Explaining the exact components of good leadership skill is practically not possible. There are a lot of building blocks in the making of a good leader. Although yes, it is necessary for the person to have some basic traits in him or her naturally. There are people who are born leaders and there are those who learn to be a good leader with experience and some tutorials. Most of the organisations take up the approach of establishing teams of like minded and similarly skilled people for their problem solving. To head this teams, they require able leaders to conduct the flow of work.
Leadership is not always about leading a team of 2 or more people, it is also attributed to leading an organisation as a whole. Larger the responsibility, greater is the role played by a team leader or manager. Motivation is the key to be a good leader.
The primary job of a leader is to make people in the team work, not because it is an obligation, but because they would like the work assigned to them. As simple as it may seem, there are various other layers attached to this job, which can be understood if we dig deeper in the attributes that define a good leader.
Creating an inspirational vision- to figure out a final goal and to motivate your team towards achieving it, a leader must create a vision for the team. One of the key skills of the leader is to analyse the current market conditions and then predict a future sequence of action and convince the team to work towards it. A good leader makes a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Constrained) decision in terms of goals.
Motivating the team- creating the vision is not enough. Being a leader, it becomes your responsibility to motivate your team to fulfil the task. At no point of time, you must let the team feel weary of the assignment if you know that it will have long term implications on the progress of the organisation.
Planning and briefing the team- before your ask your team to begin with the work towards the desired goal, you must plan for any and every alternative that may be required. An able leader will take into consideration every suggestion for the betterment of the project.
Another part of good planning is a clear briefing of the assignment that should be given to the team. The manager must be sure of the consequences of the work so as to get the best efforts from the team members.
Responsibility of the team- the team is the collective responsibility of the manager. For any achievement or any failure, the first person accountable is the manager. Likewise, he or she is also responsible for the successful completion of the goal that has been set for the team.
Evaluating the team- a good leader must know how to judge the abilities of his fellow team members. Another attribute of good leadership is knowing when and how to evaluate the performance of the team as a whole and of an individual separately and make efforts for any improvements that are required.
Being an example- the team members look up to the manager in every aspect. It is crucial for the leader to work carefully with expertise to set an example for the fellow team members to help them work smarter and better.
There are many theories regarding leadership skills and how one can become a better leader. Functional leadership theories that have evolved in the past century have come up with the idea that specific leadership behaviours are expected that will contribute to the effectiveness of the unit or the organisation. A functional leadership model is more concerned about how a work is being done rather than who gets the job done.
One of the most influential theories of functional leadership is the ‘Action Centered Leadership’ theory by John Adair. It is effective for any kind of team, group or organisation. It is not complicated and can be easily inculcated by any team manager for better performance.
John Adair’s Action Centred Leadership module can be understood figuratively by a simple Venn diagram which has three circles intersecting each other. They represent task, team and individual. The studying of the model gives a description of the duties of the leaders and the actions they must take irrespective of the working environment for the effectiveness. The three parts of the model are:
• Achieving the task
• Managing the Team or Group
• Managing the Individuals
If you are able to strike a balance between these three things, you will be able to master the art of a lot of aspects, for example:
• Build and boost the morale
• Improving the quality of work
• Achieving better results
• Improving productivity
• Developing stronger teams for better results