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5 Essential Business Leadership Skills

Published Date: 05-03-2021

Being successful in the business world requires a lot of skills, but some of the most important are strong leadership skills. Businesses rely on motivated, empowered teams to move their company forward. If you are considering a career in business, these skills will be essential to your leadership toolkit.

Learn When and How to Delegate Tasks

A true leader is able to delegate tasks based on the strengths of their team members. Harvard Business Review makes it clear that delegation is essential for both the leader and the team. Overachieving and controlling every aspect of the work your team produces will lead to burnout on your end and resentment from your employees. You can stop piling your plate too high and engage your employees’ strengths at the same time.

Having an open dialogue with your team will help you learn what areas they excel in. Once you have a grasp of what each person does best, you can give them tasks that are well-suited to their skillset. Additionally, investing in teaching your employees rather than constantly giving them directions will give both of you more comfort and confidence in the long run.

Be Clear About Your Expectations

The first step to being a great leader is giving your team clear and achievable objectives. Your job isn’t simply to give orders. It is important to give your employees direct guidelines about what you want and need from them, especially if they are a new hire or just transitioned into their role. Breaking down your specific goals and expectations for each team member and your team as a whole will give your employees an idea of what they should accomplish and the steps they need to take to get there within a timeframe that works for you. Business News Daily emphasizes that it is essential to explain how each goal or expectation you set affects your company as a whole.

Make Feedback a Two-Way Street

Just like it is important to give your employees direct goals, it is also important to provide them with direct feedback. Be upfront with your employees about ways that they can improve their performance and ways they are exceling. The CEO of Toptal freelancing network, Taso Du Val, said, “’If you’re not direct, people won’t know what you truly think about them and their work, and they will never be able to improve.” Employees work better when they feel confident in their work and their standing in the organization. Relieving their anxiety with your honesty will produce tangible results while also decreasing stress in your team as a whole.

While offering solid feedback is essential, what elevates someone from a supervisor to a leader is being open to critique yourself. When employees fail to meet expectations, approach the situation by asking how each of you can add clarification or adjust to prevent any further issues. Don’t be afraid to start an open dialogue with your employees and your superiors. Everyone benefits from transparency and increased communication.

Emphasize Your Employees’ Agency

The Harvard Business Review reported that “The first priority of leadership is to engage the right people, at the right times, to the right degree in creative work. That engagement starts when the leader recasts the role of employees. Rather than simply roll up their sleeves and execute top-down strategy, employees must contribute imagination.” You can implement this by making sure your team knows that you value their ideas and want to hear them. Even if you can’t utilize each suggestion, allow your employees to express their creativity and take what they have to say seriously. Let them know their voice is important and they play a role in the direction your organization is going. This also means presenting your team with opportunities to brainstorm and generate ideas for new projects or initiatives.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

As a leader, you may feel pressure to constantly have all the answers. This is impossible and holding yourself to this expectation will only lead to shame and anxiety. Being confident in your abilities also means knowing what you don’t know and when to ask for help. If you’re not sure who to reach out to, Torch suggests your colleagues and peers, a mentor, your own supervisors, and even your employees. When asking your questions, be specific and frame it as positively as possible. Remember that additional perspectives can help you solve the problem at hand, and sharing your concerns is a sign that you care about your team, organization, and your own goals.

If you’re considering taking your career to the next level, Carroll University’s MBA in Business Management program might be right for you. Find out more about this program or take our career survey to discover what opportunities await you.

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