When you move into the role of a leader, it is evident that you have a lot of great skills and attributes already. It is also likely that your organization has spent time and effort in following a leadership selection process. A strategic leadership program does the same thing in terms of helping an individual to understand which skills as a leader are important.
There are many leadership skills that are needed for a leader to perform well in the core responsibility of their roles, which is, strategic management. These skills can actually determine the career growth they have in their leadership journey.
Let us take a closer look at the top 6 leadership skills that are needed to manage strategically in your workplace.
- Delegation – Knowing how what and when to delegate is very essential. You as a leader need to hone this skill and make sure that you are applying it effectively. The challenge with many leaders is that they do not delegate the tasks that are relatively unimportant and as a result of that spend a lot of time on tactical things. That prevents them from actually doing the more strategic part of their role. As leaders, the major part of their role should be focusing on business strategy. If this skill is developed, then leaders can be much more effective in their roles and add value to the organizations they work in.
- Relationship Building – We all assume that building relationships is a natural trait for leaders. However, that is not usually the case. Many of them are not able to connect with individuals across various levels and roles, effortlessly. Most are usually focused on forming a connection with their peers. Learning to network and spend time in building relationships across the organization is a crucial leadership skill for effective strategic management. This applies to be able to build relationships on virtual learning or knowledge communities as well.
- Realizing Bias – We all have an inherent bias within us. It could be about people from certain backgrounds, gender, culture, age and so on. While we do not like to admit it, it is important to be aware of them and realize them. As leaders, the strategic growth of a company lies in knowing that we have to leverage the diverse talent base that we have. To leverage it we need to realize bias and work consciously, to remove it from our decision-making processes. These are factors to keep in mind. Thus introspection on this front is very important for the leader to be able to make sure that the workforce he or she is leading, is able to drive the organization to its next level of growth.
- Mindfulness – Leaders today are surrounded by the overload of information. The extent of “noise” from the data that flows in each time we read something online, is immense. The need of the hour is to de-clutter our minds. Leaders have to work on mindfulness and inculcate that into their regular behaviour so that they can make sure that they are performing to the level of their true potential. Knowing one’s emotions and how to apply them for strategic workplace decisions, or management is the key. This also connects to Emotional Intelligence and ensures that leaders who can merge these aspects effectively become almost indispensable to their organizations.
- Transparency – All leaders need to learn and hone this skill. If you want the teams you lead to perform well and as per the strategic goals that the business has, you need to keep pushing your own levels of transparency higher. The teams are constantly looking up to their leaders and aspiring to be like them. In such situations, it is important to demonstrate qualities that set you apart from being a good leader to a truly great and transformational one. Only that kind of leader can actually make a change, motivate and improve performance.
- Learning constantly – Often leaders believe that they have learnt the best they could and are experts. It is true that they have expertise in many of those areas that they lead, but learning constantly ensures that they remain competitive and have an edge. It also means that they are in a position to contribute to the organization’s growth in a more effective manner. They can add value based on the organization’s changing needs. It becomes a huge strength area for them to be able to create that kind of presence for themselves.
These are the top skills from a leadership perspective that are needed, for strategic management. Some others are believed to be influencing skills, problem-solving, ability to manage change, being visionary and future-focused, and so on. All of these together form the basis or build a strong foundation for the leader to become more effective. They give him or her the opportunity to look beyond the organization and reach out as an influencer to even those who do not know them or work with them.