Bringing a team together and providing strong leadership is key to the success of any business or organization.
In order to inspire employees, leaders should exhibit effective communication, passion and belief, decisiveness, connection with employees individually, and a commitment to team building. Leaders and managers need to earn the trust and respect of their employees and coworkers. To make a difference in the workplace, professionals can incorporate current and projected leadership trends into their leadership strategies.
If someone is interested in becoming a professional leader, they should think about getting a degree or certificate in leadership and management. These programs can be completed online, which is convenient for people who are already working.
Why Leadership Matters
While business skills and knowledge are important for a company’s success, an effective leader is key to determining whether the company runs smoothly and meets its goals. Company leaders are often in management positions, but this is not always the case. Individuals do not have to be supervisors in order to be leaders.
Good leaders typically use either a collaborative or coaching style to help workers develop their critical-thinking and decision-making skills. This usually involves letting workers express their own ideas or guiding them through the process of establishing goals. Leaders also prepare their employees to be able to work independently and contribute their ideas to the group. They understand the importance of their employees’ perspectives and empower them to be successful in their roles.
The merits of effective leadership exist across industries, including:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Public organizations
Leaders who inspire their teams can achieve incredible things. Leaders who are able to inspire their workforce can help them to achieve a variety of goals, both big and small. Whether it’s meeting specific growth targets or successfully navigating through a crisis, leaders who care about their team’s goals as well as their own can achieve amazing things.
What Happens Without Leadership?
An organization that does not have effective leadership in place may struggle in many ways. One of the most important qualities a leader brings to his or her company is vision. Without a long-term plan, a leader may make investments in the wrong areas or fail to anticipate industry changes. The lack of effective leadership can cause problems such as poor customer relations and a loss of customers. Additionally, good employees may leave if their managers and leaders do not make an effort to improve employee morale. The lack of effective leadership can also cause a lack of trust among shareholders and stakeholders. Finally, if leaders do not have good administrative skills and invest in the development of their team members, the team may not function well.
How to Be a Leader at Work
Whether they work in healthcare, technology, public and nonprofit sectors, education or hospitality, leaders should be concerned with how their decisions impact their employees, customers, clients, patients, students and communities. Even though leadership takes different forms in different organizations, professionals should work toward gaining the following five essential qualities of effective leadership:
Great leaders communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally with their employees. They understand the importance of being clear and concise in their communication and make sure to listen to employees to get feedback. Leaders also use written communication, like memos and emails, to relay messages in an efficient manner. Good leaders know that communication is a two-way street and they make an effort to listen to their employees.
Passion and Belief
To be a good leader, it is important to be passionate about your work and believe in your goals. If you are passionate about your work, your employees will likely be passionate about their work as well. Employees who believe in what they do are happier and work better than those who do not believe in what they do. For example, leaders who work in education and nonprofits should be passionate about their schools or organizations, as well as about their students or the communities they serve. Many people pursue these careers because they want to help others, and leaders should share the foundation of beliefs of their organizations.
Credibility and respect from employees are important things for a leader to have. A leader needs to be able to make decisions quickly and have strong problem solving skills. This is especially important in fields such as healthcare administration where people’s lives may be at stake.
Connecting with Employees
If leaders are to be effective, they must be committed to connecting with their employees individually. Employees do not want to feel like mere cogs in the machine, and will perform better when they feel a personal connection with their coworkers and employers. Building relationships and trust can inspire and motivate employees to work toward specific goals and ultimately achieve them.
Commitment to Team Building
An extension of relationship building is team building. Leaders can invest in the development of their teams by hosting trainings as well as organizing fun team-building events, from catered lunches to weekend barbecues. While working toward further enhancing team members’ work ethics, skill sets, and knowledge, leaders can cultivate an environment in which employees get to know each other and create bonds that will enable them to work cohesively as a team to accomplish organizational goals.
Leadership and Management within an Organization
As businesses and organizations evolve, employees rely on leaders to provide them with direction and guidance. Leaders should use multiple leadership and management tactics concurrently to provide optimal support and effectively execute organizational strategies. For instance, leaders should demonstrate transparency and honesty while communicating with employees. Strong leaders should also consider different perspectives and plan for problems before they occur.
Successful leaders not only motivate their employees to achieve specific goals, but they also inspire them to work together as a productive team. The programs prepare future leaders across a variety of fields, including:
- Online Hospitality Management, BS: This online bachelor’s degree prepares professionals for leadership positions in event planning, tourism, theme park management, travel, hotel management and catering.
- Online Health Services Administration, BS: Professionals who earn this online bachelor’s degree can pursue careers as health informatics managers, health services administrators, human resources managers, nursing home administrators, training and development managers or health insurance specialists.
- Online Educational Leadership, MA: Educators can pursue this advanced degree to further their careers as assistant principals or principals, college provosts, deans of students, district administrators, human resource administrators or instructional coordinators.
- Online Nonprofit Management, MNM: This online master’s degree can help professionals begin their own nonprofit organizations or take on leadership and management roles in existing ones.
- Online Public Administration, MPA: “UCF School of Public Administration MPA students are prepared to make the world a better place for all,” explains Dr. Naim Kapucu, Pegasus Professor and director of the School of Public Administration at UCF. “MPA students receive high-quality, accredited education in the classroom and online and are connected with close to 5,000 school alumni and professional public administrators in the community.”
These programs are designed for students who want to become leaders in their field. The courses give students a foundation in leadership, along with field-specific instruction. Students learn how to empower others and enact positive change in the workplace.
A Look at Leadership Trends
Although some qualities of good leadership never change, the most effective leaders are always aware of new leadership trends and useful innovations. For example, as technology develops, leaders need to help employees adjust to changes such as understanding how artificial intelligence can revolutionize marketing strategies and help companies communicate more effectively with customers.
The current challenges have shown that it is increasingly important to have strategies for managing mobile work, and in the future, jobs that can be done remotely may be particularly appealing to millennial and Gen Z employees. Although there are unique difficulties that come with supervising work that is done remotely, managers who are able to communicate their standards and expectations to their employees and train them to use technology well can overcome these difficulties. When this is done, it is mutually beneficial for both the employees and the company.
These days, an emerging trend is group coaching, which helps create a sense of community in the workplace, and also trains multiple employees to be leaders at the same time. This is a more democratic way of leadership. Another relatively new trend is upskilling, which helps employees develop new competencies, and also reduces gaps in their skill sets.
Pursue a Leadership and Management Degree
Organizations look for leaders who can provide direction and guidance to help them achieve their long-term goals. Leaders need to have knowledge and expertise, but also be able to unite employees and work as a team.
The University of Central Florida offers online leadership and management degrees and certificates at the professional, bachelor’s, and master’s level in a variety of fields, from policing to emergency crisis management. So if you’re a student looking for a foundation in management or a professional interested in becoming a leader in your field, explore the many options available to you and start your new career in leadership today.
5 steps to becoming an effective leader
Know your team
The most important aspect of leadership is getting to know your team. You can’t be an effective leader if you don’t take the time to get to know the people you’re leading. Only by getting to know your team can you find the best way to communicate with them.
Getting to know your team members on a personal level can help you better understand them and their motivations. Take the time to learn about their interests, talents, and anything else that makes them who they are. This will make it easier to work together and help each other reach goals.
A great leader is one who is able to care for their people and ensure their well-being. This creates a motivated workforce that is dedicated to achieving the company’s goals.
Lead by example
People won’t follow someone who doesn’t practice what they preach This text is saying that a lot of leaders have a philosophy of telling others what to do but not doing it themselves. This is harmful to their ability to lead because people won’t follow someone who doesn’t live by what they say.
A leader cannot expect others to follow him if he is not doing what he preaches. An effective leader promotes a collaborative environment where people are free to make suggestions and propose improvements.
The most effective leaders are not the ones that control people to make them do what they want. They’re the ones that communicate with their team members, letting them know all the available choices and getting everyone engaged.
Ensure that your team members have the independence and resources they need to take responsibility for their tasks and they will soon be able to work without needing you.
Do you prefer people who are direct or those who circuitously get to the point?
The term “Radical Candor” refers to the act of expressing one’s honest opinions while also being critical of the person to whom those opinions are expressed. It is rare for such honesty to be seen as radical, when in reality it is quite simple.
This means being honest with others while still being respectful. It is important to be direct when communicating, but also to be aware of how this might affect the other person. Leaders should always be mindful of how their words might be interpreted.
As a leader, it is important to be able to tell people what you really think of their work, in a way that is respectful and constructive. This way, they can feel recognized and motivated to improve.
If you want to create a workplace culture where people feel comfortable speaking their minds and giving constructive feedback, start by adopting this management rule.
Talk to your team
Leadership is about communication and developing a mutual sense of understanding and trust. If you’re in a position of leading a group of people, you must work towards being respected as a leader.
That’s exactly what you read. Mutual.
If you want your people to trust and understand you, you need to learn how to connect with them.
The more connected we become with technology, the less we are actually connecting with each other.
We’ve become so reliant on digital devices that we’re losing the ability to connect with people in person. Studies have shown that the most effective leaders are compassionate, positive, humble, and empathetic towards their team members’ emotions.
The best leaders create strong personal connections with their teammates in order to build trust and create a strong culture. This bond is essential for excellence in performance.
Listen to your team
Communication involves both speaking and listening. You’ve probably heard that before. We’ve covered how important it is to build trust with your team and how to communicate with them effectively. Now it’s time to look at the other perspective and understand how important it is for you to listen to them.
It’s important to be honest with yourself and realize that you can benefit from feedback just as much as anyone else.
It can be difficult for some people to be open to hearing other people’s opinions and evaluations of their leadership skills. It is almost impossible to assess your own work without any bias, so it is important to value the feedback you receive from your team members and other colleagues.
If you want to see things as they really are, you need to get perspective from other people. This means talking to friends, leaders, and employees to get a broader view.