Every successful, innovative organization has gotten where it is with the guidance of a great leader.
And while most successful leaders have their own unique styles and leadership skills, they must have some common qualities that give them the ability to set direction, achieve results, and earn the trust of their followers.
We set out to learn what is different about the best leaders from the best workplaces, so we could pass on the findings to trailblazers like you.
Our research through Best Places to Work uncovered 15 tried and true leadership skills that will make you a leader worth following, broken up into three categories: Know the Way, Go the Way, and Show the Way.
This category of leadership skills is about strategy. Great leaders have foresight, the ability to see the preferable future for the organization. And not only are they able to envision it, but they’re able to plot a course toward that vision and manage the obstacles that come up along the way.
Every great leader needs a vision, and the ability to communicate the end goal. Because leading implies progress—or movement from here to there—great leaders can envision this future destination and clearly communicate it to team members.
Tip: Sit down and write out your future vision and goals, for the next 5, 10 and 20 years.
If vision describes the future destination, clarity is the roadmap to get there. People crave clarity in all aspects of life, and the office is no exception. Great leaders understand that employees want to know the organization’s plans for future success and how they fit in to the big picture.
Tip: Meet with each employee on your team, one-on-one, and clearly explain how his/her role fits into the future of the organization.
All leaders must understand that their organization’s journey won’t be a simple, linear roadway; each course will be filled with possible shortcuts or detours you can’t avoid. But knowing which paths are worth exploring and which are too risky, is the quality of a truly great leader.
Tip: Be willing to make tough decisions and take risks to lead your organization to success.
No journey for progress is without obstacles. Your map won’t always be accurate. Short cuts won’t always work out. But great leaders are great problem solvers; they know how to mediate conflict or diffuse a potentially disastrous situation. Keeping problems at bay and overcoming obstacles is essential to the growth of an organization.
Tip: Recognize and address a problem before it becomes a full-fledged crisis.
Great leaders never get comfortable. They are always challenging the status quo and looking for opportunities to make changes for improvement, which includes tracking progress to get better as the journey goes on.
Tip: Utilize a goal setting and tracking software to easily track, measure, and hit goals.
The ability to “Know the Way” is only one third of what it takes to be a leader worth following. For the other 10 leadership skills that help leaders “Go the Way” and “Show the Way,” download our free ebook below.