Sector News

Three key leadership competencies that will position your company for profit

November 10, 2016
Borderless Leadership

What if I told you that your profits don’t come from your great products or services? They also don’t come from your latest online campaign, and they certainly don’t come from your improved multichannel strategy.

So where do they come from? The answer is simple: According to the recent Mercer study, 52% of a company’s long-term profitability is directly related to the quality of their leadership team. When you ask different leaders in an organization about how they would rate their personal leadership performance, though, only 39% see themselves doing a good job.

So what makes it so difficult to be a good leader?

It all starts out with the bad quality — or sometimes the nonexistence — of decision-making that’s frustrating. Instead of having the guts to say “A” or “B” and have a solid reasoning behind it, many leaders play ping-pong with important and critical business decisions. By doing so, they oversee the fact that in the digital economy fast decision making is critical and necessary.

It gets more difficult when you add the daily dose of rivalry and competition amongst senior members all the way up to board members. Unfortunately, the leadership mindset in many industries is still “old-school,” where fighting over personal advantage is considered success and team-based decision-making is seen as a weakness. And if you then sprinkle this with the expectations of the millennial workforce on leadership — being motivated by visionary people, who inspire and serve as true role models — you realize pretty fast that it is difficult to live up to all these differing expectations.

Hardly any leader is well-trained on these dimensions, since all those skills are neither part of the curriculum at business school nor part of an established training program in the workplace to help leaders develop and prepare themselves accordingly.

Many leaders also miss support from their supervisors yet face unrealistic goals, which makes leading with vision and motivation even more difficult.

In short, expectations for leaders are high — and will be higher in the future. The digital economy, with its new millennial talent, diverse teams spread all over the world, need for fast decision-making based on data analytics, and full scope of digital products and services will demand even more from leadership teams. Below are three core competencies leaders must master in order to be effective today.

Core Competence #1: Master The Balancing Act

The competence to manage and guide through change is a core competence today. From a top-down perspective, leaders are expected to deal with high-pressure situations and still make the right decisions while helping their direct reports adjust and anticipate the future — a balancing act for which one needs training. But not “training” in the classical setting of a short offsite leadership seminar. Rather, a professional, business-experienced coach or mentor is needed for regular support and consulting. Companies can also support growing leaders by offering a monthly peer group where employees can share experiences and learn from each other. This can have a significant impact on mastering the balancing act required by leaders today.

Core Competence #2: Walk And Talk

In addition to driving organizational change, a leader’s ability to collaborate and to successfully communicate with different stakeholders is critical. Times are gone when single fighters made it to the top. To jointly achieve bigger goals in a team effort and to ensure a communicative and participative leadership style are what organizations need to train and coach the next generation of leaders in. If leaders continue to rush from meeting to meeting, are out on lunch appointments, barely prepared for annual employee reviews, and lock themselves in their beautiful corner office for most of the day, they will never get a true feeling for what’s going on with their people. Make time on a leader’s agenda to work with and get to know his or her team members, understand what drives and motivates them, and then take it from there.

Core Competence #3: Mix The Formats

Without a doubt, the requirements leaders face in the digital future are beyond what they learn at any good business school. And in many cases, those unforeseen real-life situations account for the biggest lessons learned. How can leaders prepare for those? How can leaders learn?

By mixing formats.

Yes, make sure your leaders understand the basics and the “theory,” which you can provide in off-site training or online courses. But also make sure that your leaders then get access to experienced coaches or mentors who help them apply what they’ve learned to real business environments.

In conclusion, by making sure that your high potentials have access to mentors, allowing your leaders to schedule more people-time into their calendars, and mixing learning formats, your organization will be better prepared for future success and profits.

By Michaela Lindinger, CEO and Founder of brain in spa, an employee experience company for Millennials’ high performance and health in the digital economy.

Source: Forbes

comments closed

Related News

November 21, 2021

How much ‘radical transparency’ in a workplace is too much?

Borderless Leadership

A lack of transparency has been a workplace problem for years. Not only are workers happier in transparent workplaces, but they may also be more likely to stay in their jobs; research shows when communication is poor, many workers are more likely to consider leaving their positions.

November 14, 2021

Top signs of a toxic workplace and how to deal with it

Borderless Leadership

“Toxic” has become an increasingly popular term to describe anything that could be psychologically unhealthy for us or encourage negative patterns. Unfortunately, this word is particularly applicable to the workplace. If business owners and managers aren’t careful, the organization and work culture they worked hard to build could spiral into the kinds of conditions that make their employees dread turning up to work every day.

November 7, 2021

Make learning a part of your daily routine

Borderless Leadership

In our increasingly “squiggly” careers, where people change roles more frequently and fluidly and develop in different directions, the ability to unlearn, learn, and relearn is vital for long-term success. Based on their experience designing and delivering career development training for over 50,000 people worldwide, the authors present several techniques and tools to help you make learning part of your day-to-day development.

Send this to a friend