“Everything old is new again.” I remember hearing this phrase growing up and never quite understanding it. I thought, “This phrase just doesn’t make any sense.” Now, the older I get, the more I realize this phrase is showing itself as evident and true.
Even as we are deep into the technology era and either software or apps are available for almost every concept or work application in our daily lives, leadership in the workplace is still quite alive and has not been replaced by technology.
Here are the six key leadership skills or tips I believe are necessary to be a high functioning leader in this age.
- “Walking the walk”. As the leader of an organization, you are part of a team effort. It’s important that the team know what your role is as a part of the team, and it’s worthwhile to clarify to the group what your “job” is on the team. Remember that the team is watching what you do, so from our attitude to our work ethic, we are modeling the kind of behavior we are looking for.
- Define Goals. It’s important that the leader has clear goals that can be easily understood, with results that can be accurately quantified and measured. As a part of defining goals, the leader must also possess the ability to communicate effectively to and with the group. This puts the team on the same page, with the same results in mind in the same time frame. The achievement of the goal is a huge win-win for the entire team.
- Providing feedback. The leader should be skilled in two areas of providing feedback: First, the ability to provide feedback in a positive and effective manner, like a mini-training session when necessary. And secondly, providing the feedback early, so as not to allow the wrong task or any misunderstanding about the goal to go on too long before it’s corrected.
- Making time for your team. Yes, as leaders in the workplace, we have our own tasks and deadlines to meet. Let’s just remember not to get so wrapped up in ours that we forget the people on the team. We always want to be there to provide the support and guidance the team needs to meet the goal’s objectives.
- Understanding Motivation. Understanding what truly motivates the different members of the team is key. While we are all working for the monetary reward and the income needed to pay for our lifestyles, money is not the only factor motivating your people. Some may be looking for a balance between their work and family life, some for recognition and others for more responsibility or for a sense of achievement.
- Understanding your role as the leader. This is key for the successful leader. The role is much different than that of the workers. We must be clear that the job has changed and the responsibilities are very different. The leader must be constantly learning-based, so that they are able to effectively lead. The job of a leader is to always be honing their skills, taking on the responsibility of how the team functions and creating new leaders.
So while technology plays an ever more significant role in the operations of business and industry, the role of a leader remains the same. These tips are here to keep us grounded in the old foundations that, as it turns out, are new again.