Enhance Your Leadership Skills

When you participate in leadership development training, you’re building an imposing structure of success upon the firm foundation you’ve already laid. Your improved skills will enable you to get more done in less time and with less wasted effort. As you gain confidence to become more skillful, you will become increasingly valuable to the organization. Improved skills will also result in less stress related to your responsibilities, and you will find yourself enjoying your job even more. As you participate in further leadership development, you find your leadership increasingly influencing three areas: the organization overall, your most directly involved team members, and the work climate.

  • Your influence in the organization. Organizations are much like human beings. Each copes with challenges in its own characteristic way, operates in a manner designed to preserve its existence, and resists change. An organization is simply two or more people working toward a common goal. Regardless of the size of your organization, filling your position of leadership calls for willingness to identify with your organization’s purpose, to support it with your attitudes and your actions, and to facilitate the changes needed for the organization’s ongoing success. Regardless of the type of your organization – whether it’s a provider of services, a distributor of goods, or a manufacturer – you’re expected first of all to get results through people in order to operate at a profit. A not-for-profit organization is not profit driven, of course, but its purpose is to get results through people. Given limited human and financial resources, you must reach certain productivity goals. The nature of the “profit” takes different forms according to the nature of the organization, but the principle is the same:

“You are effective as a leader only when you manage the available resources to make the product or service worth more to the organization than the cost of producing it.”

Although your personality characteristics and skills are important, your value to the    organization can be measured only by how effectively you’re fulfilling its mission and achieving cost-effective results.

  • Your influence on team members. In addition to understanding your responsibility to the organization, you must also understand the needs and wants of the members of your work group. If you concentrate exclusively on your own needs and goals and neglect those of your team members, a deep rift in team relationships will develop. If you’re achievement oriented, you may be tempted to boost your own self-esteem by downplaying the contributions made by other team members. But when other team members feel that their efforts have been ignored or that their value has gone unrecognized, they view themselves as relatively unimportant to the organization. Consequently, they feel less responsibility for being personally productive. Avoid this destructive pattern at all costs! Both you and your team members will enjoy the positive results of shared responsibility and recognition.
  • Your influence on the work climate. When you adopt a no-limitations belief in the potential and worth of every individual, you begin coaching each team member with an enthusiasm that says, “You can do it!” Your confidence in them gives them maximum opportunity to grow, to meet their own needs, and to contribute to the success of your department or work group. When you believe firmly in the ability of people to perform productively, your expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. People tend to live up to what’s expected of them by others, especially by those they consider authority figures. When you demonstrate that you believe your team members can succeed, they’re willing to take more growth risks. A no-limitations belief in people also makes it easier for you to delegate various responsibilities and to trust your team members to get the help, resources, and training they may need to successfully complete the tasks you assign. When you demonstrate your confidence in their ability to perform and to succeed, they will accept the challenge more willingly and work harder to meet your expectations.

Increasing efficiency and effectiveness is a basic purpose of leadership development. Commit to building leadership skills through productive relationships with people.

Leadership Management® Institute
Reprinted with permission
Strategic Essentials is a Managing Partner for Leadership Management® International, Inc.

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