Improving Organisational Leadership Skills: Advice from Expert 

Leadership is an important function of management which helps maximise efficiency and achieve organisational goals. It is also one of the most sought after skills in recruitment besides flexibility and problem-solving, with companies spending nearly $167 billion on leadership development programs. Recruiters emphasise the importance of leadership skills in their job applicants. As a job seeker, if you want to showcase your credibility and stand out from the other candidates, you should boost your organisation leadership skills by mapping your skillsets against key personality traits and cognitive abilities that all effective leaders share. The traits include the following: 

Strong influencing behaviour 

Leadership is the ability to influence the behaviour of others, said Richard Petronio, Founder, President & CEO at Surcon International Inc. Leaders need to know how to influence and persuade their peers, both in pitching a new idea and trying to change a departments’ way of thinking. This will need good communication and other behavioural-based skills. That said, you are advised to train your way of communicating with others. Petronio said that effective leaders communicate with empathy. They strive to identify and understand their colleagues’ motivations and use that knowledge to make a change and build trust. 

See also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search? 

Emotional resilience 

In a world where quick changes are made, leaders need to bounce back from failures and disappointments and not labour on them, advised Petronio. That said, it is important for leaders to remain emotionally and mentally calm in order to tackle this fast-changing and competitive world. To have stronger emotional resilience, you should rebuild your self-efficiency, emphasise empathy, practice patience, create better self-capacity, and always perceive possibilities. 

Practicality 

While leaders need to have the emotional resilience to deal with problems, they must be able to separate fact from emotion when making a decision. Solutions based on practical evidence are valid information. To be a practical leader, you should focus on carrying out concrete actions that can help achieve organisational objectives with more or less immediate reinforcement. However, you need to also carefully assess where you are gathering evidence to avoid any inaccurate reporting or miscommunication that might lead to poor decision-making.  

Extroversion 

Petronio said that effective leaders need extroverted tendencies, meaning you cannot just stay holed up in your office or room, laser-focused solely on your work. You need to walk around, connect, and communicate with transparency, as well as collaborate with others. This, however, does not mean that introverted individuals cannot be a good leader. A study published at Semantic Scholar found that introverts and extroverts are equally effective as leaders in both academic and corporate environments. Yet, the characteristics of introverted leaders might depend on the context in which they lead, meaning introverted leaders should emphasise on learning and collaboration.

Self-control 

Effective leaders listen and focus not on what they should say, but on what it is being said. When spontaneous decisions are required, leaders need to fight their urge to react. Hence, managing your emotion is crucial here. 

Ability to solve problems 

In the 21st century, businesses compete with more companies and make faster, creative and meaningful decisions in order to not lose from business rivals. As a leader, you are responsible for winning this competition – because if you don’t make a change, your competitors will. Successful leaders are comfortable in assessing situations and thinking holistically about organisation, as well as the long-term impact of their decision-making. 

Competency-based traits 

Apart from solving problems and being a good listener, leaders are also expected to be an expert in their field, meaning leaders should have additional competency-based skills when managing teams. This skill varies depending on job title and position’s level in an organisation. As an example, if you are working in the business development sector, your competency-based skills should cover all that is needed to achieve good and successful results in your department. 

Read also: Key Skills Needed to Survive the 21st Century 

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Peter Drucker once said, “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”

From what Peter said, it applies that mastering certain skills is essential for survival. Skill is a part of being able to meet challenges of everyday life. For an individual, having skills can help find new ways of thinking and problem solving, recognise failure and take responsibility, analyse option and make decision, as well as develop a greater sense of self-awareness.

Skills are also important when it comes to looking for a job. According to a research by Confederation of British Industry (CBI), students work hard to get good grades but many struggle to gain employment. Employers, on the other hand, are looking not only academic success but also key employability skills such as the ability to self-manage, time and people management, potential to be a leader, and agility and adaptability to different roles and flexible working environment.

Applied education systems (AES) suggested that skill plays as a vital role especially in the age of transformation and information. The skills you master will also determine your future success or failure. Below, AES has listed 3 categories of essential skills you should have in 21st century. Let’s take a look:

#1    Learning skills (the four C’s)

Known also as four Cs, learning skill helps individual acquire mental process needed to adapt and improve upon modern work environment. The 4 C’s stand for:

Critical thinking - This skill is important in business setting. It improves mechanism that weeds out problems and replaces with fruitful endeavours.  

Creativity – As equally important as other skills, creativity empowers individuals to see concepts from different angle which leads to innovations. Innovations, in this case, is one of keys for overall business success.

Collaboration - This skill is seen as the most difficult to acquire as it needs every person in the team to sacrifice part of their own ideas and adopt others to get the best result for company’s success. But once you master it, you can bring firm back from the brink of bankruptcy. In other words, this skill means getting an individual to work together, achieve compromises, and get the best result.  

and Communication. - Communication skill is always important to learn. It is also a requirement for any company to maintain profitability. It can bring all of your educational qualities together.  

#2    Literacy skills (IMT)

Literacy skill or so called IMT is skill you need to learn which concerns with different element in digital comprehension. IMT stands for:

Information literacy - It is a foundational skill that helps you understand facts, especially data point. Being able to separate fact from fiction is what this skill about. Also, in the age of chronic misinformation, finding truth over online platform has become a new job. Therefore, you should learn how to be information savvy otherwise, you will fall prey to myths, misconceptions, and outright lies.

Media literacy - This literacy skill means to help you practice identifying publishing methods, outlets, and source while distinguishing which one is credible and which one is not. Same as information literacy, media literacy also helps find truth in a world that’s saturated with information.

and Technology literacy - Another step to success, industry 4.0 requires you to be tech savvy. This is where technology literacy lies. You need to be able to use computer, cloud programming, and mobile devices to become part of tech world/industry.

#3    Life skills (FLIPS)

Life skill is the final category of skill you should have. Life skills might pertain to your personal life but also blend with professional settings. FLIPS is an abbreviation from:

Flexibility - This skill plays as a vital role for your long-term success. You should be able to know how to change, when to change, and how to react to change. Some people are struggling learning this skills as they need to adapt into 2 uncomfortable ideas: (1) your way isn’t always the best way and (2) you have to know and admit when you’re wrong.

Leadership – Leadership is needed to help you understand decisions that managers and business leaders make. In real-world experience also, you sometimes need to decide or lead entire team. This is where this skill plays its turn.

Initiative - This skill is an attribute that earns rewards. Initiative often means working outside your working hours or spending extra 30 minutes at your job before weekend. Regardless of that, it indicates that someone’s character in term of work ethic and professional progress is good.

Productivity - It is an ability where you complete work in an appropriate amount of time. Business leaders often say it as ‘efficiency’.

and Social skills - Networking is crucial in building and maintaining business relationship. This is why you need social skills. Social skills also mean that you should have good etiquette, manners, politeness, and be able to start a talk.

Read also: Should You Go to an Interview for a Job You Don’t Want?

5 Indications That Your Boss is Terrible

Have you heard this phrase “people don’t leave companies, they leave leaders” before? Most likely, you have. If you are recently thinking to quit your job, the company might not be the fault. Deep inside, you might be dissatisfied with your manager or boss.

Let’s find out whether your boss is a terrible leader or not. It is important to know, since you might leave your job in the future because you don’t want to be controlled by him/her anymore. Here are five indications that your boss is actually terrible:

1. He/she plays favourite

A good leader gives each person the opportunity to excel. Unfortunately, most of them play favourites. They often give raises to employees whom they like the best. Moreover, they may give special assignments and added perks for their favourite employees.

If you are not one of their favourites, most likely he/she is treating you unfairly. It is no wonder that you want to quit your job immediately.

2. He/she always blames others

Do you always feel that it is your fault when things go wrong in the office? Beware, your boss might actually be a terrible one. Every great leader knows that a failure is not caused by a single person. Possibly, it is a team’s fault. But the failure of a team is always a failure of its leadership.

If your boss convinces everyone else that they are the problem (and he/she refuses to admit that they are wrong), of course you will not be satisfied with your job.

3. He/she never express gratitude

Your boss never say anything about your important contribution. Worse, he/she thinks and claims that every success is because of them! Your boss constantly describe an achievement with the word “I”. He/she is naturally hogs the limelight by never inviting you to any big meeting.

If your boss keeps taking the credit of your hard work, it is time to look for someone who really appreciate you.

4. He/she is lost

Some bosses are just passive. They are frequently absent, and basically disengaged leaders. When they face a problem, they are only able to make tentative decisions. Even worse, this unreliable leaders often lead to failure.

If your boss is one of them, there is no point to stay at a company with a ‘busy’ leader.

5. He/she never listen

Some bosses believe that they knew everything, so it has to be done with their way. They never listen to their staffs ‘stupid’ suggestions. Basically, you are not given a chance to grow with this kind of leader.

If you are unheard in the office (and there is no way to fix that), it is better to leave this boss for good.