There are many things that go in to improving performance in the business world. On an individual level this can take many concrete forms, such as improving your time management, setting measurable targets to give focus and increase motivation, and managing available resources more judiciously. But beyond this, prioritizing leadership qualities can also lead to improved performance, often in profound ways. This is in some sense self-evident, but it is worth considering exactly how and why this is true. Improving leadership ability can improve all aspects of a company's operation, as the examples set by those at the top will trickle down to affect performance at all levels. If the leadership is seen to be energetic and highly goal driven, employees will pick up on that, and be inspired to mimic those performance-enhancing qualities.
Leadership Defines Company Culture
One of the most important things that defines a company, beyond the usual numerical measures, is a company's culture. The culture defines all aspects of performance. One of the first things a new hire will pick up on, even if they do not encounter senior management, is the culture that senior management exudes and defines. Prioritizing leadership qualities is also prioritizing the company culture.
Difference Between Managing And Leading
A good manager in any context improves performance by exhibiting qualities of true leadership. Leadership means going beyond the practical tenets of competent management to earn the trust of team members and to inspire them to greater dedication and achievement. By focusing on not just developing good management skills but also those that define leadership, anyone that oversees other employees or teams can improve performance. The skills that a true leader prioritizes are adaptability in the face of changing situations or crises, and concern for their team members.
Listening Is Key
Listening requires confidence in your leadership skills, and the ability to see the overall picture. A true leader will demonstrate this not by depending on a rank or title and barking orders, but in their more complex and trust-inspiring method of interacting with employees. The higher up you are in a company, the less your specific technical skills matter, and the more critical people-management skills become.
Independent Assessment Works
While it is easy to know what good leadership is from afar, assessing it from too close a vantage point can be difficult, and self-assessment is particularly error prone as an essential part of leadership is self belief. Independent assessment gives confidence in knowing and understanding both the areas of exceptionalism identified and those areas that can be further improved, and it goes a long way to removing the uncertainty and self-doubt that can hinder progress in difficult times.
By prioritizing leadership skills, and leadership-skill assessment, improved performance can be realized, making this a valuable asset that should be continuously nurtured.