30 qualities of effective Business leaders in Nigeria
“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” or so the saying goes. Leadership in all the spheres of life is something that most people take for granted. Most people just expect someone to take the lead so that results will be achieved down the line. Leadership in today’s context goes beyond giving out instructions. It is about blazing the trail while at the same time being able to nurture those who shall be the next generation of leaders in the organization. Effective business leadership is something that every organization needs in order for it to successfully navigate the murky waters of the business environment.
There are leaders in every organization, be it public or private. The issue is the effectiveness of such leaders. If a leader is able to direct, control, manage and coerce people into doing whatever it is that the leader has espoused, then such a leader is said to be effective.
However, if everybody does as they please or see fit then the leader is said to be ineffective.
Effective leadership is about being able to achieve results with the team that you find yourself leading. When you find leaders who complain about the quality of his team members, you would realize that mostly it is about the leaders’ ego and not about the incompetence of the team members.
Effective leadership is about making sure that your team members are doing whatever it is that they are meant to do without your supervision. If people can work without you looking over your shoulders, then you are doing something right!
When it comes to business in Nigeria, nothing says it more than the ability of a leader to make sure that the targets set by management are achieved regardless of whatsoever problems that may arise along the way.
The following points depict the qualities of effective business leaders in Nigeria:
Honesty: What is referred to as honesty is not simply the telling of the truth always to others, but rather also to have a connection with people. That kind of honesty is hard to fake. You have to be able to connect with your people in a way that is authentic and genuine otherwise your people will look for that connection elsewhere and with others. This honesty also involves you being honest with yourself as well. You have to know when you’re not doing okay and when you need to step up and get things done without any pushing or prodding by others. Being an honest leader is also the trait that will stand out when the temptation to cut corners in order to be on the fast lane comes as it so often happens in business. It is that honesty that will keep you on the straight and narrow path to later success.
Self-Management: If you must master others, you must first master yourself. Self-mastery and management is the principal foundation of a leaders’ ability to take up the gauntlet and face the unknown. This is because we all have fears but it is how we manage these fears and inspire others to rise above theirs as well that separates us from the pack. Did the company just have a public relations nightmare? Is the company stock falling due to problems from within? Your ability to rise above whatsoever situations that may surround you and be able to do your thing and get others to do others as well is the kind of self-mastery that is second to none. Self-management also involves the ability to set goals and to achieve them as goal setting is one very key trait of leaders who are high flyers. Achievement of goals tells very strongly how leaders can also inspire others to do the same.
Think and act in the direction of the right strategy: Most people may not understand this but there exists the right and the wrong strategies for every organization and the moral question of a strategy being right or wrong is not usually cast in stone. It is rather about if a strategy is in line with the vision and values of that specific organization. Whenever such strategies are in line, then it would be okay to say that the strategy is right for the organization. However, if the strategies to be employed go against the core beliefs and values upon which an organization was founded then it would be right for anyone to say that such strategies are wrong for the organization. It is the leaders’ job therefore to determine accurately if any and every strategy currently being employed within the organization is in line with the organization’s values. The leader has to be able to see the effects of every major decision from a mile away. This can often happen when such a leader hires people who can tell him or her the truth without the fear of repercussions.
Maintain effective communication: This is one of the more outward traits of an effective business leader. The ability to communicate is one of the greatest skills that any leader should have. That unique quality of being able to pass across concepts, ideas, ideals and internal vision is the stuff of what great leaders are made of. The onus therefore is upon the leader to be able to pass across all the things that need to be passed across without acrimony of any sort. Effective communication also involves people being able to draw from your message and interpret your vision into actionable steps and directions on the ground without any input from you. People should be able to work as one unit; seeing themselves as part of something that is greater than themselves. This is when you would then know that you are being an effective communicator.
Accountability and responsibility: All effective leaders always make sure that they are ultimately responsible for the success and failures of their team. They also know that they are also accountable not only to their superiors, but also to their own team members as well. Trust in the twenty first century is a very sensitive and fragile thing and breach of trust of any sort is not taken kindly by those who have chosen to give their trust out. You must as a matter of principle, belief and practice know that even your mistakes must be borne by you. You must realize that being responsible and accountable is a minute by minute, day by day process and you must teach all the members of your team to do the same.
Learn quickly: The ability of a leader to learn quickly is that number one ability which would allow for the flexibility in problem solving which will make such a leader to stand out while others are still suffering the effects of quick and sudden change. Learning quickly is also one of the best tools that are used to counteract the effects of failure. Failure is a fact of life; however learning from failure and correcting the mistakes that led to the failure in the first place is what separates the winners from losers and the victors from the victims. This flexibility in learning is what makes a great leader to stand out from others.
Creative abilities: Again, effective leaders must appear to be magicians; always doing one thing creative or the other so as to ensure the progress of the organization. Creative abilities will be one of the traits that will serve the leader well especially when it comes to moments of crisis when there exist only split seconds when creative solutions are needed. This kind of ability to create solutions on the fly can only come when the leader is willing and able to think outside the box. This kind of leader will be bold and daring; willing to take on risks that others are averse to.
Team player and team builder: The true strength of a leader lies in his or her ability to carry others along. No man or woman is an island and this is reflected in how the leader is able to build trust and inspire his or her team members. Getting other people to work on the basis of collaboration is a strictly twenty first century feature of management but the best leaders are those who get their team members to collaborate with them on getting their goals achieved both individually and corporately speaking.
Managing complex situations: As difficult as it may sound, the ability of a leader to manage complex situations is something that requires the skill of a gifted problem solver who can multi-task without feeling the effects of getting stressed out. It is a fact that is often taking for granted that complexity is a normal fact of life but it is also true that those who are able to manage complexity properly are the ones who are usually able to lead others effectively. Solving everyone else’s’ problem without shouting about how painful the process is shows the marks of a great leader. That is the beginning of greatness by such a leader who has displayed such.
Be visionary: The ability of a leader to project the values, goals and targets of a company in a few simple sentences indicates how far the leader will go when it comes to achieving those in the future. What is more important is that such leaders must be enthusiastic about achieving these. That excitement of getting everyone into the right frame of mind is one of the traits of an exceptional leader. The future of every organization is dependent on how visionary the leader at the helm of affairs is and how such a leader uses such a visionary personality to be able to help people to find their path within the context of the organization as well.
Manage relationships: Effective business leaders are those who manage the relationships that they currently have while at the same time create space for new ones without abandoning in the older ones in any way. Companies are made up of people and as such relating with people in the course of the days’ activities is therefore compulsory. The ability of the business leader to be able to keep everyone together and relate with everyone is key towards the success of the organization as well as of the leader.
Being a leader is a wonderful thing. The question however is if you’re either being an effective leader or an ineffective one. Which one are you? Do you have more qualities of effective business leaders which you want to share? Do you want to talk more about leadership? Please feel free to do so in the comments box!