What qualities must an individual possess in order to be an effective leader? This article investigates leadership skills every entrepreneur needs to inspire and lead their workforce.
67% of participants in a recent study by the Harvard Business Review agreed that high moral and ethical standards are important in a business leader.
Leaders with ethical standards instil confidence in employees, conveying that they are committed to fairness and showing that they will ‘play by the rules.’ Employees can let down their guard in a safe environment, engaging the brain’s higher capacity for creativity, social engagement, ambition, and innovation.
Neuroscience bears testament to this principle. When the amygdala perceives a threat to safety, arteries throughout the human body thicken and harden in preparation to carry increased blood flow to limbs, in a process known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ response. When an individual enters this state, they lose access to the limbic region of the brain required for social engagement, as well as the prefrontal cortex, which drives creativity and excellence.
Building an Effective Support Network
An effective leader surrounds his or herself with sound advisers providing counsel, mentorship, or simply a sounding board for new ideas. These relationships may be structural, for example a chief executive gaining support from their non-executive chairman; or formal, for example, a business coach.
The right advisers provide leaders with crucial perspective. It is important for leaders to remain openminded, taking in other viewpoints.
An organisation’s workforce is its greatest asset. Whether directly or through management teams, good leaders invest time and energy to recruiting top talent and keeping them motivated. Employees should be encouraged to develop their skills, and presented with opportunities for growth within an organisation, to keep them from seeking new opportunities elsewhere.
As the founder of several highly successful companies, including FDH Financial Holdings, Dr Thomson Mpinganjira will be well aware of the importance of hiring and keeping talented personnel. Discover what traits employees are really looking for in an employer by viewing the attached PDF.
No leader can do it all on their own. It is critical for an effective leader to distribute power throughout their organisation, relying on decision-making from those closest to the action.
Research shows that an empowered team is more proactive and productive, providing improved customer service, as well as increased commitment to their organisation motivated by higher levels of job satisfaction.
Despite this, many business leaders struggle to relinquish enough power to let people self-organise. They may be reluctant to allow employees to make mistakes, fearing negative consequences arising from the decisions of their subordinates.
Find out why it is vital to overcome this fear by watching the attached video.
Having a Vision
In a presentation before the Seventh Day Adventist Women Leadership Convention, Dr Thomson Mpinganjira recently underlined the importance of having a vision. An effective entrepreneur must have a clear idea what their business is about and be able to articulate it.
What does the company do? How does it serve stakeholders? Where is it going? The answers must not be vague. By articulating their vision, business leaders inspire others to join them in striving towards their end goal; to invest in and work for their company.
It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes it is vital for leaders to take a step back; it is important for them to take time out with friends and family for vacations, hobbies and interests outside work. By spending time looking through a different lens, leaders come back to their business refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed. Find out more about the importance of selfcare by viewing the attached infographic.