A* B* C * D’s of Leadership Skill
Like any skill, it is always a good move to continually reinforce and enhance your ability and knowledge. Life and circumstances don’t stand still—ideas that were appropriate 15 or 20 years ago do not always apply. In fact, most things from 15 or 20 years ago have been classified as outdated or obsolete.
The attitude of leaders has changed. A leadership skill that has emerged in the last few decades is that of “try your best,” where it once was “do your best.” Employers and team leaders have had to realize that they are not going to get the best selection of employment candidates, and they have to work with what they have. Expecting perfection where it isn’t possible is a leadership skill that is constantly being refined.
Another important leadership skill is to know the basics. In most instances, the team leader should know English and be able to compute elementary math. Unfortunately, too many businesses are so desperate for help that they will place anyone that shows up on time in a leadership position. If this is the situation, they should try to instill some level of leadership skills into the newly appointed leader.
Comprehension is on the list as a leadership skill only because it is so very important to understand and speak English as a first language, at least in the United States. Placing a person who doesn’t speak or completely understand the language cannot communicate effectively, whether with team members, subordinates, or customers. If you have several teams that speak different languages, by all means, place someone of the culture to lead that team, but you need to be able to communicate with all the teams to be a true leader.
Dedication to Deadlines and Drop Dead Dates
No leadership skill discussion should progress without discussion of dedication to deadlines. A true leader does not leave while everyone else is working to meet a deadline, whether or not it is a possible goal. In addition, if work still needs to be done and everyone else is working toward the same goal, the leader should find something to do to contribute to the successful completion of this project.
A true leader also knows the difference between a deadline and a drop-dead date, and does not confuse the two. The deadline is the best estimate of the completed project; a drop-dead date is when the project positively must be completed, with no possible time for revision, correction, or clarification. Many managers don’t meet deadlines because they are too focused on the drop- dead date. Someone who continually misses either deadlines or drop-dead dates should be sent to refresh their leadership skill training.