By Aoife Gorey
Not all people in leadership positions are effective leaders, but they can be developed into excellent leaders. Extraordinary leaders are not born or created over night. Some may say that Richard Branson has a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ about him, that Steve Jobs grasped the attention of everyone when he presented to an audience, or that Jeff Bezos is the most upbeat CEO of our time. But what really makes a great leader in big and small organizations today?
– Understanding themselves and how they impact their people
– Understanding the people they lead
– Understanding their purpose as both a leader and a manager of people
– Capability and interest to lead
Successful and effective managers do more than just supervise employees. They lead by taking responsibility for ensuring that each individual succeeds, and that the team, department, or business unit achieves expected results. Effective leaders are like successful coaches who develop teams that win championships year after year.
Like winning coaches, successful managers are both talented and skilled. Of course, managerial skills can be developed through training, mentoring, and experience. But if a manager lacks natural talent, his or her odds of success will diminish significantly.
First, you need to identify high potential leaders within your organization and monitor your current managers and their team’s results.
Symptoms of a manager who is an inadequate leader
- The team consistently fails to achieve the expected goals, even after warnings
- Team members are disengaged, miss meetings, and deliver sub-standard quality work
- Team members are frustrated, argue, and lose focus
- Team members quit and complain of favoritism, inconsistency, and poor treatment
- The manager does not address conflict and manage poor performance promptly
Three ways you can improve a manager’s leadership skills:
1. Clarify the team’s purpose and goals with the manager
It happens to the best of us, we all have moments where we lose sight of the end objective. Sometimes managers need to be reminded of what’s important and what isn’t. If upper management does not communicate this with the manager, then how can he be expected to with his own team?
2. Help the manager learn how to understand his team
Every single one of us is different, there are no two people the same. Employees have their own styles and preferences, and this influences how they best respond to their managers. When a manager understands his people, he can also be aware of potential conflict or “chemistry” issues between himself and other team members.
3. Help the manager understand his own leadership style
Many of us have key leadership qualities, but we are not born leaders. Great leaders are developed over time. They need feedback in order to improve their management style, build on strengths and fortify weaknesses. In some cases, it may be clear that a manager really isn’t suited for a particular leadership role. This allows executives and/or upper management to identify other career options better suited to an individual.
Business leaders need reliable tools to provide information about how to be successful by doing the right things, the right way. It is impossible to know the right way without having the right information and a customized roadmap to get you there. 360° feedback systems allow leaders to develop their interpersonal skills and fine-tune management methods. This can have a tremendous impact on organizations productivity.
The Checkpoint360°™ surveys 70 specific job skills, which fall into eight universal management and leadership competencies and 18 skill sets. Multi-rater feedback surveys are completed by managers, their bosses, their peers, and their direct reports. The data is compiled into thorough and concise reports for managers to see how their job performance is evaluated by the full circle of people who observe it.
“To create a high performance organization, each player has to get better at his or her position. If all the people in the company really want to win, culture becomes a very powerful multiplier.” – Bill McDermott, Co-CEO, SAP.