Leading any business has always been a challenge, but now managers and C-level executives need to be more diligent and resilient than they were in the past.
After all, competition for new jobs has doubled over recent months, thanks in part to the Coronavirus pandemic. While this study shows that many roles across the corporate world are in demand right now, for business leaders, competition is even tougher than ever before.
As business owners and financiers seek even greater innovation and less waste in their organizations to make up for the issues that the corporate market faces, leaders cannot afford to make any mistakes.
That means improving on your core skills and ensuring that you are ready for whatever the business world has to throw at you over the coming months and years. While not every mistake can be prevented, any issues that are caused by your incompetence or lack of skills will be scrutinized more during these times of crisis.
So, whether you are a business owner, a CEO, a supervisor, or even just someone who is interested in leading one day, you need to brush up on your core leadership skills. If you are eager to know what skills you need to lead any organization in 2021, then this article is for you.
Carry on reading, and we’ll share eight of the main skills that every business leader must master if they want to be successful and grow their organization despite these challenging times.
The clue is in the name: business leaders need to be able to lead their teams, so leadership is a key skill. Leadership contains many different facets, so you need to understand and embody all of them.
It is no longer enough to be rich and confident. In today’s corporate market, you also need to be able to motivate your staff and stay up to date with the latest business leadership techniques and tactics.
Being a leader also requires additional skills, which we’ve listed in this article.
The ability to communicate with a wide range of clients, staff, and other business stakeholders is essential for any leader that wants to drive their organization forward towards success.
Communication comes in many different forms; whether it is written formal letters or verbal discussions or a short-form message, you need to master it to lead your company.
By learning how to communicate in a variety of different ways, you can improve your organization’s internal culture and ensure that you make the right impression on everyone that you collaborate with during your time as a leader.
As remote working is the new normal and many individuals can’t travel because of restrictions, it is now more important than ever that business leaders master a variety of different communication types.
3. Basic SEO
In this digital corporate market, business leaders can’t afford to be complacent, and that means that you need to learn at least the basics of SEO.
You don’t need to become a digital marketing and website design expert; you just need to know the basics to have an insight into this sector, which is vital to any successful modern business. Read articles like this one on search engine optimisation to find out more about the process of boosting your site’s search engine rankings, so that you can make informed decisions that benefit your company and help it to reach its target customers.
4. Entry-Level Accounting
As well as SEO, you also need to understand the basics of accounting, so that you can accurately understand how every decision that you make affects your company’s finances.
As with the above point, you don’t need to become a fully-qualified accountant; you just need to get a basic overview of how business finances work. If you are not good with numbers, then work hard to improve.
Most mobile phones now have a calculator on them, so as long as you have an overview of the sums that you need, most of the hard work can be done for you by your device.
5. Knowledge Of The Software Tools Your Business Uses
Whenever your business starts using a new piece of software, it is vital that you learn the basics of how to use it and what role it plays in your organization.
If you don’t know what your software does, then you might find that your company is paying for solutions that it doesn’t need, or that aren’t scalable and won’t meet your future requirements.
Also, if someone else in your organization requires assistance using your software solutions, then you might be their first port of call. If you have at least a basic knowledge of the tool, then you can fix small issues, and understand larger ones, and where to go to get additional help.
Being persuasive is a tool that is essential for sales, but it is also a key requirement in leadership.
Think about it: most of what you are doing is selling people on your ideas. Whether it is persuading your stakeholders that your idea is best for pitching a new product or service, almost every aspect of your role as a leader involves being persuasive.
If you are not persuasive without being too pushy, then you might struggle to lead your team and drive innovation and creativity in your organization.
It can be tough to learn persuasiveness, but it is possible. It would help if you tried practicing new techniques on your friends and family, and if you still struggle, then consider working with an executive coach to boost your persuasiveness.
7. Time Management
Learning how to manage your time is a crucial skill for any worker, but it is particularly important for business leaders. That’s because your time is highly valuable, and many individuals will be vying for some of it.
If you can’t manage your time effectively, then you might find that you can’t complete all of your tasks correctly and you might find that your team loses respect for you, as they can see that you can’t manage the simple task of managing your time and workload.
8. How To Balance Between Hands-On Leadership And Deligation
A continuation of the above point, this one refers to your ability to combine hands-on experience in your organization with delegation.
You are not able to do everything, but at the same time, you should try to learn as many skills as possible, in order to be the best possible leader for your team. Learning to delegate effectively can help you to be more productive as a leader, and to ensure that every task gets completed to the right standard.
By combining this skill with hands-on experience, you’ll be able to understand your organization completely but won’t overwork yourself and experience a burn-out.
In Summary: The Main Skills You Need To Succeed
Overall, business leaders need a lot of skills to thrive in their organization. Each company, and sector, is unique, so this list of skills for leaders isn’t definitive.
They might vary depending on the niche your company is in, and the team that you have in your business.
Hopefully, this list of skills that business leaders need to master will give you something to aspire to if you are aiming for a leadership role, and help you to improve if you are already there.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.