New Leaders: Measuring Your Success On Immeasurable Qualities
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How Intangible Skills Can Lead To Tangible Success As A New Leader

Congrats! You’ve just been offered a job in leadership. You’ve got a bigger office… but you’ve also got bigger responsibilities. New leaders can often feel lost in the dark, unsure of which direction is the way toward successful leadership.

Part of this problem is that leaders are often judged by external sources based on data-driven, measurable results like revenue, retention rates, or balanced budgets. In contrast, employees often judge their leaders on immeasurable qualities like integrity, teamwork, creativity, or dependability.

While troubleshooting data-driven benchmarks can lead to tangible progress, it’s difficult to understand how to develop intangible, personality skills as a new leader. It’s why so many professionals are turning to eLearning vendors, like AllenComm, for corporate training on these very topics.

What Makes A Successful Leader?

The good news is that regardless of your experience level, your success isn’t dependent on natural talent; you can develop all the skills you need to become an effective leader. While some skills might come easier than others, chances are you already have a solid foundation to build on—that’s why you were offered your leadership role in the first place.

First, you need to identify what skills are indicative of a strong, new leader. These skills tend to be focused around a few broader areas.

  • Interpersonal skills
    Do you listen to others? Do you empathize with your employees on an individual level? Can you communicate clearly? Do you model ethical, honest behavior for your employees?
  • Flexibility skills
    Are you humble enough to recognize when good ideas come from others? Do you delegate responsibilities to employees? Can you adapt to employees’ personal styles or new advancements in your field?
  • Goal-oriented skills
    Do you understand the goals imposed from higher in your company? Can you articulate them to others with confidence? Do you have personal goals you want your team to achieve? Do you know the individual goals of the employees you manage? Do you take action to help your employees meet their goals? Is there accountability for results from you and your employees?

As you answered these questions for yourself, you probably recognized your strengths but also consider your weaknesses that are ripe for improvement.

How Does A New Leader Develop These Skills?

If you reworded that question to be about your employees (“How Does an Employee Develop These Skills?”), you’d probably have an answer pretty quick: train them better. But, how often do you think about your own training?

It’s easy to think that leaders in the workplace have it all figured out. That’s why they’re the leader, right? But, according to a recent Gallup study [1], it was found that managers were less clear about expectations and experienced more stress than the employees they managed.

But, because so many of these skills are personal, you need to take the initiative to increase personal training. The good news is there have never been more resources available to help. Using resources like books, podcasts, or webinars, you can improve your skillset on your commute to work or from the comfort of home. If there’s a facet of your business that you don’t understand, increase your knowledge. If there’s an employee you manage but haven’t connected with on the job, get to know them better.

Additionally, eLearning companies like AllenComm provide a valuable resource in engaging learners of any experience level in award-winning training. Leadership development has never been more obtainable.

For example, training soft skills like listening, resolving conflict, or empathy is a perfect fit for eLearning, because it can be practiced through interactive, gamified learning that gives participants an opportunity to fail in a safe environment instead of a high-stakes, real-world situation. If you’re limited by budget or scale, consider role-playing these situations in leadership trainings, so that your first time resolving conflict isn’t with two of your actual employees.

Your company already focuses on efforts to improve measurable performance, but often your personal development is ‘personal’ for a reason—it’s difficult to measure. The first person you’re responsible for leading is yourself, so recognize ways you can be a stronger leader and set goals to improve. As you do, consider how an eLearning vendor can make leadership training easier.

References:

[1] 10 Gallup Reports to Share With Your Leaders in 2019 (https://www.gallup.com/workplace/245786/gallup-reports-share-leaders-2019.aspx)

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