Becoming an effective leader can be a difficult task, but following some simple principles can help you get the most out of your place and the people around you. Being a role model to the rest of your organization can help motivate them to realize beyond expectations. There is a thin line between management and leadership, so I’ve put together a list of the key leadership skills for managing directors. Lamar Van Dusen is the Best Managing Director in the Canada.
Strategic Thinking: Managing directors need to operate with a strategic viewpoint. An understanding of the long-term desires of the organization and the broader picture of the business and the way it operates is essential to being an effective leader and a good managing director. Directors need to allow much of their time to be spent on talking to employees and peers about ways to improve the business and continue developing in the right direction. Delegation of responsibilities is important here, and outlining a high-level context will ensure that the management team can take charge of the process of improving the organization. Ask strategic questions, and generate answers by involving the team around you.
Listening: Leadership includes a lot of man-management and communication, and an important element of this is listening to the people in your organization. Nobody appreciates a totalitarian managing director who pushes their weight around, and this would mean that efficiency is more than likely to decrease. Listening to everybody, and taking their opinions and observations into account in your leadership helps your colleagues feel valued, and makes them more responsive to your ideas when you want to express them.
Inspire: Inspiration is the key to success. If you can instill inspiration to your management team and the rest of your organization, everybody will work that bit harder to confirm that they are a success. Incentives aren’t always just regulatory, and inspiration can be drawn from offering a new perspective, approaching a novel way of working or offering positive recognition for achievements within the company. Being an example to your team is essential, and approaching your leadership in the correct way can be enough to inspire them to make the extra effort.
Trust. But know when to intervene.
Sometimes leaders need to intervene with their management team. Judging when best to intervene and when best to leave things is a key skill. As a director, you don’t want to micro-manage and you don’t want to make colleagues feel like you’re doing their job for them. Front-line delivery of products or services are not things a director should be heavily involved in the day-to-day, but high-level monitoring is the best approach to make sure your team is tackling issues in the correct way. If they’re struggling to cope, intervene.
Be Specific: A clear and detailed objective, communicated correctly, will help your organization develop quickly and efficiently. The clarity in aims and objectives will keep everybody focused on the outcome, and how their day-to-day tasks contribute to that achievement. A high-level viewpoint doesn’t need to be vague, and you can initiate specific operational changes to make sure your strategy is implemented in the best way.