The difference between a good company and a great company can be linked to many factors, but perhaps one of the most compelling drivers of success is great leadership. Strong leadership can turn a high-turnover employee pool into a committed, engaged workforce; it can spur innovation and creativity where others are stumped by challenges; and it can empower individuals to take ownership and pride in their work instead of passing the buck. Any company or organization that places a priority on strong leadership will reap the benefits in every aspect of their workforce and their company's performance.
There are books on leadership, conferences to help leaders hone their skills, and many companies even have a mentoring program in order to cultivate home-grown leaders. There are podcasts, webinars, Twitter accounts, and just about every other form of media that helps foster leadership skills. And the reason for this is that leadership is difficult. It comes naturally to very few people. It takes dedication and a willingness to learn.
Quite often, those hired for leadership positions are skilled professionals with minimal leadership training. While many promoted to leadership positions demonstrate they have leadership potential, far too few are provided with the tools needed to improve their leadership skills and hone their craft.
Leaders have the ability to dictate an organization's future prosperity. Effective leaders can transform an organization by motivating people and serving as a mentor for others. They also help organizations remain focused on goals in the midst of volatile circumstances.
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Not long ago, employers relied on a list of job skills and previous work history to assess the qualifications of those considered for positions of leadership. An organization's leadership training programs were often reserved for those who showed a degree of natural ability. Today, the criteria for determining effective leadership skills has changed. Many employers are assessing their candidates on their level of emotional intelligence.
In the past, it was acceptable for the manager to give orders to workers without any input. The top executives and managers were in charge, and employees were supposed to blindly follow along. Leadership development in those days was more about learning how to tell people what to do than listening and working with others. These days, leaders must be willing to collaborate with their teams and build trusting relationships in order to accomplish organizational goals. Those with collaborative leadership skills benefit not only themselves, but also their teams and the company that they work for.
"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish." ~ Sam Walton
'Diversity and Inclusion' has become more and more of a buzzword over the last few decades. Many organizations heavily advertise their diversity efforts. They post pictures on their website, illustrating the different races and genders that work for their company. At industry conferences, they host panels dedicated to discussing the benefits of diversity in the workplace. They will even implement annual diversity training as a requirement for every employee.
Company changes are a normal part of doing business. Unfortunately, they can also be very difficult for many of your employees. Employees in the middle of a big organizational shift may experience a number of emotions and other responses, including: