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Leadership Competency: Great vs. Average Leader

January 11, 2019

A popular quote saying that ‘employee doesn’t leave job, they leave boss’ is apparently true. A survey from Gallup found that about half (50 percent) employees have left a job to get away from their leader at some point in their career. It is also mentioned in the survey that 70 percent of employee engagement comes from leader, with only 30 percent of employees are engaged at work when they have to deal with underqualified leader.

Effective leadership is a set of qualities and skills. Therefore, it can be learnt. While developing elements that make up good leadership is a lifelong process, you should think of the long-term outcomes it will bring for the organisation. According to a study on CEO behaviour and firm performance, it was found that leader’s behaviours can shape how great a leader can be in a company.

Not only behaviours, Zenger Folkman, an expert in leadership, mentioned that there are 16 competencies that can distinguish between great vs. average leaders. Let’s take a look on what it takes to be a true leader:

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01 Good connection with group outside world – This competency means that great leaders should know how to deliver products and service that delight customers. Also, know how to use knowledge and feedback from an external perspective to improve product or service.

02 Practice self-development – Have you learnt from your success and failure in the past? If yes, then you could be considered as a great leader. A great leader should be able to learn from any of their or other’s failures and successes. From these experiences, they can make constructive efforts to change and improve based on other’s feedback.

03 Solve problems and analyse issues – Knowing how to systematically solve problems is a behaviour of great leaders. Therefore, you should be able to clarify complex data or situations so others can comprehend, respond, and contribute accordingly.

04 Innovate – Key driver of change, innovations should always be there in a company. In this case, a leader should be able to promote and drive innovations in their firm.

05 Display honesty and integrity – Being an open and honest leader is one of competencies you should have. Therefore, you should be able to follow through on promises and commitments.

06 Take initiative – An effective leader means an intuitive leader. Go above and beyond what needs to be done without being told, volunteer for challenging assignments, and have confidence to initiate are all what you need.

07 Focus on result – You should be able to see desires result clearly. Focusing on result generating clearer vision and goal. Therefore, you should be accountable and quick to act on projects.

08 Build relationships with others – This competencies is one of the most effective ways to solve problems, leverage economics, as well as scale and increase sales. Therefore, you should demonstrate optimism, collaborate and foster teamwork.  

09 Communicate powerfully and broadly – The ability to communicate clearly and concisely, give clear and understandable instructions to the employees, and skilfully communicate new insights are must-have for a leader.

10 Establish stretch goals – Stretch goal pushes people to continue performing. Therefore, establishing these goals is important and it is the work of a great leader.

11 Inspire and motivate others – Inspiration is everywhere and a leader should be able to recognise it. You should nurture innovations and be a strong role model to motivate and inspire your employees.

12 Exhibit technical and professional expertise – As a leader, you should be able to know the newest trends in your business field, able to be sought out for opinions, advice, and counsel. A business leader should advance in demonstrating technical, functional, and job-specific knowledge. Additionally, leader needs to pursue excellence and acts as team’s best interest.

13 Collaborate and foster teamwork – To be able to collaborate and adapt to change are two important things for a leader. These two things can develop, inspire, and motivates other staffs which is needed for growth.  

14 Champion change – Great leader should have the ability to support and encourage changes in the way organization operates.

15 Develop strategic perspective – Strategic perspective means a tactical and careful formulated approach. Therefore, a great leader can determine how a company views and solves important issues. In other word, leader should have ability to demonstrate business acumen.

16 Develop others – Not only developing themselves, leaders should also encourage employee to grow together with company. Leader should have the ability to motivate and provide feedback for staffs.  

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