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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

Top 10 Management Skills Any Strong Leader Should Master

Top 10 Management Skills Any Strong Leader Should Master

The newspaper headlines, blogs, social media, TV programs are talking about leaders, leadership qualities and people who occupy high positions in government, enterprises and multinational corporations more and more every day.

We understand that all these high positions are not the main things we should talk about. Leadership is not about the profession, place of a particular person in the hierarchy of the company or government body. It doesn’t make anyone a strong leader.

Being a strong leader means acquiring management skills which allow you to lead people, to get them to the new achievements and high results. That’s the ticket. It doesn’t matter you are a small company manager or an industry leader the next list of TOP-10 management skills will boost your effectiveness, will make you a strong leader.

1. Always Inspire the Team

Remember that your job is not just about hitting goals, enhancing sales or raising profits. We both realize the importance of these indicators for stakeholders and investors.

Now let’s focus on leading your team. Be rooted in reality and always strive to give your empathy, perspective to all circumstances and situations you encounter.

Roll up your sleeves and inspire:

  • Be visible among your staff to become their inspiration. There is no chance to be a good leader hiding in your office on a top floor;
  • Join your team to complete ad-hoc projects. Believe us, your participation and contribution is always inspiring;
  • Focus on each person’s strengths, stay enthusiastic with his/her contribution;
  • Be closer to your team;
  • Find the right words. It may be the biggest challenge of the day, the right words in a difficult situation can show that you are a really good leader.

Need more inspirations? This article can help: The Simplest Ways To Inspire People And Change Their Life

2. Make a Wise Delegation Your Number One Priority

It is obvious that you can’t do everything by yourself. Moreover, you shouldn’t do that.

Your ability to delegate responsibilities shows that you trust your staff, you are sure in their competitiveness.

It is the best thing that you can do within a team environment. You’re able to kill two birds with one stone: you can reduce your own stress level and make the workplace more friendly showing confidence in workers’ abilities.

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How to delegate to the right person?

When you’re thinking about the person who will take some responsibilities consider three factors:

  • The relevance between the skills, experience of the person and the delegated tasks;
  • Working style (is he or she is a team player or independent performer; does he has goals which correspond with the responsibilities which you want to delegate?);
  • The workload of the person (does he/she has time to take new responsibilities or this delegation requires some reshuffling of responsibilities).

Check out Lifehack’s CEO advice on how to delegate: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

3. Stay Responsible and Don’t Blame

Failures always happen. You need to accept this fact and learn how to overcome them. Your job is not to find who is wrong but to take responsibility together with your staff.

Make your subordinates understand that all of them are accountable for the decisions they make. Remember that you are their leader, you should take a part of the responsibility for their actions.

Always give them a pat on the back if you see their good results but don’t blame in case of failure. Make an atmosphere in which everyone feels your support and willingness to realize mistakes together and work on their improvement hand by hand.

Taking personal responsibility for your company and everything that happens in it including failures will motivate your employees to follow you.

Don’t make excuses, better do this:

  • Take your personal responsibility for the failure;
  • Try to work on the problem to fix it;
  • Think about what you should have done before to prevent this mistake and what to improve in the future.

4. Encourage Creative Thinking and Innovations

What is the difference between the follower and the leader? The leader always looks ahead, he is not afraid of innovations, creative approaches to management and business processes.

Innovative and creative thinking are qualities which make you stand out from the crowd and enable your team to get 200%, not 100% of the result.

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Don’t forget to encourage your staff because the majority of people perceive innovations painfully and adopt new rules with reluctance. It is all about phycology, a good leader should take it into account.

Encourage creativity in your team:

  • Become a model for your staff, show your dedication to innovations;
  • Create a supportive atmosphere for creativity in a workplace;
  • Launch events and processes to find and capture creative ideas;
  • Reward fresh ideas, innovations, celebrate success with your team.

In short, ensure psychological safety in your team, this will encourage more innovative ideas. Learn more about psychological safety here: If You Want an Invincible Team, Make Them Feel Safe

5. Stay Positive in Any Circumstances

If you want to be a great leader, you should understand that you need to be positive and motivated despite any circumstances.

Even in the hardest situation, you should be an example to follow for your staff because you will be who leads the way, so stand firm and show a positive attitude.

Always keep the lights:

  • Create constantly friendly, open atmosphere in your workplace;
  • Remain positive when things go wrong;
  • Find the ways to keep your team motivated when the situation goes in a bad way.

Here’re more tips to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining Your Positive Attitude

6. Develop Your Employees

Along with developing yourself don’t forget that without people around you and their skills the success may be not so bright.

Thanks to the staff development, not only employees will get new skills which they can use when they write resumes, your team can make tasks easier; besides, it will foster morale.

Use these tips to develop your staff:

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  • Turn your staff meetings into an instrument of learning;
  • Launch annual education/ training for employees with coaches, experts;
  • Encourage their willingness to develop their skills;
  • Share your own knowledge with your team

7. Remember Your past Experience When Making a Decision

Futuristic vision is good. But you can’t go far in business without your experience. You should make all management decisions taking into account not only your skills, statistics, ideas of key stakeholders or innovative approaches.

You should also consider your past lessons. The right decision made at the right time has a great impact on the masses.

Look ahead, think hard before making a decision. But after you make it, be firm and stand by it.

Improve your decision making:

  • Trust your management vision, intuition;
  • Try to connect your present-day challenge with the lessons which you learned in your career before;
  • Better to take notes when you make important decisions, write down the results both positive and negative so that you could get back to them in the future.

8. Show Your Charisma and Confidence

As for charisma, everything is simple like wiping the window in the rain. People normally are more likely to follow the person who they like.

Let’s remember the best leaders. All of them are friendly, close to people, well-spoken, showing care and empathy.

If you behave in that way, your employees feel that it is not hard to reach you, they will show a willingness to follow you.

Make confidence your strength.

Believe in your success and your company’s prosperity, show it everywhere.

A great leader exhibits confidence to everyone in any situation. (Take a look at the 5 Key Traits of a Charismatic Leadership.) This will inspire your employees and give them the feeling of confidence in the future, that’s exactly what you need for enhancing their achievements.

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9. Sense of Humor Is Vital to Success

As a leader, you need to have a sense of humor. Show it when something goes wrong and you need to encourage, relax your employees.

The ability to laugh things off can make morale up which is so important for staff productivity in difficult situations.

How the sense of humor can save you in some situations:

  • Humor is able to humanize you. It makes your employees feel that you are all in the same boat, boost camaraderie;
  • It is a key component of a set of empathetic leadership.
  • Humor promotes a sense of shared culture, unity in a workplace.

10. Consider Failures as Challenges Not as Unrecoverable Mistakes

Even if you try the hardest in the world failures will happen. Your job is to cope with them and do it with honor.

If something goes wrong, realize that it has already happened and try to find the best solution.

How to manage failures:

  • Remain calm, think logically;
  • Don’t stay apart from your team because it may cause the negative morale;
  • Encourage discussion, communication within the team to find the root of the problem, design the best solution.

The Bottom Line

It is not easy to become a strong leader, you must have a lot of qualities and experiences. You should look ahead and go beyond the frames in your everyday tasks and responsibilities.

Moreover, you should be an example of intelligence, wisdom, honesty, commitment and dedication. And that’s why these 10 management skills are so important to master if you want to become a great leader.

More Resources About Leadership And Management

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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John Obstander

John is a productivity geek and a writing enthusiast who has no limits and got wings to take over the world.

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Published on January 20, 2020

What are Goals? Achieve More By Changing Your Perspectives

What are Goals? Achieve More By Changing Your Perspectives

As simple as it sounds, the question, what are goals, is a very important question to answer if making the best out of our daily lives is something of great concern.

Anyone will assume they already know what goals are, they’ve probably been setting goals all their lives. However, when we get too familiar with certain concepts, we tend to forget their real meaning and essence. Hence, it is not surprising that people set many goals but achieve too little.

When you don’t understand what goals are or what they are meant to be, you might scribble anything on paper and call them goals and then get frustrated when you fail to achieve them.

There are different perspectives on goals and what they represent. However, this article looks into the real meaning of goals and provides clarity on some misconceptions about goals. It also suggests better ways to look at goals; in a way to use them as progress markers rather than yardsticks for measuring success or failure.

What Are Goals?

There are different definitions of goal(s) out there, however, let’s look at this one from the early pioneers in goal-setting theory:[1]

A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve.

Goals represent the decisions we make and the commitments we take in order to reach attainment, break some bad habits, adopt useful habits or achieve more in different areas of life.

Goals enable us to achieve focus in life by helping us to determine what we want. They keep us motivated and propelled, constantly putting us in state of action.

Goals, when properly conceived and pursued can help us to maximize the one and only life we have to live.

Goals can be applied to different areas of our lives and they can also be based on a time range. For example, life-based goals can be personal development goals, career goals, educational goals, health goals, family and relationship goals, spiritual goals, social goals, etc.

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Moreso, goals can be set based on time and duration such as life-time goals, long term goals, short term goals and even stepping stone goals which are small unit goals that we undertake in order to achieve the short, long and lifetime goals.

Common Confusions About Goals

In order to put goals in their proper perspectives and make the most of them, certain clarifications are required between goals and its related concepts.

The following are often confused with goals, although they have their own relevance on goals and goal setting:

Goal vs Dream

Dreams are aspirations fuelled by desires. They exist in the realm of imagination and often give us inspiration.

However, goals are action-based. Goals stretch us and help us to achieve results. Our dreams can only be actualized by setting realistic goals and working diligently to achieve them.

Goal vs Vision

Visions are important in life but they are not the same as goals. Your vision represents where you want to go or be in life, a destination you aim to arrive at. However, the paths that will get you to that destination are often undefined until you break them down into goals.

Goals help you to understand and quantify the steps you will have to take in order to actualize your vision. Having a broader life vision will help you to achieve more goals.

Besides, vision will bring focus to your goal setting when your goals are directed at getting you to the final destination of your vision. When this happens, you will not only be satisfied with achieving a particular goal, you will view your progress and success in terms of their contribution to your overall vision.

Goal vs Expectation

Goals should not be confused with expectations. Expectations are things that we think we should have or heights we feel we should attain. It is said that expectations can generate frustration when you feel you aren’t performing up to your potential.[2]

Do you notice that when some Olympic teams are being interviewed before a tournament, many of them expect to win a medal? But do all of them win medals?

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When you listen to the real winners after the tournament, they will tell you how their goals helped them to structure their attention and focus, and keep them involved to strive for excellence.

Goals demand more focus and clarity whereas expectations are often not realistic.

Goal vs Desire

We all have desires, they represent the things we want. However, in order to get our desires, we might have to set goals.

While desires are usually pleasant, goals may not be.

For example, slimming down feels good, but exercising does not. But it takes a reasonable amount of exercise to burn fat.

Vacationing on a cruise ship feels good, who doesn’t want it? However, working extra hours to save money for the trip is hard.

Goals are the specific actions we set to accomplish in order to satisfy our desires.

Goal vs Objective

Objectives are the tasks we must accomplish in order to achieve our goals. It will be more useful to differentiate between goal and objective by looking at the differences between a broader term G’SOT which stands for Goals, Strategies, Objectives, and Tactics.[3]

  • A goal is a broad primary outcome
  • A strategy is the approach you take to achieve a goal
  • An objective is a measurable step you take to achieve a strategy
  • A tactic is a tool you use in pursuing an objective associated with a strategy.

The Intel example below is also useful to illustrate the difference:

Goal: Make our Core PC microprocessors a category leader in sales revenue by year X

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Strategy: Persuade buyers that our Core processors are the best one the market by associating with large, well-established PC manufacturers.

Objective: Retain 70 percent or more of the active worldwide PC microprocessor market, according to Passmark’s CPU benchmark report.

Tactic: Through creative that underlies our messaging, leverage hardware partner brand awareness to include key messages about the Intel Inside program.

What Most People Are Wrong About Goals

According to a study, only 8 percent of people get to achieve their goals.[4] When goals are not properly conceived or when we go about goals with the wrong perspectives, we might not be able to achieve our goals and even get frustrated as a result.

Some people have abandoned their goals or given up on setting goals altogether as a result. Others have gotten to the point of staying frustrated for failing to achieve their goals. These are not unconnected to the misconceptions that many have about goals.

Let’s look at the misconceptions about goals:

Goals Are Used as the Only Measure of Success?

When goals become our only measure of success, we might get obsessed with the results we want to achieve that we don’t consider the process that will lead us there.

Process goals and outcome goals come to mind on this. Most people set outcome goals rather than process goals. Outcome goals are only based on results while process goals are based on undertaking the right activities that will eventually lead to a great outcome.

Let’s say I currently make $1000 a week and then I set a goal of making $2000 but only ended up with $1300 after putting in all the work and strategies. If this is an outcome goal, I would probably be unhappy for not attaining my goal. However, if it’s a process goal, I would be happy that I have improved on my earning and would be motivated to do more.

Goals Are Connected with Happiness?

Another myth about goals is that achieving them brings happiness. Of course, it feels good to shed the weight or spend a vacation on a cruise ship. However, there are no guarantees that you will always be able to achieve all your set goals.

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In order not to get frustrated often, choose to always be a happy person rather than letting outcomes determine your happiness.

Redefining Goals

So, what really are goals if you want to succeed with them?

Goals Aren’t Connected with Deep Ambitions

Many people have the wrong motivation to set goals. They might have been genuinely inspired by what they see other people achieve, however, such goals may not connect with their deepest ambition. This might lead to a lack of the required motivation to pursue and achieve the goals.

Genuine goals must connect to a bigger and broader life vision. Goals are not an end in themselves, they are supposed to be stepping stones to achieving something bigger.

Goals Have to Be Achieved to Prove Commitment

If the target is to achieve ten and you are only able to achieve six, it doesn’t mean that you are not committed. It might have been that there are greater obstacles you didn’t think would come up.

This is why your goals must be flexible, adjustable and reflective of current realities.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, the ideas shared above will help you to set the right goals and put them in the right perspectives.

You have seen that it is more appropriate to set goals that fit into a larger, broader vision of your life. This will help you to begin to see your goals in terms of the progress you are making towards your broader vision rather than on specific outcomes. You will become happier, knowing that you are taking specific steps in the right direction irrespective of what the immediate results look like.

All these will altogether help you to love setting goals again, and enable you to make the most of them in order to make your life count.

More About Goals

Featured photo credit: Dan DeAlmeida via unsplash.com

Reference

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