The ability to be a leader is often inherent in that a person has a natural ability to instill confidence in others, take the lead, make decisions, and manage most kinds of situations. However, leadership skills can also be learnt, and as many companies need their managerial employees to demonstrate leadership, it is vital that leadership practices be taught to any manager fresh to the role.
Why are leadership skills so vital for a new manager? What is the worst that could happen if a new manager failed to lead? Well, put simply, a business could fail because its team failed to work as a cohesive unit. The subordinate employees might demonstrate a lack of respect for a manager, perhaps because he or she is seen as a soft touch, leading to employees taking liberties, such as continually being late for work or taking extended lunch breaks. Failure to control other staff members could result in deadlines not being met or sub-standard work. All of these consequences could have significantly detrimental effects on the business as a whole.
Perhaps the most essential quality of a manager is the ability to keep one’s cool. A manager who runs around like a headless chicken inspires zero confidence and is counter-productive. The business sector can provide plenty of examples of managers who have remained cool when under pressure, such as Yusuf Alireza, the former CEO of the Hong Kong oil and energy company Noble Group, who successfully saw the company through a period of transition.
As a new manager, how do you handle your new role? Your daily task will be handling the staff under you. To do this, it is essential that you always listen to what they have to say, and if decisions have to be made, make them and stick to them. Always communicate your decision to the people involved so that they at least have felt that their concerns have been heard. Be discreet and respectful in all professional relationships, and focus on the job in hand.
Of course, some might argue that leadership skills cannot be taught, that one is either a leader or a follower, but this is not the case. The basis of leadership is confidence in one’s own abilities, and we all know that confidence can be gained. Perhaps, for example, a person feels self-conscious when addressing a large or even small group of people. A course could teach that person calming techniques to reduce their anxieties and how to speak clearly and coherently. A key part of being a manager is the ability to organize and make plans, and these too can be taught. While these qualities can be learnt by means of managerial courses, seminars, and workshops, there is no denying the value of being taught by another manager working in the same organization. Such a manager will have a thorough understanding of how the company works, which processes are in use, and they will also be aware of any potential problems, particularly when it comes to staff.
The ability to lead is essential for managerial positions, so if you feel that you lack the skills needed for leadership, enroll on a managerial course that will teach you the practices that you need, or learn from someone in the company who already has hands-on experience and knowledge.