Managerial Leadership Skills for a Competitive Workforce
Here are nine skills that will help managers distinguish themselves as leaders in a 21st-century workplace
David Cox | June 11, 2019
Managerial Leadership: The criteria for selecting managers is expanding
More organizations are augmenting the traditional criteria for advancement to management roles in an increasingly competitive business environment. Obviously, technical skills, past employee performance, and tenure are all crucial factors, but they’re no longer sufficient for determining management potential.
Successful companies are trending towards assessing whether or not candidates can effectively lead a team before advancing them to a management position. In other words, advancement to management will be based, at least in part, on leadership assessment, rather than an assumption of such capability.
As such, what do you, as a new or current manager, need to learn that will better enable you to manage a team and distinguish yourself as an effective leader?
Managerial Leadership: What skills do prospective and current managers need to develop?
Here are the nine skills that will help you manage more effectively and reinforce your leadership to drive better results.
Managers who lack integrity also lack effectiveness. The reason for this is that effective managers lead by example. Technical proficiency, past performance, and adequate tenure will never make up for lacking integrity. Good leaders not only do the right thing; they are truthful and reliable. Moreover, they maintain a reputation for transparency in actions and decision-making.
- Team building
Managers must select the best people for each job regardless of gender, ethnicity, or other factors. A good leader can develop an inclusive workforce. Obviously, they shouldn’t let their personal feelings negatively impact their willingness to hire the best people and get the job done.
- Positive attitude
If managers don’t respect the company and its leaders, why should their employees? Managers need to be champions of the organization. They need to support the direction of the organization. Likewise, they need to promote that direction to their employees enthusiastically. Doing so is particularly important when an organization is transitioning or working through change.
Managers must be able to communicate their goals and expectations effectively to get the most out of their teams. A good manager makes sure everyone understands their role and the expectations for that role. Clear goals and expectations keep employees engaged while working towards something bigger than themselves.
Listening is essential to effective communication. Managers need to genuinely listen to their employees and not just hear what they want to hear. Listening is key to building solid relationships with employees because it lets them know that you value them. When employees feel valued, it encourages them to participate and contribute.
No two people are the same. Everyone’s style of working is somewhat different. Flexibility is an essential skill for managers to adapt their management style to the diverse styles of their team members. Undoubtedly, flexibility is the future of the workplace. Moreover, managers need to be able to oversee employees beyond the workplace, with more and more people choosing to work remotely.
Delegating work-related tasks to the right employee is an essential skill for today’s managers. The broader the manager’s scope of responsibilities, the higher the risk of failure, unless they delegate to their team members effectively. Managers must figure the best person for the job from their team, and then trust the person they select to get it done.
Problems arise in every business or organization. Good managers understand they will be judged by how they solve those problems. Subsequently, managers need to make tough decisions quickly.
It’s essential that once made; those decisions are then implemented, to achieve the desired results. If not, leaders must be willing to act quickly and change course. Leadership is a series of decisions; if you make a bad decision, respond with a better one.
It’s imperative for today’s organizations that they share information across all departments and levels. Often, a lack of collaboration leads to power struggles, disruption among team members, and lowered productivity. Managers must be able to promote the sharing of information by unifying teams, setting shared goals, and incentivizing a collaborative work environment.
Managerial Leadership: Create an “X-factor”
Smart companies looking to develop a more sustainable future will include managerial leadership in their training programs. Doing so will give them a stronger pool of candidates to promote from within the organization. However, if you’re looking to distinguish yourself through managerial leadership right now, don’t wait for your employer to offer such training.
Applying managerial leadership skills to your management responsibilities will help you create an “X factor” that will distinguish you from other managers. It’s a factor of credibility needed to lead your team in accomplishing its goals and making continuous improvement.