TONIKA BRUCE

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10 Words of Wisdom Every Leader Needs to Hear

10 Words of Wisdom Every Leader Needs to Hear

As a leader, you are bound to face challenges and setbacks along the way. Whether you are an entrepreneur starting your own business or a seasoned executive leading a team, the road to success is never easy. But the most successful leaders are the ones who learn from their failures and use their experiences to grow and improve. In this article, learn 10 words of wisdom that every leader needs to hear.

These words of wisdom will provide inspiration and practical advice to help you overcome challenges and succeed as a leader.

1. Failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of the journey.

It’s easy to view failure as a roadblock to success, but the truth is that failure is an inevitable part of the journey. The most successful leaders are the ones who embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Instead of fearing failure, embrace it as a natural part of the process and use it to fuel your growth and progress.

đź”” Elon Musk overcame multiple failed rocket launches before finally achieving success with SpaceX.

2. Lead with empathy and understanding.

As a leader, it’s important to remember that your team is made up of individuals with unique needs and perspectives. Leading with empathy and understanding can help you build stronger relationships with your team members and create a culture of trust and respect. Take the time to listen to your team members and understand their needs and concerns.

Empathy is a crucial trait for any leader. It allows you to see situations from multiple perspectives and to connect with your team on a deeper level. To lead with empathy, you must be willing to listen to your team members, understand their perspectives, and show that you care about their well-being.

This means taking the time to build relationships with your team members, and actively seeking out their feedback and input. When you lead with empathy and understanding, you create a culture of trust and respect that can drive your team’s success.

3. Success is a team sport, surround yourself with the right people.

No one achieves success alone. Surround yourself with a team of people who share your vision and can help you achieve your goals. Look for team members who bring diverse perspectives and skill sets to the table and who share your passion for success.


đź”” Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is a great example of a leader who is able to balance short-term and long-term goals and realize the value of surrounding himself with the right people around him. He has focused on building a strong team and company culture and investing in research and development, allowing Microsoft to stay at the forefront of the tech industry for decades.

4. Never stop learning and growing.

The most successful leaders are the ones who never stop learning and growing. Stay curious and open-minded, and seek out opportunities to learn and develop new skills and your mindset. Attend conferences and workshops, read books and articles, and seek out mentorship and coaching opportunities.

5. Take calculated risks and learn from your mistakes.

Taking risks is an important part of achieving success as a leader, but it’s important to take calculated risks and learn from your mistakes. Before taking a risk, weigh the potential benefits and risks and make an informed decision. And when mistakes do happen, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow.

6. Focus on your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

As a leader, it’s important to focus on developing your strengths and delegating tasks that you are not as skilled at. This will allow you to focus your energy on the things you do well and enable your team to thrive in areas where they excel.

7. Never compromise your values.

Integrity is a critical component of effective leadership. Stay true to your values and principles, even in the face of difficult decisions or challenges. Your team will respect you more for staying true to your beliefs, even when it’s not the easiest or most popular choice.

Your values are the foundation of your character, and compromising them is like compromising yourself. In leadership, it’s important to stay true to your values and principles, even when faced with difficult decisions or opposition. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” So, always strive for harmony between your values and your actions, and you will earn the respect and trust of your team.

8. Communication is key.

Effective communication is essential to building strong relationships with your team members and achieving your goals as a leader. Make sure to communicate clearly and frequently, and seek out feedback from your team members to ensure that your messages are being received as intended.

Effective communication is a vital component of successful leadership. It allows you to build strong relationships with your team, establish clear expectations, and foster a positive and productive work environment. One of the most important aspects of communication is active listening. When you truly listen to your team members and take their concerns and ideas into account, you show that you value and respect them. This, in turn, leads to greater trust and loyalty, which are essential for building a cohesive and high-performing team.”

9. Celebrate your successes, but stay humble.

It’s important to celebrate your successes as a leader, but it’s equally important to stay humble and remember that success is a team effort. Recognize the contributions of your team members and give credit where credit is due.

10. Stay passionate and stay the course.

Finally, the most successful leaders are the ones who stay passionate and committed to their vision, even in the face of challenges, failures, and setbacks. Stay the course and remain focused on your goals, and your perseverance will ultimately lead to success.

đź””When Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, he could have given up on his dream of becoming a basketball player. Instead, he used that rejection as fuel to work harder and prove himself. He went on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time, proving that failure can be a powerful motivator.

In conclusion, leadership is a complex and multifaceted concept that requires a range of skills and attributes. However, by focusing on developing your strengths, practicing empathy, embracing failure, and building strong relationships, you can become a more effective and successful leader.

It’s important to remember that leadership is not just about achieving personal success, but also about empowering and inspiring others to achieve their goals. As a leader, you have the power to positively influence those around you and make a real difference in your organization and community.

So, take these words of wisdom to heart and make a commitment to continuous learning and growth as a leader. Seek out opportunities to develop your skills, build relationships, and learn from others. And always remember that leadership is a journey, not a destination, so be patient, stay humble, and keep striving for excellence.

Covey, S. R. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. Simon and Schuster.

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 78-90.

Grant, A. M., & Gino, F. (2010). A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(6), 946-955.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations. John Wiley & Sons.

Pink, D. H. (2011). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Riverhead Books.
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
Tichy, N. M., & Ulrich, D. O. (2010). Leadership development: Forging ahead despite a bumpy road. Organizational Dynamics, 39(2), 145-154.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge university press.

Zenger, J. H., & Folkman, J. R. (2009). The extraordinary leader: Turning good managers into great leaders. McGraw Hill Professional.

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business ideas women leadership skills

How to Achieve Your Goals in a Year By Smart Working

In a dynamic and fast-paced world, goal achievement isn’t much about motivation as it is adaptability.

Every new year, new season, starts with goals and for others resolutions with a genuine intention to see them through to the end of the period. Often that is never the case for many.

Today, I want to submit that how productive you are determines how many of those goals you realize. If you always ditch your resolutions halfway through the year, your approach is the problem.

I neither mean to dispute the famous saying by Dustin Lynch that states “hard work always pays off” nor underestimate the widely known quote by Henry Ford that says, “chop your wood, and it will warm you twice.”

However, there are more than a few cases where people have put their blood and sweat into working hard but have not accomplished their goals.

Two Approaches to Goal Achievement

Let us begin by looking at a classic example of working smart and working hard.

Before civilization, a man would carry heavy materials from one place to another by doing all the hard work. A few years later and technological advancement, a man could use simple equipment like a wheelbarrow or locomotive to transport heavy luggage for long distances with less effort and more efficiency.

It is evident from this classic example that people can get overwhelmed by responsibilities and complete very few tasks despite working very hard. Such situations forced men to rethink their work dynamics and introduce equipment that could help increase efficiency and make work easier.

Many people work hard, yet only a few are successful, and the secret behind the successful few is that they work brilliantly. Although hard work pays off, smart work multiplies productivity.

For this reason, working hard and working smart are two contrasting approaches to accomplishing your goals.

  • The main difference being hard work focuses on spending long hours and effort while working smart emphasizes finding more efficient means to complete the task.
  • Plain hard work is about working consistently towards a particular objective irrespective of its worth and not caring about the result or not using any innovative methods to minimize the effort required. In contrast, working smart is when you prioritize working on a given task depending on its worth, energy input and creativity to produce maximum results with minimum labor.

The current business environment is fast-paced, where swift completion of projects will put you ahead of the competition and help your company to be on top of its mission. That means it demands an intelligent work approach that utilizes less effort and maximizes efficiency to produce the best results.

Working smart and efficiently is not always easy. Daily habits, organizational processes, and bureaucratic processes for approvals may hinder the quick delivery of projects. Nonetheless, brilliant business leaders and professionals know that working quickly and efficiently is vital for accomplishing annual business targets.

Here are some smart tactics to incorporate into your business to achieve your goals in a year.

1. Plan and Prioritize Your To-Do List

When working smart to realize your goals, you must take the lead role in the business project rather than assuming that things will flow. As a business leader, you must develop a strategy or systematic plan to accomplish your targets. Working with an objective and timeframe is much more efficient as it is easier to measure progress and results.

Smart Working innovatively also calls for a short to-do list focused on the most crucial tasks.

As I mentioned, working smart is about prioritizing what you take on based on its worth.
A good to-do list intentionally avoids all unnecessary things because a shorter list looks less intimidating and will not discourage the implementing person.

Smart people break down their to-do lists into manageable tasks which are easy to accomplish.

For example, when planning to source the cheapest item from different distributors. First, break down your activities into simple tasks. Begin by listing all the item specifications, sending out emails to distributors, sending out kind reminders, comparing feedback, and selecting the best quotation.

Simplifying the to-do list into a series of activities makes it easier to follow the progress. When you have one major item on your to-do list, it will be impossible to trace daily progress.

As you plan your list, ensure that all time-sensitive activities are at the top of the to-do list to facilitate completion within deadlines.

Prioritizing activities in the list is crucial for big projects as it offers a buffer when something inevitably gets delayed.

In addition, it is imperative to schedule specific duties like proofreading a document in the morning because they demand a keen mind. Doing such activities in the evening when one is exhausted will lead to numerous errors.

Lastly, an efficient to-do list bunches small tasks together to help the implementers complete multiple activities quickly. Clearing the minor duties gives you adequate time and mental focus to tackle the large items.

The Financial Provider Case

I recall when working in a financial sales company. We were subdivided into teams of ten members and given a target of selling five insurance policies valued at one million. The competition was on, the first team to achieve the target would win a good reward.

On the first day, when other teams were rushing to the field and trying to convince clients to buy the insurance policies, I called for a group meeting to strategize how to work as a team. In the team meeting, we appointed a chairperson to coordinate the group activities and a team secretary to document all the progress made by the members.

The elected chairperson and team secretary subdivided the members into sub-groups and allocated each subgroup a specific task. We had some members whose duty was to identify new prospects; another subgroup scrutinized the identified potentials and came up with the most eligible clients. The team leadership designated the last sub-group to send proposals to the most potential candidates, follow up with the clients, and close deals.

With good planning and prioritizing duties, my team was able to approach more clients and sold twelve policies within a month. Working smart enabled my team to accomplish the targets within the shortest time. Unlike the other teams, where each member had to do every task in the sale process, our team had members handling specific duties.

It is easy to close a deal and complete the sale process on time by letting a particular sub-group perform a single task. It was easy for the members to send proposals to potential clients, as they would forward one proposal to multiple clients. In other teams, one member would identify new prospects, scrutinize them to find eligible candidates, and send out pitches, making their work difficult.

These are more old leadership tactics to abandon this year.

2. Delegate Duties and Improve Time Management Skills

Typically, most people like things done in a particular manner, and some would prefer doing every task themselves rather than asking for assistance or delegating to others.
Doing everything by yourself is an enormous hindrance to productivity. Train your team members to deliver quality work with minimal supervision.

You can design efficient systems and processes that produce standard products and services- start by documenting SOPs for the company, which everyone can access. The benefit of designing efficient systems is that your business does not rely on the individual default work modes, hence getting things done without prior planning.

Smart work involves minding the work process as much as the duty.

For example, when operating a bakery, you can predetermine the mixing of ingredients so that your employees can carry out the process even when you are absent. Developing efficient systems ensures production continues even in the absence of key personnel.

Brilliant business people are keen to prioritize, delegate, and improve their time management.

Speaking of time management, improving time management translates to working smart.

Hard work is about spending long hours getting a task done while intelligent work means completing a similar amount of work in less time. Business people with good time management skills finish their projects before the deadline.

Repetitive processes involved in hard work can lead to time wastage and eventually fail to meet timelines. Hard work follows a tedious process rather than brainstorming for the quickest and most efficient way of achieving the goal.

Utilizing efficient procedures and tools to get things done quickly makes innovative work the most suitable option for completing tasks on schedule.

Consider implementing all the relevant tools to your work; this is not cheating but working creatively.

We have a lot of productivity tools in the market today that can cut the manual and repetitive processes by half; why reinvent the wheel? The Phalera CRM is a good example that combines and automates most of the daily-to-day operations of a business.

The Steel Factory Case

During my internship I was lucky to have a chance to work in a large steel factory that produces a wide range of products and employs over a thousand employees. Fortunately, during my internship period at the factory, I witnessed a management change.

The previous administration believed in hard work and bureaucratic processes. For instance, employees would physically sign in on paper attendance sheets filed by the department manager. The human resource officers would then go around the factory to collect the files and tally the hours. The human resource officers would then use that information to calculate salaries.

This process involved plenty of hard work and consumed much time, ultimately was inefficient and marred with numerous mistakes.

  • First, the employees would come to work late and leave early because the manual register was easy to manipulate.
  • Secondly, the human resource department had a tedious job of counting the hours worked by each employee. The counting would take days leading to delayed salary payments and endless conflict between the management and workers. Mathematical errors were frequent, resulting in over or under-compensation of some employees.
  • Lastly, the manual system did not capture absentee workers. Some unethical department managers would make underhand deals with employees to allow them to evade duties.

The new management noted the issue of human and time mismanagement in the factory.

The approach? They suggested a digital system where employees would clock in at the gate as they enter and clock out as they leave the factory. It was a brilliant idea, but it would take the information technology department more than a year to design and develop such a system.

The new management was smart enough to outsource the software and technical equipment to monitor employee attendance rather than building a new in-house system.

  • The digital system was efficient and saved time, which the human resource department would spend reconciling the payroll. The human resource could now download the attendance details from the digital system and use that information to compute salaries correctly.
  • Second, the new system enhanced time management at the factory as employees arrived at workstations on time and left when the shift was over.
  • Third, the system eliminated ghost workers and increased production.
    Lastly, the digital system reduced the tedious work done by human resource officers.

They applied intelligent working techniques to bring the factory to optimum production by minimizing labor wastage.

The new management also introduced a new work protocol that defined the duties designated for each employee. Dealing with over a thousand employees can be hectic because only a bunch of employees get things done while the rest joyride.

Instead they assigned specific duties to each employee and delegated supervisory responsibilities to the department manager. Previously, workers would be assigned new tasks every day. With the new initiative, employees had permanent responsibilities.

Now, employees would report to their workstations knowing what they should accomplish by the end of the day, unlike in previous management, where there was rotation every morning. Delegating specific duties to each employee boosts productivity because doing an activity for a long time makes it easy.

In addition, the senior management delegated supervisory and other minor managerial duties to department managers. Earlier, all employees reported directly to the senior management who also supervised production. The senior managers were slowly overwhelmed by countless cases and had little time to monitor production.

Delegating some duties to department managers gave them time to focus on other crucial management issues. Employees would send their progress reports to their department managers, who consolidate them and send a detailed summary to the senior managers. The senior management used detailed progress reports from department managers to identify unproductive sectors and seek long-lasting solutions.

The change from a management team that worked hard to a team that worked smart saw the factory increase its production, increase profitability, and reduce losses.

3. Have a Growth Mindset, Flexible Mind, and Adaptive Qualities

Progressive business people avoid conventional methods and comfort zones. They try different approaches to complete a task and test new procedures frequently in search of the most convenient ways to achieve the target. Trying new processes will help you to assess the amount of time spent on each activity.

Working smart is also focusing on improving skills and learning new ones.

As a business person, focus on acquiring more knowledge in different aspects and fields of your work. The more knowledge in a specific business, the less time you need to find a solution to an issue. It is easier for businesspeople to identify innovative solutions or competitive ideas when they have adequate knowledge in their business field.

As a brilliant entrepreneur, you must be adaptive and flexible because business models change and markets shift. Sometimes things do not go as planned; thus, adapting quickly to a new situation will help to reach your targets even with changing circumstances.

Inflation, recession and AI adoption are among shifts every business must work around this year to achieve their goals.

Businesses get stuck on a problem when they continue to use the same procedures that had failed earlier. Adapting new methods to resolve an issue can accelerate growth as the business will experience such downtimes. Innovative business leaders have growth mindsets and are quick to adapt new ways of doing business.

The Busy Construction Company Case

Working as a procurement officer in a busy construction company, I was always overwhelmed by numerous tenders. I had a standard way of applying for tenders, but unfortunately, I struggled to meet deadlines.

Luckily, I met an experienced procurement officer who changed my mindset. He taught me how to prepare templates I would modify each time I got a similar tender. With the new approach, I did not have to do each tender from scratch like in the beginning.

My flexible mind and willingness to learn helped me become an efficient procurement officer who could complete tenders in the shortest time possible.

Furthermore, he taught me how to adapt to change quickly by analyzing new tender formats and updating my templates. With these new techniques, I could complete tenders quickly and have ample time to review and proofread.

Conclusion

In a dynamic and fast-paced world, goal achievement isn’t much about motivation as it is adaptability. As the marketplace changes, it is time to forget the old school of thoughts on achieving your goals; adaptability will take you further.

Working smart involves having an in-depth knowledge of the duties at hand and applying your know-how to find the easiest and most efficient way to carry out the work in a more planned and organized manner.

Some believe working smart is a shortcut to hard work and cannot bear the same results. However, these allegations are incorrect as people who work smart reach great heights and lead a more successful personal and business life.

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business ideas women leadership skills

How Female Leaders and Entrepreneurs Can Compete in the Digital Marketing World

Female Leaders and Entrepreneurs Historically, traditional women’s roles were limited to the kitchen and raising children, while men worked and provided for the family. However, this position has shifted as women now hold significant offices—for example, in governments and business enterprises. Many women have become more entrepreneurially minded, running profitable ventures.

As women make their presence in every economic sector, they leave their mark on business innovation. A recent case study indicates that in 2021, the number of women-owned businesses in the United States had risen to 31%, up from 27% in the previous year, even with the Covid-19 pandemic hitting. Despite these strides in entrepreneurship and corporate leadership, there are fewer women taking up roles in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

These differences affect how women entrepreneurs use digital marketing and may reflect clients’ perceptions of women in the field. The implication here is that for women to compete in a male-dominated industry, they must take measures that give them an edge.

Luckily, there are a few key ways women leaders and entrepreneurs can use their strengths to create a competitive advantage in digital marketing.

1. Understand the digital landscape and how it’s changing

While the number of women venturing into entrepreneurship is increasing, there is still a stark contrast in how many embrace technological resources.
By learning about new technologies and how they can benefit their business, women will be able to capitalize on opportunities they might otherwise have missed.

There’s no doubt that the digital landscape is rapidly evolving, but women leaders and entrepreneurs shouldn’t shy away from these changes—instead, they should embrace them.

So what can they do to stay ahead of the curve? First, make sure they keep up with industry news and developments. Spotting trends early on gives a better understanding of how to use these innovations to their advantage or how they may impact the business. One such example of change in the digital world right now is the metaverse and its implications for business.

As a female entrepreneur in digital marketing, my latest networking opportunities with tech gurus have shed light on how much potential exists in exploring those areas of the industry unknown to us.

2. Focus on customer service and creating a great user experience

Women can achieve a competitive advantage in digital marketing by understanding the consumer better.

One way to do this is by leveraging empathy to create better user experiences. Some women are naturally in tune with the emotions of others, which can help in understanding how users are responding to their product or service.

Additionally, getting detailed and creative with communication can be beneficial in crafting targeted marketing messages and designing user-friendly interfaces. Ultimately, by tapping into their unique skill sets and perspectives, women can create more effective and successful digital marketing campaigns.

3. Create women-friendly e-commerce shops or websites

Not as a gender bias but as a way to use their “insider knowledge,” female business leaders can and should take advantage of their understanding of the female gender.

Women who start businesses often venture into “female-themed” businesses, with hair/nail salons and pet care businesses as popular choices, but they may not understand or may fail to utilize their innate knowledge when marketing their products online.

Those selling female-oriented products should design user-friendly websites and, even more importantly, women-friendly websites. They can make their websites women-friendly by avoiding generic or generalized content that does not connect at a personal level with women.

4. Leverage social media to grow business

A female entrepreneur needs to envision herself as a leader even when building a business from scratch as a one-woman initiative. Thinking like a leader will empower them to utilize the numerous online tools to lead their targeted audience.

Women have to speak out, build brands and position themselves as leadership authorities of this era. I am a big fan of constant experimentation and improvement. One of the patterns I have observed in social media marketing is how gender often plays a role in the number of followers.

As women typically have larger social media followings than their male counterparts, this is an opportunity to grow their brands. Female entrepreneurs who leverage social media stand to accomplish more with their ventures. Moreover, social sites such as LinkedIn can help business leaders and entrepreneurs gain more confidence in their professional endeavors.

5. Connect with other business leaders and entrepreneurs online

The value of networking in the digital business world cannot be overstated. By connecting with other entrepreneurs and business leaders online, business leaders can access a wealth of knowledge, resources and connections to take their business to the next level. For instance, mastermind groups are an ideal resource for support and advice to navigate business challenges.

Networking is another invaluable way for women to learn about digital marketing from tech communities and conventions.

One way to build a network is to find and actively participate in professional and business forums.

Other opportunities to connect involve actively seeking chances to contribute to industry-related and established publications and websites or to speak at highly impactful events.

Conclusion

The internet is flooded with content marketing materials daily. Female business leaders need to craft better digital marketing approaches to highlight their business and outshine the competition.

The key takeaway is that despite the size of their companies, female entrepreneurs must optimize internet marketing strategies to amplify communication and ensure consistent growth.

They can remain competitive when they fully utilize the existing potential in digital marketing and incorporate their strengths when implementing digital marketing plans that focus on the relevant aspects of their businesses.

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leadership women leadership skills

The Role Of MBAs In The Rising Number Of Women Leaders

Women Leaders :Year after year, the top business schools are welcoming more women into their MBA classrooms. Despite the many perceived barriers—like incompatibility of business careers with a healthy work/life balance, lack of encouragement from employers and much more—women are still enrolling into business schools to enhance their careers by pursuing an MBA.

According to a recent report, more women than men have applied to MBA programs, both in-person and online, for the last three years. Even the prestigious Harvard Business School reported that 46% of the class of 2023 is women.

This increase not only points to the growing importance of diversity and inclusion in education, but it also demonstrates an evolution in corporate culture, where women are beginning to look differently at the competitive marketplace, the challenges that await them and how they can solve them through broadened observation and circular vision.

MBAs and Black Women Leaders

Beyond just having a business degree, we’ve seen Black female leaders occupy leadership positions in some of the world’s best companies.

Ramona Hood began working with FedEx Custom Critical at the age of 19, and after devoting 30 years and rising through several managerial roles, she decided to enroll in an MBA program. Between her degree and previous experience, Hood secured the CEO title in 2020.

Black women have even broken records and have become trailblazers. After studying at Howard University, Lillian Lincoln Lambert went on to enroll in Harvard’s MBA program and graduated in 1969—the first Black woman to do so. With her institutional knowledge, she went on to launch Centennial One, a building services company that grew to $20 million in revenue.

Finally, Alicia Boler Davis served as the vice president of customer experience at General Motors, ending her tenure after 25 years. She went on to complete her MBA at Indiana University, graduating in 2015, before joining Amazon in 2019. A year later, she was appointed as the Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment, making her the first Black president to be part of Amazon’s S-team, a top executive position advising the then-CEO, Jeff Bezos.

These women are just three prominent examples, but there are countless more. Obviously, attending an MBA program isn’t just about business vocabulary and communication, as many consider it. Attending an MBA program provides chances to develop problem-solving skills and how you see the bigger picture when faced with complex decisions. Beyond that, programs often introduce individuals to industry experts who can pass on their wisdom through interactive sessions, case studies, seminars and presentations.

Recommended Books for the MBA journey

Women Leaders Are Shaping Work Culture

MBAs can empower individuals with the framework to build the necessary financial models that will help their organizations achieve success. These programs equip women to understand the systems that will protect their organizations through innovation and a rapidly disruptive business ecosystem, such as the current Covid-19 landscape.

The value of an MBA degree for women also positions them to push beyond their comfort zones, and this culture is integrated into their respective organization’s leadership mindset. The ultimate result of which is more efficiency and better products for the organization and a winning spirit.

If you’re a woman, and your goal is to earn yourself a seat in a leadership position, pursuing an MBA degree program is one way to make your dream a reality. It can help pave the way for the hundreds of thousands of aspiring women worldwide, regardless of color or background.

 

Read the original article on the Forbes website.

 

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10 Crucial Leadership Skills Today for Executives to Boost Their Career

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These Outdated Leadership Practices Are Crippling Your Business

Outdated Leadership: The face of the business and workplace environment has changed drastically over the past decade, thanks to aggressive tech advances. Even more of these transitions have happened during and post the pandemic period.

Despite the changing world around us, we all are vulnerable to blind spots in how we work or run our affairs. Those of us in business have to be wary. Blind spots can easily lead to stagnation, even as we work tirelessly with the best intentions. As a leadership and business coach, it is my job to help you identify areas of improvement.

So, today I have a list of outdated leadership practices that may be stifling your business growth.

Here is what to shake up if you still rely upon these practices in 2023.

Rigid Hierarchies

Hierarchical leadership once worked with a clearly defined chain of command, but as the workforce changes, so do the behavior and perceptions.

Organizations with highly structured environments and clear differences between low-level and high-level employees kill innovation. There is less collaboration in departments and across status levels. As a result, the business can’t utilize the employees’ full potential to innovate and problem-solve.

Some companies may invite opportunities for employees to share ideas and ditch the chains of command but still hold on to status symbols. These can just as easily alienate different employees. Think dress code, office layouts, and even titles.

One way to deal with this is to provide greater responsibilities to lower-level employees occasionally- for instance, as team leaders on projects. Relaxing the dress code and reorganizing office layouts are also shake-ups to consider.

Traditional Work Hours

Remote or in-office work. After the pandemic, the discussion heated on whether businesses should continue to allow employees to work from home and log work hours as tradition demanded.

Work has already changed, and companies that embrace a hybrid approach benefit more from the modern practices of flexible work hours.

With this, a new business doesn’t have to only rely on someone local for a job. That means faster delivery timelines and competitive prices.

Traditional Company Career Ladder

Traditional leadership prioritizes tenure or time with the company as a factor for promotion.
Yet the growing new workforce of generation Z and millennials prioritize new experiences over time in one organization or field.

A business that continues to operate under the old loyalty and tenure contract risks losing talent and creativity- the workforce moves toward a new social contract where security and benefits are less of incentives. Instead the current workforce is eager for roles with new experiences and flexibility.

(Relying on) Annual Reviews for Performance Evaluation

The old leadership relies on end-of-year reviews and monetary bonus rewards. While these worked, they only focused on competency and stacked ranking at the expense of the employees’ impact and growth in the company.

The military-style evaluation leaves employees with low scores demotivated and looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Companies have shifted away from hours and in-person presence as productivity measures, instead focusing on task completion. It has changed the way success is evaluated and opened up opportunities for previously untenable flexible working arrangements that prioritize output over attendance times.

Not to mention more employees prefer regular feedback from their leaders. 85% of millennials would feel more confident in their positions if they had more frequent performance reviews with their employers, according to research by TriNet.

Today many aspects of the business are fast-paced; reviews and feedback should also be ongoing. Regular evaluation of work brings in the concept of coaching and not managing.

Pressure to Deliver Short-Term Results

Working to meet deadlines is a must, especially with clients. But frequent time-intensive deadlines are a creativity killer.

An overemphasis on immediate objectives can blur employees’ view of the company’s long-term strategy and big picture. In such environments, employees prioritize quick solutions and completing tasks while leaving untapped potential in its wake.

It is up to management teams and HR departments alike to ensure that everyone understands the importance of optimizing overall performance instead of merely seeking short term gains.

Fixing Problems Instead of Coaching

Managers focus on process and structure, ensuring a standardized way of doing things.

Coaching, on the other hand, is about building on employees strengths to help them perform at their peak. Taking charge of everything and jumping in to fix problems are outdated leadership style aspects that cripple teams.

To flourish and grow, it takes more than just being structured with your team members – true success comes from recognizing the place of coaching by enabling the team members to identify solutions for the challenges.

Modern leadership is about coaching and mentoring those you lead. That means you will spend at least 35-40% of time in this process.

The Bottom Line

Times have changed, and so has what effective leaders do to get results from their teams. Your business may stagnate if you are using these outdated leadership practices.
Keeping your eyes open to the changing world is essential for continued growth and success.

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Non-Fiction Book ‘Relentless Pursuit’ Takes Readers On A Unique Path to Success

Nurse leader, serial entrepreneur, and author from Tampa, Florida, Tonika Bruce, in her non-fiction book titled “Relentless Pursuit: Proven Tips for Unlocking Your Potentials,” gives readers a new way to look at and pursue success.

The goal is to show the uniqueness of every person’s success and the path that leads them there. The book begs to answer the three questions that plague the human mind. What is success? Why does it matter? How do I find it?
Professionals and entrepreneurs all seek to answer these questions.

Drawing from her personal experiences and lessons learned, Tonika provides an insightful roadmap for anyone willing to pursue their passions relentlessly.

While tackling the misconception that success means the same thing for all people, Tonika shows why unlocking our potentials is central to what this will look like for us. The book concludes with a dive into the core components of building a successful life whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or an office clerk.

Relentless Pursuit is not a run-of-the-mill motivational book but insights gathered over 20 years as a working professional and entrepreneur who has failed and started from scratch. It is, therefore, a culmination of proven tips for unlocking the individual potential for success

About the Author

Tonika Bruce is an author, nurse, serial entrepreneur, and business coach who helps professionals and entrepreneurs achieve their goals and dreams.

She is the founder of Lead Nicely, a digital marketing company, and Tonika Bruce coaching, which provides professional development training and business coaching services.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Nova Southeastern University and 2 Masters degrees: A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

Bruce built her first successful business in her very early 20’s, a network marketing company with a sales team of more than 300.

Over the course of her professional life, she has started multiple businesses in marketing, sales, healthcare, and hospitality niches. Her other venture, The Network Nurse, is a platform where she uses her experience as a nurse educator to mentor other nurses who wish to start or expand their own businesses.

Relentless Pursuit is Tonika’s second published book borne out of her own bad break in business and personal life and the lessons she had to learn to rise to success. It answers the three most important questions every working professional and business owner wakes up daily to try and answer.

Order your copy today!

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The 10 Crucial Leadership Skills Today for Executives to Boost Their Career

The 10 Crucial Leadership Skills Today for Executives to Boost Their Career

With the race to become the best and high-performing businesses in the marketplace intensifies, recruiters are looking for qualified candidates who possess excellent leadership skills. It’s no wonder the need to hire MBA graduates for executive positions is rising among top companies.

Leadership skills is a topic widely covered by experts and amateurs alike- discussing the core competencies that differentiate leadership capacity, yet most continue to rely on familiar skills. 

Although it is critical to have a strong foundation in what you do best, leaders, even the most experienced, intentionally find ways to evolve by learning new skills and strategies to manage their people.

While leadership skills have been pretty standard over the years, the changing and fast-paced business world demands a fresh look at which skills are most valuable today.

  • What areas of development should new executives be working on to meet the demand of the modern marketplace?
  • How can these skills help aspiring leaders succeed in leadership positions?
  • What are the practical ways to develop or implement these skills in the workplace?

We explore these and more helpful insights in this article.

What Leadership Skills Mean for Business

They say that leadership is integral to success in any field or endeavor. It couldn’t be truer than in the realm of business. On point leadership skills are essential for generating successful outcomes in companies of all sizes.

Leaders set the tone for their organizations; they establish the culture and values that guide their employees’ behavior and decision-making.

Therefore, they play a central role in creating an organization that produces desired results.

Leadership plays a huge role in the growth and ensuring business thrive. At the heart of any venture is the human capital- the employees’ productivity directly impacts the profits realized.

Here are some recent statistics from Zippia that back up this: 

  • 79% of employees will quit due to a lack of appreciation from the leaders
  • 83% of organizations believe it is important to develop leadership at all company levels, but only 5% have implemented leadership development at all levels.
  • Only 10% of people are natural leaders
  • 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated.
  • Companies with employee engagement are 22% more profitable.

The statistics indicate the necessity of having solid leadership to drive change, team engagement and results. Leaders are in charge of creating cohesiveness in the different groups working in a company- when this is lacking, it gives rise to disengagement and high turnover of otherwise excellent talent. 

It is true that performance metrics vary among different work groups, such as baby boomers, 

Millennials, and Gen Zers, due to the inconsistency in people management skills. 69% of the largest group in the workforce currently, the millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000), say there is a lack of leadership development. 

This matters because of the critical connection between employee engagement in business and the KPIs- productivity, customer metrics, profitability, quality product, less absenteeism, and misappropriation of company resources. 

Leadership boosts employee performance, which makes everything better across all levels in the business.

On the sunny side, there is opportunity and strengths to build on. With more than 83% of businesses and recruiters realizing the need and benefit of building leaders, there is room for more leadership positions to take up. 

While only 10% are natural leaders, 20% have inherent abilities that need refining, and the rest can build capacity to lead through training and leadership programs to direct to the appropriate channels.

The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 found companies that take an inclusive approach to leadership training have 4.2 times more success than those that left this reserve only for the management groups.

That said, these are the most popular ways leaders want to learn:

  • External coaching 48%
  • Developmental assignments 48%
  • Assignments to diagnose leadership strengths 42%
  • Formal-in person training 39%

Source: DDI Leadership Forecast Survey

People who undertake leadership training that teaches practical leadership in addition to theory show a 25% increase in learning and 25% in performance. 

In-Demand Leadership Skills for Today's Executives

The key to success lies in understanding human nature. The need for divergent needs can be met with various means, from motivating and clarifying individuals down to managing them well to reach their full potential as members of your team or organization.

The performance of any group is strongly influenced by how each member feels and engages in the group. It takes refined skills in people management and adaptability to maximize these human desires for business performance.

1. Networking and Relationship Building

Based on the research by Gallup and others above, employee engagement is a top priority for the current workforce. Whether a leader is people-oriented or not, they will need this skill at least for the sole reason of creating good working relations.

The other reason why this skill ranks high is the modern workplace is increasingly getting complex and interconnected. They are expected to navigate these complex systems and build relationships with the people within them. 

Business management has become more about collaboration and consensus-building than it was in the past; to get things done, they must bring people together and build relationships of trust. 

Not to mention, the global economy has made the competition more intense than ever before. 

Today, leaders need to be able to develop strong relationships with allies and partners to create a competitive advantage. That means proactively networking online and offline.

Practical Ways to Cultivate Relationships

  • Be present and approachable. Employees and partners alike appreciate feeling like they can talk to you, confide in you, and come to you with questions or concerns. When you are regularly present and open to hearing what others have to say, it helps build trust and foster a more supportive working environment.
  • Make time for one-on-one interactions. Even if it is just for a quick catch-up chat or lunch meeting once in a while, taking the time to engage the team members on work progress and challenges.
  • Attend company events. It shows that you are interested in connecting with your employees and helps create a more enjoyable work environment. It also shows that you value their time outside of work hours.
  • Get involved in community outreach and industry initiatives. Industry events are a great way to connect with local leaders and organizations.
  • Team Building activities. Team building has always been a big part of most company cultures, but with mental illnesses on the rise and burnout, this has become just more urgent. As the leader, you get brownie points that strengthen your relationships. 

Related: 5 Questions to Assess Your Leadership Skills

2. Negotiation

The ability to negotiate is a plus that hiring managers and companies look for in executives in this competitive, globalized, and interconnected modern marketplace. 

Why? First, the globalization of markets has created new opportunities for companies to expand their operations overseas. However, these expansionary efforts often entail complex negotiations with local partners, government officials, and other stakeholders. Without solid negotiation skills, business leaders will find it tough to navigate these interactions.

Second, the accelerating pace of change in many industries means that businesses must constantly renegotiate agreements with suppliers, customers, and employees. Those who are adept at negotiating will be better able to protect their company.

Practical Ways to Negotiate Better

  • Model Trust. No matter the outcome in negotiations, trust makes the process smoother if the leader has a reputation for reliability. Trust also creates room for future possibilities of doing business.
  • Take the democracy approach. Offer options. When negotiating with employees or external groups giving choices shows a level of respect.

Related: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Trust

3. Ability to Train Others

83% of organizations believe it is important to develop leadership at all business unit levels. 

Modern organizations are looking for leaders who can also build more leaders to take charge and responsibility even in the small operational units. Training is an essential management skill that requires the leader to teach those under them, give constructive feedback, and motivate.

Practical ways to incorporate training in leadership

Encourage Them to Take on Responsibilities. One of the best ways to train someone in leadership skills is to encourage them to take on more responsibilities within the team. Give them small tasks or assignments at first and then gradually increase the scope and complexity of what they are responsible for. Handling more responsibility, they will naturally start to develop leadership qualities.

Provide Opportunities for Mentorship and Skill-Building. Another practical way to train someone for leadership is to provide opportunities. Offer challenges and contests.

4. Self-Awareness

One element of leadership excellence is having leaders who understand their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders need to know themselves before they can effectively lead others, so part of a core skill for executives should involve introspection and identifying areas where they need to improve.. 

Anthony Tjan sums self-awareness into three parts which everyone can borrow from-“know thyself, improve thyself and complement thyself.”

Practical Ways to Build Self-Awareness

  • Conduct an evaluation. While leaders carry out 360 performance evaluations on employees, the same can work wonders in helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take notes. Journaling is a loved practice among mindfulness groups, but it can also be an easy way to track your growth and increase self-awareness. The founder of WP Beginner, Balkhi, suggests using an app such as Roam Research to take notes.

5. Agility

In business, agility is incredibly beneficial because it allows organizations to adapt fast to changes in the market. For example, if a competitor introduces a new product, an agile organization will be able to quickly develop a similar product and release it to the market. 

The pandemic proved the necessity of agility as a skill. The modern business executive needs to be this sharp.

Practical Ways to Be Agile

  • Try Out Ideas. One way is to be open to change and experiment with new ideas. 
  • Be organized. Another way is to stay organized and efficient so that the leader can make changes quickly without causing disruptions. 
  • Anticipate. Lastly, be proactive and anticipate changes in the market to adjustments well before they are needed.

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6. Innovation

The need for creativity and innovation is increasing, meaning corporate leaders will have a greater responsibility in these areas. They must use their leadership skills to harness the power of innovation, or they will be left behind when other companies catch up with them.

Apple has been able to stay in business for a long time despite newer and cheaper gadget inventions because of innovation.

By making innovations to their products with users in mind, the company provides more user-friendly gadgets with functionality and security, features customers are willing to pay for despite the price. 

Practical Ways to Develop Creativity and Innovation Skills

  • Read widely. This is a no-brainer. Innovators are diligent researchers. Read leadership books to gather insights and thought processes of skilled leaders and innovators in the business world.
  • Create time to be alone with your thoughts. Innovators are also think tanks. Schedule time daily to reflect and organize your thoughts, ideas, and goals for projects.
  • Listen to your team. Creative ideas do not always come from leaders. Apart from getting feedback on your performance and improvement areas as a leader, employee feedback is a hub of innovative ideas.

Related: 7 Recommended Books on Entrepreneurship.

7. Adaptability

Adapting to new situations allows organizations to succeed in an ever-changing landscape.

Adaptability is the ability to change and adjust to new circumstances. But when it comes to leadership, it goes deeper than that. Adaptable leaders can change their behavior and approach, while inspiring and motivating others to do the same. They can see opportunities in change and are adept at driving organizational transformations.

Practical Ways to Be a Change Agent

  • Stay Up to Date With What is New. New tools and techniques are always coming out, but you cannot keep up if your skills do not evolve. Research anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsure of its impact on the company.

8. Diversity Management

The global economy is a considerable part of today’s business world, and as such, diversity management and cultural intelligence have become even more relevant to employers. 

Remote and hybrid work environments are now the norm leaders have to operate. With the constant need for collaboration with peers from all over the globe – this managerial skill will be crucial in helping business executives succeed at their job!

Practical Ways to Manage Diversity

  • Learn. Make a point to learn about other cultures represented on your team. Understand these cultures instead of making assumptions about what they are like based on your own experiences.
  • Be open-minded and respectful of different cultures. When interacting with people from other cultures, be respectful of their traditions and values, even if they differ from your own. 
  • Acknowledge personal cultural biases and assumptions.

9. Delegation

Efficient leaders know that delegation is an essential part of their job.

It does not mean offloading work so they can have less stress as a leader-it means building skills for those who might one day become future leaders in the company! It’s also assigning tasks to people who are best suited for them. That builds their skills and potential to become future leaders! 

Delegation is a core competency for leaders because it means distributing work to maximize efficiency while focusing on other pressing issues.

Practical Ways to Delegate Well

  • Ask for volunteers. From time to time, add tasks and have members pick what they want to work on- they are more likely to select according to their strengths.
  • Review. After completion, take time to review and give feedback.
  • Assign. Assign tasks based on skills and set concise instructions on requirements, KPIs, and deadlines.

10. Result-Driven

Top executive positions require leaders that can multitask and still produce results. With this in mind, the modern-day executive needs focus and prioritization to know the activities with the most impact on the organization to direct efforts on and make sure they are strategies that will lead towards success.

Practical Activities That Increase Output

  • Time management. Envision goals to prioritize the order of accomplishment.
  • Organization. Cut back on time and increase output with savvy organization skills. Use apps and software to automate most of the administrative tasks.

In Conclusion

The skills that made someone a great leader in the past may not be as relevant now.

To thrive in this new business landscape, executives need to assess their skills and adopt relevant ones to take their executive game up a notch.

Here are our favorite takeaways that you should note if you want to boost your career.

1) Continuous Learning – The modern business world is constantly changing for leaders to stay ahead of the curve by learning new things consistently. It could mean reading industry journals, taking online courses, or attending conferences.

2) Adaptability – As the saying goes, “the only constant is change.” Every business has to transform through innovative ideas. Being adaptable will be the most valuable skill to take the team and business to higher levels.

Are there any other skills or areas of leadership you find most challenging to master? Let us know in the comments below.

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Women in Leadership: Why the Business World Needs to Be Ready for More Women Leaders

Women in Leadership: Why the Business World Needs to Be Ready for More Women Leaders

Although women’s equal participation in leadership is a vital factor in accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals, data depicts that women remain underrepresented at all levels of decision-making globally. Nevertheless, the few female leaders in business and executive positions like Tonika Bruce have portrayed unique feminine traits such as multitasking, empathy, open communication, open-mindedness, and mindfulness that made them lead their teams successfully. 

Additionally, women leaders have introduced diverse perspectives and experiences resulting in enhanced innovation. 

Recently, topics about the number of women in leadership, equal pay in the workplace, and gender equality have been receiving increased attention. The discussion has forced business schools to create special tailor-made initiatives and programs for women. Among these initiatives, is enrolling women into MBA programs. An MBA can drastically influence women’s salary and position in their organization.

Are you an aspiring or new leader? Fast track your potential to lead with this short leadership training course: The Impactful Leader.

The Current Stats on Women Leaders

Gender equality and women serving in the highest executive positions such as heads of government or state are yet to be attained. Research by UN Women indicates that by September 2021, only twenty-six women were serving as heads of government or state. The study further shows a slow increment in the number of women serving as national parliamentarians. The number of women parliamentarians rose from 11% in 1995 to 22% in 2021. Nonetheless, women are determined, strong, and hardworking just like their male counterparts. Despite facts showing that Fortune 500 companies with a high female representation on their boards often outperform those with gender inequality, there are still few female leaders.

Current Stats on Women Leaders

Case studies by Robert Smith indicate that in 2020 only 33 women occupied the CEO positions in fortune 500 companies. In addition, the number of female CEOs is just 5.5% among three thousand of the biggest companies in the U.S. The statistics on women leaders may seem demoralizing but there have been remarkable improvements over time, especially with more women graduating from MBA programs. In 2020, the number of women CEOs rose by 2%, making the number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies to be at an all-time high. 

Statistically, women occupy about 29% of all senior management positions worldwide and 87% of international businesses have at least one female in a senior management role. 

Companies have realized that hiring women creates gender diversity, which can help organizations accomplish better financial outcomes. A more diverse workplace brings together different ideas, thus facilitating quick growth and sustainability.

How the MBA Is Paving Way for Women Leaders in Business

MBA Is Paving Way for Women Leaders in Business

Historically, men have always dominated MBA courses and for numerous reasons, women have avoided the business field. However, this is changing for the better with more females entering the business world and more business schools admitting more females for MBA programs.

Erika James, the newly appointed first ever black woman Dean in the 139 year-history of Wharton School just announced a 52% enrollment of women in the University’s new MBA class.

As a woman in leadership, Erika James is a champion, advocate and role model for women in leadership. Her passion is best reflected in the years of academic scholarship in business and female executives. Not to mention her MBA teaching tenure and speaking engagements at women leadership forums.

Forté Foundation also reported that the total number of women students enrolled in MBA programs drastically rose from 32% in 2011 to 39% in 2019. The fundamental reason for this increase is that MBA schools play an essential role in providing women with the necessary confidence, skills, and tools to prosper in business. MBA schools eliminate the self-doubt and gender prejudice that women have no place in the business world. Furthermore, Professor Dianne Bevelander of the Rotterdam School of management found out that MBAs give women the confidence and motivation to work their way up and become corporate leaders. MBAs pave the way for women’s talents to shine by empowering them to take risks, become innovative, and welcome leadership duties.

Things are improving for the women leaders and MBA graduates, as the corporate world is accepting more female leaders. Looking at remuneration statistics, acquiring an MBA diploma will generally lead to a substantial income increase for women. In addition to salary increments, MBA programs equip women with the essential knowledge, skills, know-how, and credibility to rise continuously up the corporate ladder. Keystone MBA studies further indicate that women leaders with MBA education can lead, easily accept risk, and are more innovative.

The Contributions of Women Leadership

It is about time the world acknowledges the contributions of women’s leadership and reserves more leadership positions for women. Women have proven to be powerful agents of change and their diverse perspectives have resulted in better decision-making strategies.

Women leaders with MBA diplomas have demonstrated to be good decision-makers who are advancing gender equality and thus enhancing social, economic, and political progress. Additionally, women leaders enhance teamwork. Women demonstrate more enthusiasm, passion, and take command of situations making teamwork feel more cooperative and less authoritative.

A meta-analysis comparison of male and female leaders by Natural HR acknowledged that women’s leadership was more transformational. Female leaders bring forward unique transformational concepts that lead to business prosperity. Moreover, women’s leadership has enhanced business-wide communication. Women are known to have unique skills such as strong communication skills, which they utilize to advance constructive conversations with clients, employees, and coworkers.

Gender diversity increases creativity, productivity, staff retention, and performance; consequently, 21% of women-led businesses experience above-average profitability. The value of workplace diversity and inclusion can not be overemphasized, and that is where the future of business is.

Conclusion

Advocating for gender equality in leadership and elevating women in decision-making ranks benefits businesses, politics, and communities. Therefore, governments and relevant stakeholders should ensure that women are getting the appropriate support such as enrollment in MBA programs that can propel them into leadership positions. 

Tonika Bruce offers business and leadership coaching for professionals seeking executive positions in organizations and new business owners. To get a 15-minute call consultation: Book a Call with Coach Bruce.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Leadership And Management Skills

7 Ways to Improve Your Leadership And Management Skills

 Improve Your Leadership  : If you want to advance in your career, leadership, and management skills are crucial. Key leadership and management skills are considered crucial, including developing critical thinking skills, taking initiatives, motivating your team members, etc.

It would help if you constantly challenged yourself to hone your leadership and management capabilities. You can fast-track your career if you show what it takes to be a successful leader. While there are a few born leaders, most of us have to develop, learn, hone and improve on being a success. Check out these seven ways you can improve your leadership and management skills.

Be a Critical Thinker

It would be best to be a critical thinker before considering any high-level job. One of the core skills you need to have to be an excellent leader is to foresee any potential issue before it happens. That way, you will prevent the problems or put strategic solutions in place if they occur. Another core skill is seeing potential opportunities that can benefit the company and taking advantage of them.

A good leader doesn’t wait for things to happen before finding solutions; you have to be proactive. You foresee the problems, anticipate them, and proffer solutions immediately they occur. And if any employee brings any issue, a good leader will help them find the source and put preventive measures in place so that it will not negatively affect your employees and the company.

Take Initiatives

Many companies will only give their leadership position and tasks to people that can adequately fill the role and perform excellently. That’s why you must volunteer to take on more roles and responsibilities. You have to learn areas and competencies outside your primary job description.

It would be best if you went above and beyond. You can’t afford to be lazy. Step out of your comfort and constantly improve yourself. The more roles and responsibilities you take, the more you learn and grow in those areas. This will also make it easy for your colleagues to accept you as a true leader because you have consistently established that you are capable of taking the initiative and getting things done.

Be Disciplined

In every field, discipline is necessary to execute and achieve goals. It does matter how good your vision or plan is; it is entirely useless without discipline. You need the discipline to execute your plans successfully.

For example, you and your team members want to create an excellent business plan to attract investors. And there were no plans to rehearse the business plan effectively.

When the time to present the proposal comes, you cannot adequately communicate your aims and objectives to the investors, they might decline your plan, and you will lose the project. If you want to be a successful leader, it is vital you are self-disciplined and also ensure your team members are disciplined too.

Team members can cultivate discipline through the following:

  • Understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • Have a clear plan
  • Learn to tolerate discomfort
  • Visualize the rewards
  • Learn and recover from mistakes
  • Have a resilience attitude to achieve the set goal

Motivate Your Team Members

A true leader must learn how to influence people under them positively. You must motivate and energize your coworkers and employees whenever they lose their passions and ambitions. To effectively do this, you need to know what they need and want to effectively do this.

Employees lose their motivation for various reasons, so you can’t use a cap fit all for all of them. For some, they feel their hard work is not being recognized. As a true leader, you must appreciate them by recognizing their hard work.

For others, they might be tired of repetitive tasks, facing difficulties in the place of work, disappointed they are not being involved, etc. You should know how to seek out your employees and coworkers, see how they are faring, listen attentively, and ultimately encourage and empower them to be part of the process.

You can also motivate your team members by creating a healthy working environment. You can do this by rewarding them with random lunches, awards when they hit benchmarks, etc.

Never Stop Learning

Leadership and constant learning are mutually beneficial. Examine other successful leaders. Try to replicate their results better. Also, read books by great authors. Finally, go for training, both online and physical. You can start by undergoing this free training by Tonika Bruce.

Be a Follower

As a leader, you must acknowledge the values of your employees, encourage others to learn from them, and, most importantly, you learn from them. If your employee has better knowledge in an area than you do, learn from them. Or they have a new idea that can benefit the company, encourage and work on it. You are instilling confidence in your employees.

Know-How to Handle Conflicts

Handling conflicts and difficult people is one of the core skills of a good leader. If an employee is not working the way they should or they bring a negative attitude to the workplace, a true leader knows how to handle the worker and talk to them in private. A leader has to be straightforward and brutally honest. It is not easy to query an employee or point out a problem. So you must always ensure that you listen to the team member’s side of the story before taking any action.

Below are a few pointers for conflict management in a team:

  • Create an enabling environment for workers healthy culture to thrive
  • Recognize the signs of conflict early
  • Promptly deal with conflict
  • Set rules for handling conflict
  • Deal with everyone equally, never take sides

Final Thoughts

Excellent leadership and management skills are crucial if you want to develop your career. And to successfully improve your leadership and management skills, you need to think about how to improve yourself and things you can do to become influential in your place of work.

You can start reading how to become a successful leader to get started. And Tonika Bruce, a seasoned author, has a wide range of leadership books you can pick from. Click here to get the courses now!

Infographic Points

5 Ways to Improve How You Lead Others

  • Motivate others: Find what makes each member tick
  • Think critically: Foresee opportunities and problems before they occur.
  • Challenge yourself: Constantly broaden your horizon
  • Never stop learning: The more you learn, the more you know.
  • Discipline yourself: Empower your thoughts.

Short Blurb

  • Do you want to enhance your team’s performance? Then, you should consider some essential leadership and management skills, including developing critical thinking skills, taking initiatives, motivating your team members, etc. Learn more about effective leadership and management skills to enhance team performance today.
  • It would help challenge yourself to become a better leader by exhibiting sound Improve Your Leadership and management skills. You can fast-track your career if you show what it takes to be a successful leader. Read more here as we have some tips for you.
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The Top 10 Leadership Strategies to Create Winning Teams

The Top 10 Leadership Strategies to Create Winning Teams

Leadership Strategies A winning team has a strong sense of teamwork. Building a winning team takes more than getting a group of people with the right mix of professional skills to work together. They must blend and move in harmony like a well-oiled machine. They are highly productive, communicate efficiently, collaborate, and innovate in an environment of mutual respect. A winning team always has clear goals, strong leadership, and diplomatic means of conflict resolution. As a leader, you know you have a winning team when everything is well organized and everybody knows their duty. But this is easier said than done.

What do leaders do to achieve this goal for the business?
Well, hiring great talent is good; delegating to allow autonomy is great for motivation. Nevertheless, what is better is being present as a harmonizing influence to ensure the group works well and focuses on the priorities. Gaining such levels of success takes excellent leadership skills and effort on the part of the leader. According to indeed.com, leaders of successful teams ensure that all members have fulfilled their assigned duties. Luckily, there are some strategies that help leaders to create a winning team. These are ten time-tested tips that can apply to building organizational teams with employees as few as five to as many as thousands.

1. Build on Strengths

One trait common among leaders with high-performing teams is that they consistently encourage members to use their strengths every day. They focus on building the talents of the people around them. Recent studies indicate that strength-based leadership boosts the performance and output of employees in workplaces. In addition, another research by Liquidplanner shows that building on the strengths of team members is more effective in elevating performance than trying to improve flaws. Carry an audit for your team and assign them accordingly.

2. Foster Psychological Safety

The number one struggle for employees in workplaces is the thought of underperforming, failure, and making mistakes. Psychological safety ensures that the team can work without worry and fear of the consequences of such incidences. As a leader, creating space for vulnerability helps with this. Leaders who practice vulnerable leadership build trust among members, thus, creating winning teams. For instance, leaders who use suggestion boxes or anonymous messaging applications, receive continuous streams of feedback and truly understand their team members. As a leader, you should seek feedback, listen, and show that failure sometimes happens. According to the advisory board, leaders build winning teams by motivating their members that a mistake is not a sign of defeat but a step towards growth.

3. Manage Conflict

Teams that perform do not necessarily run without friction. Disagreements are natural in-group settings. Depending on how you deal with them, they produce either positive or negative outcomes. When you deal with them openly and fast, they strengthen and bring the unit closer. Although avoiding conflict is the best, high-performing teams may engage in conflict that is productive and healthy. According to tools-here, leaders of winning teams solve conflict using various styles such as compromising, collaborating, and competing.

4. Build Relationships

Leaders of winning teams build professional capacity through good work relationships. At the heart of effective relations are trust, acceptance, and open communication. Tap into your emotional intelligence to improve your interactions with colleagues.

5. Encourage Team Communication

Teamwork is necessary to create a high-performing team. Typically, people grow closer through interaction. Therefore, encourage open and honest conversations where everyone can express their opinions without fear of reproach. Leaders who encourage effective communication among team members in the workplace often yield favorable outcomes such as greater agility, smoother team building, increased focus, diminished workload, and efficient performance. According to Forbes, leaders ought to improve the quality of communication in the workplace, to ensure that members have purposeful communication, which is key for creating a winning team.

6. Manage Time and Productivity

For teams to be successful, time management and productivity must be a priority. Juggling multiple tasks and working under pressure or remotely can often lead to stress and wasted time. However, there are ways to help streamline workflow and improve overall productivity. Watch the video to learn how:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxCQSNpCHpk[/embedyt]

By learning how to manage your time efficiently, you can help your team achieve its goals.

7. Establish Ground Rules

It is vital to lay down rules for operation even more, where you are dealing with a cross-cultural team. These include decision-making, reporting, communication, and frequency of meetings. The uniformity accorded by the guidelines will help reduce friction. A report by Harvard shows that leaders who set ground rules and consistently enforce them are likely to create winning teams because the rules can substantially improve how the team makes decisions and solves problems.

8. Manage Diversity

Leading a diverse group is inevitable. Differences play a significant role in breaking down team cohesion. If you are to build a solid team, prioritize managing the work culture to accommodate the diverse people on your team. According to PeopleScout, leaders who can successfully manage diversity in the workplace are likely to have a competitive advantage over others due to enhanced innovation, differentiation, and employer branding.

9. Be a Team Member

Do not forget to be present. Leading from the front is an excellent approach to leadership that allows the team leader to be a role model and maintain effective communication. When a team leader guides by behavior rather than words, the members are inspired and emulate their leader, thus creating a winning team.

10. Evaluate Progress

A leader is a facilitator. That means you periodically check to ensure everyone is still on track with his or her role and contribution to the goal. The evaluation keeps teams in line and guarantees results. A leader can use various tools to evaluate the performance of their employees to ensure that they become more successful and stay ahead of the competition. These evaluation tools include key performance indicators, performance appraisals, 360-degree feedback, personal development plans, and management by objective.

Conclusion

Even as you strive to build a winning team, remember that most go through the stages of development before they start to produce efficiently. The model by Bruce Tuckman presents these as forming, storming, norming, and then performing. In addition, for a leader to develop a winning team, they must be part of the team and guide by example.