“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs has been a great leader not only for Apple but also for every aspiring entrepreneur. When we talk about leaders, we always portray a strong and confident person who gives us hope to rise every time we stoop down or stumble over an obstacle. Remember how the most exemplary guy in your school was chosen as the head boy? Well, nothing has changed in the larger picture. Every organization decides its leaders carefully to ensure the growth of the organization. You can become the leader as well if you adopt some of the leadership attributes needed during challenging times.
In this era of the pandemic, the economy is sliding down every passing day. You must be amazed at how a leader can effectively change the scenario. Here are some leadership lessons for hard times that you must learn.
Motivation is key to productivity
A leader should have personal attributes like self-confidence, communication, ability to make decisions, etc. A ‘successful’ leader is the one who has the potential to motivate each member of his team. You may be surprised how just a compliment from the leader can boost the productivity of the employee. Therefore, a leader motivating employee in tough economic times becomes the need of the moment. If you want to emerge as a leader, never fail to boost your employees’ morale.
Lateral thinking can be the game-changer
Lateral thinking is a key attribute that every leader must possess. It is all about thinking out of the box. Every subject or situation has a conventional approach; a lateral thinking leader is the one who can break through this traditional course of thinking and bring out a creative approach of looking at the issue and solving it. For instance, Gillette has utilized an innovative way of marketing. They follow a strategy of making their products obsolete to replace it with their own new products. In this way, they successfully cut down their competitors. Lateral thinking is the creative and innovative way to investigate the mundane issues to bring out a new approach to resolve them. This leadership skill is crucial for facing the challenges and turning them into strengths. Just like ‘if life gives you lemons, make lemonade’.
Establish bond of trust
Trust building is an essential leadership skill that can become the key to the unexpected growth of an organization. You may have always seen that every great leader was surrounded by people who trusted him. Yes, this attribute can be beneficial in both ways. If you can establish a bond of trust between you and your employees, you will surely notice how it affects you as well as their productivity. Especially during this time of self-isolation, every employee needs to deal with stress due to remote work. If you want to emerge as a leader now, you must establish a trust bond to influence their productivity instead of just dumping your burden on them. Trust building activities not only enhance employees’ confidence but also their loyalty to the organization.
Empathy can reap sweeter fruit
Jack Welch once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Leadership is not about growing individually but growing as a team or organization. You may not be born with leadership skills, but you can acquire them with perseverance. Creative thinking, open communication, or bonding – each of this leadership skill can lead you to the best version of yourself as a leader. As a leader, you are bound to confront new challenges, but your skills can mold you to become the most outstanding leader.
Compassion is an attribute that every leader must possess to combat the challenges of tough times. A successful leader always listens to his employees to gain a better understanding. You must learn to be empathetic if you want to ace leadership skills during these tough times.
There will be situations when you can blame your employee or publicly criticize them. A successful leader will not take those steps; instead, talk to the employee personally. Just the empathetic approach towards your employee can boost their morale and turn them into an asset for the organization.
Strategize with a clear vision
Having a clear far-sighted vision is a significant leadership attribute during challenging times. As a leader, you may have to face several challenges due to the falling economy. It is your turn to take up the responsibilities and strategize with a clear vision. A leader’s clear vision can help to develop objectives for every level of the organization. Formulating strategies to combat the upcoming challenges requires far-sighted vision. In fact, a successful leader knows how to balance short term and long-term goals.
When talking about leadership attributes, you cannot miss out on open communication on the list. According to statistics, 57% of employees fail to perform to their full potential due to the lack of open and clear communication with their leaders. Therefore, a successful leader must have effective communication skills to convey every vital information to his employees. Brainstorming sessions can be an effective way for leaders to practice with their team to bring out innovative solutions.
Lead with excellence
Leaders become examples for the employees. If you are always late, you cannot expect your employees to be punctual. The “walk the talk” philosophy is still something every successful leader has followed in his life. A successful leader never fails to inspire his teammates. In fact, a good leader always pushes his teammates for growth. Leadership does not mean exploiting power. In contrast, leadership is all about taking up responsibilities, following your own rules, and creating a benchmark of excellence to inspire others. So, if you want to become a successful leader, do not just command but lead by example.
Do you possess any of the leadership skills? Let us know how you have evolved as a leader in your life in the comments below.