Every leader has to undergo a period of trial and error before he or she learns what will truly motivate employees and improve business. However, familiarizing yourself with proven strategies of leadership can help you skip the errors and head straight for success. We’ve compiled a list of five strategic leadership skills that can transform and elevate your career.
- Evaluating the business environment -– In today’s increasingly complex world, leaders are expected to be more collaborative in order to engage employees and to be more focused on customer needs. Leaders must also be able to respond to changes such as new government regulations, accelerated industry transformation, growing volumes of data and evolving customer preferences. Leaders who can stay ahead of the rapid pace of change and take lead in developing innovative strategies for the future will likely be tomorrow’s winners.
- Managing projects effectively – In order to meet project goals effectively and in a timely manner, business leaders need to possess skills like budgeting, cost analysis, resource allocation, organizational structure, scheduling, human resources, and managing quality and risk.
- Cultivating strategic thinking & innovation – Employee creativity and innovation are essential for the success of any business. Business leaders who want to take innovation to the next level must be open to nontraditional frameworks for brewing innovation. Leaders must also reward innovations in order to encourage their employees to test the status quo. Hosting hack weeks or jam sessions can foster creativity and innovation.
- Managing change and uncertainty – According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer for 2013 , when things change, 82 percent of people don’t trust the boss to tell the truth. Change creates anxiety and confusion—leaders must restore a level of certainty and foster a sense of purpose for their teams. One way to build up a level of trust and confidence amongst employees is for leadership to be genuine in their communications. A second way is to engage in succession planning during turnover periods that invite organizational disruption. This type of planning includes creating backfill strategies such as data capture in recruiting and performance review processes, creating a short succession short list with all the best options, tracking candidate readiness based on skills, competencies and performance, and comparing multiple talent profiles side by side. A third way to manage change is to standardize processes so decisions can be expedited.
- Shaping your organization’s future – According to the blog Great Leaders Serve ,“Leadership always begins with a picture of the future and leaders are the ones who hold that future vision.”Mobilizing the entire company around annual goals and priorities is an important step towards creating a sense of purpose and excitement around the company’s future.