Whether the CEO of a global enterprise or the owner of a small retail store, every business leader must come to the job with more than just a vision. The fundamental management skills to bring it to life are just as necessary.
From the ability to communicate effectively to time management and finely honed organizational skills, these are always relevant basics that every manager who intends to lead must develop in order to advance. And while the underlying principles and standards can be learned in the classroom, there’s nothing like talented and dedicated management mentors to teach by example.
The skills include:
- Communication. The challenge is to learn to do it right – and intelligently. Whether it’s making a case to advance an idea or directing a staffer to tackle an important task, being clear and convincing while keeping a positive or enthusiastic approach is critical to achieving positive outcomes. Those who come across as negative or bullying in the way they communicate with others will likely find their success stymied.
- Conflict resolution. The conflict-averse will have trouble succeeding as business leaders. It’s key to handle disputes or issues that threaten a smooth running environment directly and fairly. This can be a challenge as there’s never a shortage in the workplace of situations that stir emotions and require a firm and unbiased manager’s hand. The inability to manage conflicts is noticed by workers, and they’ll respect managers who do it right.
- Delegation. Smart leaders know the wisdom of surrounding themselves with the best people whose skills augment theirs, and then setting them loose to get the job done. But giving employees the responsibility to carry work out is only one aspect of the delegation equation. The challenge is to avoid micromanaging, to ensure there is just enough control to monitor their work without stifling their ability to do it effectively.
- Organization. Being organized has a variety of aspects that all come into play for leaders who expect to keep their organizations on the path forward. Part of it is the ability to prioritize so that the most important tasks are moved to the front of the line. Without this skill, meeting deadlines is problematic. The skilled leader makes sure everyone knows what job to do and is given the resources to do it.
- Reward hard work. No one likes to work in a vacuum. It’s the smart leader who acknowledges how the hard work of employees, specifically and generally, has helped the organization achieve new measures of success. This can be through tangible and intangible means. A public pat on the back in front of a staffer’s peers can have just as much, and maybe more, impact as tickets to a ball game or show.
- Time management. Time management, like organization, is comprised of a set of skills that, employed in tandem, allow tasks to be completed as effectively and efficiently as possible. Goal setting and prioritization are important components, as are planning and the ability to make decisions – like which priorities take precedence. Ultimately, being productive with time creates ongoing opportunities to improve how work is done and, in the end, lead to better results and value to the organization.
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