Leadership skills: what makes a great leader
Post by Hansen Beck
If you think of a great leader, who do you think of? We all have our own perception of what a leader should look like, and maybe even what sort of personality traits that person has. It might not come as a surprise that many great leaders have a lot of their leadership skills in common.
I think we can all agree that Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and even Mother Teresa are examples of great leaders. However, not all great leaders are the ones you read about in books. You might even find someone closer to your home… Can you think of someone?
What is leadership?
Ask 10 people to define great leadership, and you'll surely get 10 different answers.. However, leadership is always about guiding a group of individuals within an organisation. It is the ability to give purpose to the everyday lives of employees and to help them discover their motivation.
We believe leadership is also about inspiring. When inspiring the people around you, it can help to achieve goals together or to improve the workplace environment.
With leadership, come different leadership styles. We have grouped them into 5 different categories.
What are the 5 leadership styles?
There are several different leadership styles which could work for you. It depends on your own personality and what suits your team best. You can even change your leadership style over time, as you experience what works and what doesn’t.
1. Authoritarian Leadership
Autocratic leaders make decisions on their own, without discussing or asking employees. It is all about making quick decisions without any input from the team.
2. Participative Leadership
A democratic leadership style that involves all the employees when making decisions. The staff members are able to share their opinions and ideas, which makes them engaged and valued within the company.
3. Delegative Leadership
This leadership style is all about delegating work to employees and trusting they will manage these tasks themselves. Leaders are offering less direction and are taking less responsibility.
4. Transactional Leadership
Rewarding team members when they have achieved their goals or hitting milestones. It is a leadership style that is efficient and has clear goals. When employees hit their goals, they will be rewarded. However when they don’t, disciplinary actions will be taken.
5. Transformational Leadership
With the leader seen as a role model, transformational leadership is a leadership style that is all about inspiring, empowering and encouraging. It is about helping the employees to develop and maximise their performance.
At Hansen Beck, we focus on Transformational Leadership. We feel it brings out the best in employees and offers the most motivation and support along the way.
Our programmes are all about enabling participants to explore their strengths, but also to master new skills, which fits well within this style.
What are the core skills of a leader?
We have talked about a few leadership skills before and each of these skills requires development. The more you learn and the more knowledge you have, the better your leadership skills become. During your career you can improve your existing skills, strengthen them and learn new ones.
There are many skills a great leader can have, these skills depend on the type of person and the personality. We have highlighted 3 skills that we find make a great leader.
- Communication skills: doesn’t everything start with communicating? Communication helps to propagate the visions and goals of the company, helps to connect with employees and helps you to listen and understand the ideas of staff members.
- Adaptability/Change Management: the ability to facilitate change has shown to be an important leadership quality by different studies. The business environment is constantly changing, so it makes sense that a leadership skill is to recognise these changes and manage them well.
- Motivation and guidance: motivation helps to complete tasks, but it can also help to recognise your own strengths and grow and develop in your role or onto a new one. It encourages people and can improve the working environment. This is where guidance is needed, to keep employee engagement high, increase productivity and to bring out the best of your employees.
Written by Hansen Beck