Leadership development is a vital component of success in any industry. We asked Michelle Barry and Trinity Grall to share their thoughts on leadership with you.
3 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills
By Michelle Barry
Doesn’t everyone want to develop better leadership skills? Whether you’re leading a large corporate organization, running an entrepreneurial firm, or managing a multi-generational family unit, leadership skills are essential to get others onboard with what you’re trying to accomplish. I’ve personally engaged in both formal development programs and informal mentoring programs to hone my leadership skills - and I’m constantly learning how to improve them with each new situation I face.
I’m often impressed with Financial Advisors who have exceptional leadership skills. These advisors can effectively attract and maintain talent in their office, influence others to help them achieve their goals and empower their staff. These are powerful skills that enable them to grow their practices, while others simply maintain their same level of productivity year after year.
Here are three ways that just about anyone can develop their skills.
- Be an active listener. Becoming a leader doesn’t always mean you have to be in the spotlight. Listening and seeking ideas from people can often give you a better outcome, but can also strengthen your ability to sit back and empower others. Many times I’ve been surprised that by just listening to people and asking clarifying questions people will opt to do much more than you initially thought they would do.
- Resolve conflicts. Nobody likes conflict. People naturally avoid it. Stepping in and learning how to resolve conflicts will strengthen your ability to lead. It gets easier with practice and you develop skills like negotiating, listening, and yielding to others which are important leadership traits. Resolving conflicts will enable you to fill a gap that most people just won’t fill. Someone who can resolve conflicts quickly and easily will always be sought after to help lead efforts in the future.
- Be a Follower. Yes, that’s right. A true leader can yield control to someone else when it’s appropriate for the situation. Allowing someone else to take the reins can deliver powerful results. This sometimes involves allowing people to fail, but almost always elevates your leadership skills. It can mean tasks take longer to accomplish because emerging leaders may need nurturing as you allow them to lead.
If you practice these three skill sets – in client meetings, prospect presentations, or in your own offices with your teams, people will naturally want to do business with you. You’ll demonstrate a level of competency that clients seek when working with financial professionals. For the most part, people are starving for good leaders. Why not be one of them?
By Trinity Grall
Did you know that when you Google the word Leadership, there are about 864,000,000 results? The amount of information, opinions, and advice on leadership is daunting to say the least. So what is leadership? Here is one of the many definitions of leadership I found, but one of my favorites:
“Leadership is the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
What does it take to be a great leader? Gallup and Google have both done extensive research on the topic of leadership traits through conducting interviews and reviewing internal data supplied through employee surveys.
According to Gallup’s research, they found that great leaders have developed these five qualities:
- They motivate employees with a compelling mission and vision.
- They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes.
- They create a culture of clear accountability.
- They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
- They make decisions based on productivity, not politics.
Google’s Project Oxygen found that great leaders have developed these qualities:
- They have good coaching skills.
- They empower their teams as opposed to micromanaging them.
- They are interested in their team member’s success and personal well-being.
- They are productive and results-oriented.
- They are good communicators.
- They encourage career development and discuss performance.
- They have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
- They have key technical skills that help them advise the team.
- They are strong decision makers
A vital key to any company’s success is effective leadership. Without leaders who personify the leadership traits listed above, a company will struggle to have clear vision or direction and employee engagement. In fact, research has shown that poor leadership can cost organizations money in untapped potential, employee and customer turnover, and employee productivity. There is a reason why there are so many Google results for Leadership – it’s that important!