Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Leadership skills

According to a scholar, Hornby, he defined skill as the ability to do something expertly and well. The scholar went further and said: skill is dependent on training and experience. In the others, any person who did not
pass through training and gaining of experience from that training is likely to acquire no skill in his life. Narrowing his opinion down to the topic under discussion, any leader who did not train his or herself and gained experience from the training possesses ‘zero’ skill as a leader. Every leader need skill.

Skills are needed for effective leadership in any organization or community. No matter the size of the community, skills are needed. During my secondary school days, some Senior Prefects in my school as of then perform wonderfully well more than others. At times, I began to ask myself saying: why is it that senior prefects Stanley and Vincent performed better than Richard and Christian? The simple answer depends on leadership skills. They first two performed better than the other because they already acquired certain leader skills before they were called for the function.

There are many challenges and difficulties that some organizations and countries are facing in different parts of this universe. Do you know why these things are occurring in such places? They answer is still dependent on the ‘hot potato’ (current topic under discussion). Yes! It all centres on lack of leadership skills. Many leaders, which may include countries presidents, governors, local government chairmen, Counsellors, Senators, members of House of Representative, Vice Chancellors, managers of many organizations and others are messing up in those positions they are occupying because they lack basic skills needed in any good leader. How can someone that calls himself a leader perform great when he does not know his right from the left? Some of these leaders are the key causes of folding of the organizations they manage.

The Basic Leadership Skills
Truly, no potential man can do without skill. You are able to ‘enjoy’ this topic because the writer trained himself on writing skills. In the same way, no citizen will ‘enjoy’ the leadership of his national president if the president did not acquire any leadership skill. The basic leadership skills are ‘packaged’ in technical, Motivational, Conceptual and human skills. The word ‘packaged’ is used because there are many things housed in the four divisions mentioned. 

Technical Skill: This is defined as a person’s knowledge and ability in any type of process or technique. This kind of skill is needed in operating level of every organization. This skill is required from employees or junior workers in every environment so that they can be able to handle top positions whenever they are called for that. Example of this skill is found in artists, engineers, technicians, website designers, accountants, card designers and so on.

As a leader, it is important to acquire technical skill. In metal production company for instance, it is necessary that any leader or manager of that company should acquire metal production skill before attaining the position of a leader of that company. This skill will help him to know when things are going wrong in the company. When he comes into the company for inspection and sees an engineer that is doing what is not in accordance with the basic metal production process, he can easily correct the fellow because he had been in the ‘business’ and learnt all the essential skill on how to produce metals. What do you think will be the case when the head of the company lacks good skills on the good method to make such products? The truth is that if the head is to be someone that lacks production skill, some of the products will be of low quality.

There are some countries where those that handle production companies like that mention above have no technical skill in the field they lead or govern. One may ask why it is so. There are some reasons that may result to such occasion. Some owners of certain companies prefer choosing the managers of their companies or organizations. They may be doing this because the person they want to occupy the position is related to them or their loved ones. These owners of certain companies appoint those they prefer without knowing that what matters most is the skill the chosen ones possess. When the chosen manager manages the office, with time the company begins to depreciate. It is very important to have people that have technical skill to handle companies that involve technical functions. When this is done, the company stands firm and lasts for a long time.    

Leaders need skills in account so that they can effectively keep good account of what happens in where they lead, and to be able to interpret any data passed to them by those they oversee. How do you think it will be when the president of a country could not interpret the information given to him by the financial department of the country? Even if he is note a ‘top professional’ in accountancy, he should be able to know the basics about account. When the president is good in account, he will be able to know when fund is managed in his country and this will make those that work under financial institution of the country to be careful with the records they put down it their books. In fact, financial skill is needed in any person that occupies leadership position.

Human skill: This kind of skill is needed in every management. It is a skill like others but this is to be acquired by every leader. Taking technical skill for instance, it is dependent on the field of specialization but human skill is about person-to-person interaction. This is why human skill is a general skill that every leader must have. This kind of skill builds strong relationship between leaders and the people they lead. It involves the ability of leaders to work effectively and harmoniously with the followers to form unbreakable team work.

Any leader that takes a decision without seeking the opinion of the co-workers is poor in human skill. An example is when the president of any country takes decision on his own without contacting the members of the Senate and House of Representative. If any leader takes such action, there is a possibility that problems will arise as the president is not the one that owns the country, rather it belongs to every citizen of the country. When leaders listen to the opinion of the people he leads, it is a clear indication that the leader believe and strongly practice democracy. This will make those that he works with to assist and find solutions to the president’s problem whenever he is facing difficulties in decision making or in any other area. Listening to the opinion of the masses prevents leaders from making any silly mistakes in their leadership.

Motivational Skill
To be a good leader, you should possess certain motivational skill. This skill is what will grow the company that is being handed into your hand. Any leader that has motivational skill rarely losses the workers he works with. It is essential in many organizations. A leader without motivational skill is like a mother that does not encourage her children to do what is right or encourage them on steps to take in other to succeed in life. 

What are the examples of motivational skill that leaders should acquire? Examples of motivational skills needed from leaders are promotions and incentives. Good leaders should promote their exceptional workers or followers. When this is done, more efficiency will be generated by the organization. It is good for leaders to promote their workers so that the organization will make more profit. Incentives are like energizers to workers who work in many organizations. When incentives are given to employees by the leader, the workers work more and promote the company.    

Conceptual skill: The word ‘conceptual’ has to do with mental reasoning, and skill is the ability to do something well. Without thinking too much, conceptual skill relates with the ability of any leader to reason well and positively. This is one place where many leaders of today fail. Many leaders do not think deep to differentiate between the right things they are to do and the wrong to jettison.

Leaders should reason properly before taking any action in employing people or doing any kind of business with others. There are some principles which some leaders adopt in their leadership which is not supposed. Some managers for example do not employ those that do not practice the same religion with him. If he is a Christian and a Muslim comes for employment in his office, he tells the ‘poor man’ to go that there is no vacancy for now. What happens when his fellow Christian comes to seek the same position that the Muslim came for. The position will be assigned to the later because he is a real Christian. This practice by leaders should be stopped, and it happens because the leaders are unable to think very well. He forgot that everybody has freedom of worship.

Leaders should think well to find the solution to the problems of the people they lead. When a case is presented to leaders, they should be able to think and pass right judgement to get the problem resolved. Leaders should have right mentality and positive mindset so that things will be organize in the places they govern.   

Skill is needed in the life of everybody be you a leader or follower. This write-up is on the basic leadership skills which are expected that every leader should possess in life. When these skills are possessed, they will find it easy in piloting their leadership functions. The leadership skills as discussed in this piece are technical, conceptual, motivational, and human skills.

Principles and Practice of Management by Vincent O

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