It is not uncommon in the modern work environment to come across cases of employees who quit their jobs because of their bosses’ unbecoming characters and behaviors. Moreover, it is common for employees to receive promotions to managerial roles based solely on their tenure to the company even though they lack the appropriate people skills needed to be good leaders. When such people are put at the helm of any workplace to lead their subordinates, they may push away good employees with much-needed talent and expertise. To be a good leader, one does not require only one attribute, but a blend of various traits working in tandem. According to Zeng and Xu (2020), leadership skills refer to distinct competencies that leaders can practically apply to influence others. Therefore, organizations should identify individuals with good leadership skills before promoting them to supervisory and management positions. In this regard, good leaders should possess these three characteristics: open-mindedness, the ability to delegate, and ethical behavior.
Effective leaders are open-minded and can deal with the unexpected with poise and professionalism. According to Tiffan (2010), a good leader must accept ambivalence and use their ability to make decisions without being irrational. This process involves having the required awareness and insight of how people work, what is important to them, or how they may react to change (Tiffan, 2010). Therefore, leaders can anticipate extreme reactions from their subordinates and deal with them professionally because they understand the organization’s specific goals, needs, and demands. The willingness to acknowledge and develop employees to be better workers and individuals is also key to successful leadership (Tiffan, 2014). By helping others succeed in the workplace, managers will be successful too because success is always reflected upwards. Therefore, a good leader will ensure they devise and provide frameworks that establish a constructive climate where everyone’s input is valued.
Good managers delegate tasks to appropriate personnel in the workplace based on their competencies. Leaders use delegation to achieve various organizational objectives, including initiatives such as planning, organizing, and coordinating. Delegation means that tasks can be divided into smaller parts, which can be shared among employees according to individual competencies (Tiffan, 2010). Delegation skills can also prove helpful whenever leaders are required to allocate resources, such as funds and equipment. According to Tiffan (2010), the delegation process requires leader to engage their subordinates, meaning that they communicate effectively to ensure their employees understand the company’s mission. Moreover, when leaders engage their employees, they connect with their subordinates and encourage positive relationships and teamwork in the workplace.
Most employees will agree that it is vital for their manager to display ethical behavior. Zeng and Xu (2020) studied how ethical behavior in leadership affects the employees’ view of the company. The scholars found that successful managers are morally upright, disciplined, and consistent in their practice. When leaders demonstrate ethical behavior, it indicates that they have achieved an appropriate balance between their values and the organization’s objectives and that both are fully exploited in the business model (Zeng & Xu, 2020). In such workplace settings, employees will readily voice their thoughts and suggestions when they are confident that the social response from management is of an equal level of respect.
To become a good leader, one must behave ethically, learn the value of delegation, and keep an open mind. Whether leading a project or in management positions, these leadership skills enable leaders to organize and motivate employees to complete various tasks and attain shared goals, thus ensuring organizational success. Accepting a managerial title is easy but being a good leader requires essential skills necessary for success. Unlike other innate traits and abilities, leadership skills can be learned and used by anyone. Conversely, poor leadership can gravely affect the work environment and cause employee dissatisfaction, profit loss, and high turnover rates. Therefore, a commitment to ethics, delegation, and keeping an open mind are vital skills that will result in successful leadership.
Fasano, A., & Kirschenman, M. D. (2012). Behind Every Successful Leader Lies a Great Delegator. Leadership & Management in Engineering, 12(4), 341–343.
Tiffan, B. (2010). The Value of an Open Mind. Physician Executive, 36(4), 56–58.
Zeng, J., & Xu, G. (2020). Linking ethical leadership to employee voice: The role of trust. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 48(8), 1-12.