3 Leadership Skills to Bring Out the Best

Leaders in most every industry want to know what they can do to bring out the best in their people. Here are three distinct leadership skills to help any leader, at any time create an environment where people and performance flourish.

3 Leadership Skills to Bring Out the Best

A major distribution group for the electrical/utility, HVAC/R, and plumbing industries recently interviewed me for a roundtable on leadership performance during great uncertainty. Central to the discussion was this question: what leadership skills or organizational elements bring out the best in people?

The organizations most capable of weathering any difficult situation are populated with highly engaged, well-trained leaders. In 2012, Gallup reported that “companies that increase their number of talented managers and engaged employees achieve higher earnings per share than their competitors.”

So what are the most important skills and attributes contributing to strong leadership? Leaders in high performance organizations are invariably proficient in three critical leadership skills:

  1. Planning
  2. Communicating
  3. Executing

Intentional Planning

Admittedly, long term organizational planning is exceptionally challenging at this moment in time.  But the need for solid, foundational short term planning has never been greater.  Leaders and followers alike must know that every activity they are involved in — day in, day out — is specifically intended to strengthen the organization in some highly intentional and purposeful way.

Communication: The Leader’s Super Power

The best led organizations have always used effective leadership communication as their super power. Effective communication is a key factor differentiating apart from underperforming competitors. And today more than ever, purposeful communication at every organizational level is critical. Using clear, concise, intentional communication, the best leaders share immediate plans and tactics. In so doing, they eliminate the nagging concerns of “what is going to happen next?”

Execution is Essential

In the end, effective planning and stellar communication are only as good as the actions we take and the skillful execution of those communicated plans.  Opportunities don’t normally “appear” out of thin air, rather they are “discovered.”  Discovered by those out working to make something happen and in the process, discover other existing opportunities.  Most of us want to work for leaders who know where they’re going and are anxious to get started.  Frankly, a lot of us follow such leaders for fear of missing out on something great. Otherwise, working with out executing the plan is just work. Monotonous, dull and unrewarding.

Leadership Skills Proven by Fire

Final thought… It has always been my opinion leaders don’t really know how good or capable they are until tested.  Education, experience and desire are wonderful. But leadership “under fire” proves the worth. Testing and “proving” leadership skills establishes a new foundation for future performance. It fuels the leader’s confidence to undertake new challenges — even the difficult, most unexpected ones.

No leader would ask for uncertain, unstable circumstances. But could it be that unpredictable times such as these actually bring out the very best for those leaders who plan, communicate and execute? I think so.

Bringing Out the Best in Your Leaders… Here’s Our Plan.

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Phillip Van Hooser

Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by building engaged employee relationships. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on leadership, service and communication. His popular book, “Willie's Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty” recently hit #1 in Customer Relations on the Kindle store. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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