HR Today: Essential skills for business leaders

Modern trends in business present many new challenges for both employees and business leaders. In an interconnected, fast moving world, we need to be equipped for the stress related activities, tolerance needed and be able to be divergent in our thinking, especially when making business decisions.

With technological advancement, one should be more effective, efficient, proactive and create a long lasting relationships with both internal and external customers.

In a competitive world, we need leaders with fresh ideas, who are willing to take risks, inspire, motivate and build new strategic partnerships to address global challenges and also meet customer demands. The leader must adopt skills sets needed for such a task in enhancing his/her success in building a career in the world of business. Kindly see below very vital attributes required to be a great and influential leader;

Be Effective: According to Peter Drucker-“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” People keep themselves busy with the idea that they are effective and resourceful. Surprisingly, doing too many things at the same time doesn’t necessary make one effective. It again goes beyond finishing a task in a record time. We have to consider the quality of task undertaken and its effect on the business. It is therefore obligatory to formulate a clear vision, mission and set priorities as well as a definite objective and goal for your followers.

Always find a balance between doing the urgent and important things. Make sure you communicate these expectations to all target audience and ensure they have understood them. Let’s identify our short, medium and long term expectations and develop a plan to achieve same, we should be smart in forcasting potential challenges and adopt measures to curb them. A leader’s effectiveness should lead to a long term stability of the business; his/her act of effectiveness can build trust with customers both internal/external. It is an expectation of the leader to support his/her followers as well as customers on the use of the products and services been provided.

Unique Identity: Every leader is an embodiment to which followers take inspiration from; they serve as a status symbol for their employees. There are so many people out there saying exactly the same thing but to stand out, you have to be original. Being original involves taking time to really think far ahead of time, and this involves a lot of forcasting and projections. Your unique personality should be a form of communication with your staff; apply your knowledge in a unique way and have an inventive standpoint that enhances inspiration amongst employees. Allow your experiences and knowledge acquired to shape you into that unique personality that inspires leadership.

Communication: Communication is one of the most important means by which every leader can keep touch with his/her employees. There should be periodic communication with employees to either explain new trends and developments in the business circles or to keep hope alive and encourage employees when there are practical challenges. Keeping employees in the dark only deepens rumours and the spread of false information; it brings into doubt the credibility of the leader. Open door communication must be encouraged; if you don’t tell your employees the facts on the ground they will get it through others means. We should again not limit communication to face-to face meetings or the other traditional ways of interactive with people; technology has come to improve upon it, leaders must take advantage of it.

Be an Agent of Change: Things are really seeing a lot of changes in a very rapid manner; economy, business trends, customer expectations, technology etc. There are many change management modules coming up every day; it is all in the interest of enhancing work. Old ways of doing things might not be suitable to your business anymore, even though there could be very useful lessons drawn from past experiences. Technology has made the field of work quite easy to operate and has given a one stop center where knowledge can be acquired. It comes with its peculiar challenges but the benefits cannot be overlooked. With the advancement in technology, less physical effort and man hours in needed to execute a job. Every leader must therefore be abreast with modern technological trends as well as other new ways of doing things, but leaders must develop nice ways of implementing change since the inertia towards change can really affect the outcome of business decisions especially when the resistant force is hug and has influence. Also remember that quite apart from technology, developed systems and structures; leaders need human capital to operate and ensure change is successful.

Be Resilient: Difficult times will always come, it will present itself in a scary way. You might even consider giving up on your dreams but don’t; what doesn’t kill you only makes you strong. A leader must be able to jump over such circumstances; encourage your followers and rally them along those down times. People will genuinely fall off the track either out of ignorance or otherwise but the leader needs to be resilient at all times.

Innovation and encouraging people to try new things is always associated with risk but inspiring people then becomes a great attribute of the leader. A leader must not be too worried to change his/her strategies because little failures are temporal setbacks; you will always overcome them. Leadership should always have a strong believe in the vision, mission and values; useful lessons must rather be drawn from these setbacks to help assist with the reshaping of the dream, the people required to achieve the goals.

In furtherance to all these, leaders must keep their focus on the goal, try to be different in their dealings; being vigilant and staying relevant in the business then becomes a winning strategy. Using these strategies should help augment your personal strength and desire for your work. The world of business is gradually becoming too complicated to be effective alone and work in isolation; synergy therefore is the game changer. In our quest to succeed; we need to clearly establish significant and trusting relationships with other people with varied skills sets and knowledge from their various work experiences.

By Bright Okyere| Twitter: hrtodayghana35 Facebook: hrtoday ghana | Email: | Whatsapp: 0244204664


Do you have more to share about this story – photos or video etc – you can send them to: (

You might also like