Leadership Skills for Business Management

Regardless of the changes in business management and leadership due to COVID, it is important to understand how leaders can adapt to stay on top of their game. We conducted a research project to gather the top skills leaders rely on to propel their companies to new levels of performance.


A. Patience


Time is the most valuable asset we have, especially as a non-renewable resource. If we waste time, then we never get this time back. However, in life or business our goals, plans, and development projects take time to form, and more time to demonstrate results or effectiveness. Accordingly, as leaders, we must consciously allow our teams the time necessary to deliver. Furthermore, when obstacles present themselves, such as goals are missed, or deadline extensions are required, we must remember that anything worthwhile will take multiple attempts to accomplish the defined objective.


We suggest developing a framework to remain calm through acquiring skills or countermeasures when you sense your patience running low. Here are our top three suggestions:

  • Focus on your breathing, slow down, adjust your posture, and smile

  • Keep a journal of what triggers your impatience and evaluate "why"

  • Set clear boundaries while being polite, professional, and assertive (not rude or arrogant)


B. Resiliency


"I get knocked down, but I get up again," remember the song "Tubthumping," by Chumbawamba? This is my first thought of resiliency. If you are leading an organization, business unit, or organizational-wide project, then you better be prepared to get knocked down and get right back up again.


Moreover, resilience in leadership is the unwavering resolve to do what needs to be done regardless of circumstances. With a positive attitude and mindset, times of hardship will be attacked as an opportunity; rather than being turned down. How important is moving forward? No matter what, do not give up and keep trying!


Mindset is everything, we suggest training your mindset with daily journaling, studying, and challenging yourself to do things in uncomfortable environments.


C. Strategic Mindset and Vision


Ultimately as organizational leaders, we are responsible for formulating and implementing strategies on a corporate level and/or a competitive-business level. Accordingly, amid chaos, or adversity, it is critical to remain objective and understand how this situation impacts long-term strategy and desired outcomes.


What we find rather intriguing is for leaders to apply a strategic mindset, then practicing skills of patience and resilience are interrelated and necessary. Thus, delivering on strategy is non-negotiable especially as the sole responsible party of efforts. If you are focused on cost leadership, then when operating expenses jump 10%, with no increase in business, we must address this now.


Additionally, leveraging data-driven insights is mandatory to make informed business decisions related to strategy. Using numbers helps tell a story, which helps leaders use stories to always communicate the organizational vision.

D. Collaborative Facilitation - with both internal and external stakeholders


This is where the magic happens by getting the team to unify and as one cohesive unit it moves forward. As a team or project leader, getting buy-in from all stakeholders is not always achievable. Accordingly, building teams with the right people and personalities will enable greater collaboration which can lead to innovation and potential growth.


When we are facilitating collaborative group workshops, meetings, webinars, or other events it is important to remember that we are on stage. If we are trying to generate positive energy, then we need to create our presentation to match the desired outcomes. Moreover, we must create an environment where team members feel safe and secure to present their ideas and share their feedback.


We have a strong team of professionals around us and we must trust them to deliver their objectives. Thus, practicing empathy, compassion, fairness, and respect for all as a leader will enable you to remain objective and understand where individuals are coming from.


E. Rigorous, not ruthless with the approach in business and people


"Rigorous not ruthless," is from the awesome book "Good to Great," by Jim Collins. Whether rigor is truly a skill can be up for debate. However, this premise sets a fundamental expectation for anyone on your team or a part of your organization. Being ruthless shows a lack of ethics, or respect for others, it appears that you are willing to do anything for personal gain. Whereas, being rigorous demonstrates a commitment to doing what is right, and being able to capitalize on opportunities from the rigorous process.


If we are setting out to achieve great results, impact the communities we serve, and operate a sustainable business, then a culture of rigor and accountability is necessary. As leaders, we must set a standard of excellence, but match this principal with true human interactions and care for the people in our organizations.


Lastly, we suggest developing a sense of urgency around learning in the organization and taking on the growth mindset. Accordingly, our teams and company will address obstacles and setbacks as learning experiences. Thus, we will apply what we learned to not repeat the same downfalls, and further develop our internal systems to leverage this learning experience.


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