3 Leadership Skills Your Company Needs to Succeed

Leadership Skills

Staying competitive is a perpetual challenge, but it’s not always about discovering the latest gadget or developing state-of-the-art technology. Sometimes it’s simply about running your business better. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you’re working just to survive.

If you want your company to thrive, there are 3 key components you should not be without:

1. Trust

If you could only master one of the leadership skills, this would be it. Trust is the foundation of building an organization, navigating the business world, growth and achieving success.

A healthy company that is run by relationships of trust will always stand out above the rest. You will experience an environment of loyalty, understanding, genuine appreciation, laughter, teamwork, helpfulness and issues being addressed at the source. All of that positivity permeates your entire business for the good.

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Conducting business in a world characterized by virtual operations and independent processes with limitless boundaries requires the art of trust. Leaders who depended on power in a vertical function must now be good collaborators and operate from a transparent set of values and principles with inherent motivations.

Dr. Stephen R. Covey explains how trust is also essential for growth and success – “when trust goes up, speed will also go up and cost will go down,” and “when trust goes down, speed will go down and costs will go up.” How quickly your business grows and ultimately succeeds is entirely dependent upon the time you invest in cultivating trust.

2. Accountability

As leaders, you know that good things happen when people practice accountability. Employees are more confident and engaged, productivity and innovation increase, there is greater loyalty and overall work satisfaction goes up. And of course, all of this produces numerous benefits for your business.

However, you also know that not everyone exhibits this behavior as readily as the next. Since it cannot be forced, the best way to encourage the others is to create an environment for it to grow:

  • Communicate Expectations – Meet regularly; clearly identify roles, responsibilities and what you expect; conduct evaluations and offer praise, rewards and promotions.
  • Be on Standby – Allow mistakes to be made and the opportunity to learn problem solving.
  • Practice what You Preach – Accept responsibility and address mistakes in the way you expect employees to be accountable for theirs. Leading by example speaks louder than words.
  • Be Tactful – Making mistakes and poor judgment are inevitable. Discuss ways to learn from what went wrong instead of blaming. Praise openly and reprimand gently with discretion.

Building a workplace of accountability takes time and patience, but it’s well worth the effort. A Gallop poll estimates that lack of this mindset costs American companies $287 to $370 billion annually in addition to other negative impacts.

3. Culture

The framework within which you operate your business and interact with your employees can be as rudimentary or as intricate as you wish. Whether you’re updating or overhauling, here are some elements to consider in the development of your corporate culture:

  • Strategize with talent – A sense of purpose, opportunities for growth, and social responsibility can attract top talent and help cultivate a high-performance culture.
  • Reflect broader culture – Previewing other models for ideas and incorporating global values such as transparency and equality will have greater success than ones that conflict.
  • Demonstrate conviction – Everything filters from the top down and living what you are trying to create will be one of your strongest attributes.
  • Be prepared to evolve – Expanding globalization, developing technology and new generations are not slowing down the pace of change in how business is done.

Engaging your employees to contribute and keeping the lines of communication flowing are also essential to building a robust culture. At the end of the day, you’ll know if you’ve got one that works. In 2013 alone, Netflix membership expanded to 29 million, its stock tripled and it took home three Emmy awards – and they say it’s just common sense.

But those who know will say it’s trust, accountability and culture.