on January 14, 2016
MHI Global is an international leadership consulting firm that’s 50 years old. A few months ago, the company released the results of a study called Universal Leader. To conduct the study, MHI researchers surveyed hundreds of employees from around the world and asked just one question: What does effective management look like?
In response to that question, 14 key leadership skills rose to the top that MHI is calling Boss Sauce. None of Boss Sauce “ingredients” were surprising, but it’s nice to have another study confirm what I believe to be true! Here’s a quick overview.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 1: SEEK AND RESPOND TO FEEDBACK
Says MHI: Your employees rely on you to lead them. Sometimes you have to make changes based on feedback.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 2: COLLABORATE WITH EMPLOYEES TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
Says MHI: There’s an old adage in business — hire people who are smarter than you. To use their skills to the fullest extent is a skill in itself. Apply the collective wisdom of the team.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 3: CREATE A LINE OF SIGHT
Says MHI: A good organization has a clear understanding of what success is. A great organization will tell the employees how they can help navigate. Quality leadership often means helping employees see their role in the vision for the future.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 4: FACILITATE COLLABORATION
Says MHI: You might be surprised to find how many coworkers aren’t co-working. They might not even know each other’s names. That’s not good for business. This study shows that a tight-knit team coordinates, works together, and accomplishes more.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 5: HOLD EMPLOYEES ACCOUNTABLE TO HIGH EXPECTATIONS
Says MHI: How do you, personally, measure success? Whatever your key metrics are, your team (top to bottom) should know them. And each employee should know you believe they can achieve them.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 6: INCENTIVIZE PERFORMANCE
Says MHI: Your employees need appreciation to be motivated. Give your team something to look forward to, and you might be surprised at what they accomplish.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 7: RECOGNIZE PERFORMANCE
Says MHI: Recognition is powerful. We all want to feel appreciated. Praise good performance both privately and publicly and always advocate on behalf of employees.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 8: CREATE TRANSPARENCY
Says MHI: Giving your team the necessary, accurate, and appropriate details for any given situation will create trust and productivity. Your employees will feel closer and work together to overcome challenges.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 9: PROVIDE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
Says MHI: Make the effort to really help employees see what they can do - how they can perform better on particular tasks. Your efforts will pale in comparison to theirs.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 10: DIRECT TASK COMPLETION AS NEEDED
Says MHI: When an overwhelming project comes in, sometimes employees shut down. Be clear and specific about next steps. Manage the project as much as you lead the employee.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 11: LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Nobody wants to do the grunt work. Unless you, the leader, pitch in. And suddenly, it isn’t grunt work. Putting yourself at the mercy of hard work puts you at the front of the pack. Your employees will follow.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 12: CREATE A MENTORING RELATIONSHIP
Says MHI: You are where you are because of where you’ve been. That means you have a long history of success. Teaching what you’ve learned to someone under your wing will only lift you up higher. And your team will be better for it.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 13: BUILD EMPLOYEES’ SKILLS
Says MHI: Finding motivated people isn’t an easy task, but nurturing them is. Take the time to get to know your employees’ skills. Give them the opportunity to be more effective in their work and help them grow. Making them better makes you better.
LEADERSHIP SKILL 14: CHALLENGE EMPLOYEES WITH OPPORTUNITIES AND INDEPENDENCE.
When your employees are satisfied, they’re happy. But be careful not to let satisfaction turn into boredom. The comfort zone can be a dangerous place. Try cheering them on to greater accomplishment by stretching them outside their comfort zone.