themselves as great leaders aren’t always viewed in the same way by their peers. Being confident and assertive is one thing, but are they also a good listener? Can they gather and evaluate information before making decisions? Is there evidence that they can commit to a long-term vision?
Leadership Skills & Personality Assessments
So, what are the skills we should be seeking in future leaders? The Centre for Creative Leadership* identified 9 competencies that are weak or missing in terms of future leadership needs:
- Managing change
- Inspiring commitment
- Leading employees
- Taking initiative
- Building collaborative relationships
- Having a strategic perspective
- Knowing strategic planning
- Embracing participative management
- Being a quick learner
For someone yet to take on a leadership role, these can be difficult to evidence on a CV or in an interview. One way to identify those with such skills is through personality assessments. These offer a non-bias method of identifying their character and attitude. They can be a valuable asset in the recruitment of leadership talent.
Successful candidates can be provided with development opportunities that build their experience and confidence in leading others. This can include involvement in strategic planning meetings, leadership training, mentoring programmes and being assigned team projects. A supportive work culture will get the most out of their abilities, so they can get the most out of others.
Plugging the Leadership Gap
Future leaders may be already part of your team. They haven’t been recruited for a leadership role, yet they are conscientious, have a positive impact on others and are willing to share ideas. You might notice them collaborating, asking questions and stepping up to help others out. A personality assessment could help to determine whether they have what it takes to plug the leadership gap and motivate others.