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One of the first skills that new leaders need to master is how to delegate.This is a difficult skill for many people but, done well, delegation can give team members responsibility and a taste of leadership themselves, and help them to remain motivated. There are further challenges to delegating work within a team, including balancing workloads, and ensuring that everyone is given opportunities to help them develop. Leaders and managers both need to understand how to build and manage a team.Good risk management is also important to help you avoid things going wrong, and manage when they do.
Perhaps the most important skill a leader needs—and what really distinguishes leaders from managers—is to be able to think strategically.
This means, in simple terms, having an idea or vision of where you want to be and working to achieve that.
These areas are key management skills, but the best leaders will also be able to turn their hand to these.
The best vision in the world is no good without the plan to turn it into reality.
For example, change management requires the creation and communication of a compelling vision.
It also requires the change to be driven forward firmly, and leadership to make it ‘stick’ if the organisation is not to revert within a very short period.Some strategic thinking skills are more specific: for example, in marketing, where you may find the 7 Ps and customer segmentation are vital tools.While it is important to be personally organised and motivated as a leader—and see our pages on Time Management and Self-Motivation for more about these areas—it is perhaps even more important to be able to plan and deliver for the organisation.The best strategic thinkers see the big picture, and are not distracted by side issues or minor details.All their decisions are likely to be broadly based on their answer to the question ‘’ Of course as well as being able to create a compelling vision, they must also be able to communicate it effectively to their followers, which is partly why communication skills are also vital to leaders.Leadership skills are highly sought after by employers as they involve dealing with people in such a way as to motivate, enthuse and build respect.Here at Skills You Need, you'll find lots of information that can help you to understand and develop your leadership potential.They need to know how to recruit effectively, and bring people ‘on board’ through induction processes.They also need to understand the importance of performance management, both on a regular basis, and to manage poor performance.See our pages on: Creating a vision is not simply a matter of having an idea.Good strategic thinking must be based on evidence, and that means being able to gather and analyse information from a wide range of sources.