Leadership skills are critical to success. Unfortunately, however, it is easy for a leader to lose focus and end up struggling. There are many derailments that can lead a manager astray. The key is identifying the potential outcomes of complex situations and overcoming them effectively. Preventing being derailed is ensuring leadership success.
There are a few important areas that leaders need to work on when they are focusing on building their leadership skills. These include:
- Organizing (Giving attention, focus and performing problem-solving)
- Relationships (Information sharing, working with others, working as a team, being supportive, and coaching)
- Learning initiatives (Competency development and enabling the learning application)
- Emotional management (Perceiving emotional climate and the response to the emotional climate)
- Career management (Making ethical choices and performing career anchoring)
Specific Traits and Skills Needed
The line between a successful leader and a derailed leader can sometimes be very thin. Common work situations can cause a good leader to get off track. But leadership failure can fortunately be predicted and be prevented. There are a certain behaviors that can derail any leader’s career, but knowing what they are can help. There are certain traits that show the difference between a good leader and one that is derailed.
Researchers have identified the below personal traits and skills that differentiate between successful leaders and derailed leaders:
- Diversity of Experience. Having a limited range of experiences derails leaders and can create behavior challenges. A lack of experience creates issues with problem solving, working with others, learning effectively, and addressing the emotional climate of different groups. Having a diverse leadership experience brings success.
- Emotional Stability and Composure. Being emotionally volatile can derail leaders and can lead to challenges with working with others, teaming up, and having supportive coaching behaviors. Leaders need to have awareness and effective management of the emotional climate. They must be stable and calm in order to lead their team.
- Handling mistakes. Mistakes can happen, and successful leaders need to handle them with the right skills. They should not manage mistakes by blaming others, demonstrating defensiveness, and refusing to move beyond failure. Poor mistake management creates problems with working with others, learning applications, awareness of emotional issues with the team, attending to ethical challenges, and problem-solving.
- Interpersonal skills. Being insensitive to others is a large source of derailment. Manipulative and insensitive behaviors interfere with building networks, fostering cooperation, and getting the most from team members. When communicating in ways that others experience as abrasive and intimidating, the leader is unable to develop them. These behaviors affect information sharing, working relationships, coaching opportunities, feelings awareness, and emotional climate reading. Leaders must be able to have good interpersonal skills in order to ensure the team is operating effectively.
- Integrity breaches. Breaches like betraying trust, promise breaking, and being duplicitous result in behavior challenges in the ability to build and mend relationships, the ability to understand the emotional needs of others, and the ability to make choices that foster commitment from others to achieve goals. Leaders must be honest, transparent, and honorable to succeed.
- Technical and cognitive skills. While leaders often have excellent technical and intellectual abilities, if overused, these behaviors may come across as overconfident and arrogant. Overplaying behaviors can generate difficulties with problem solving, relationships, learning new skills, and career opportunities.
Watch HRDQ’s webinar “Leadership Skills That Are Critical to Success”. You will learn the five key behaviors that can severely limit effectiveness, what leadership skills are critical to maintain and ensure success, ways to predict and pinpoint problems that can cause career derailment, how to develop and align critical competencies, and how to create an individual personal development plan.
For more information on how to prevent leadership derailment, check out “Leadership Unlimited Profile” by HRDQ. It serves as an “early warning” leadership development tool by quickly identifying trouble spots and building the skill sets leaders and managers need to stay on track and take charge of their careers. Participants will learn how to measure key career behaviors, understand the management skills needed to maintain and ensure success, learn how to predict problems and avoid career derailment, develop and align critical competencies, and create an individual personal development plan. Click here to learn more: Leadership Unlimited Profile.