Management is doing things right; Leadership is doing the right things. -Peter F. Drucker
The combination of effective management skills and soft leadership qualities is what really sets apart a great leader from a good manager. And when it comes to those in the pursuit of leadership success, there are two types of people in the world. On the one hand, some people are just born to be leaders, with a set of distinctive characteristics encoded right into their personality. On the other hand, there are people who may not have such strong, inherent traits, but compensate with the grit and determination to succeed. Whichever category you fall into, a good management degree can go a long way in enhancing and nurturing your career.
With a management degree under your belt, not only you can acquire the theoretical and technical understanding required to become a successful manager, but you can also gain fundamental guidance and insights into the making of a leader. At IILM Developing leaders quality is core to the pedagogic approach, geared towards making you more than just a manager, close to a true leader. But what are these desirable leadership qualities you should strive for, and how can a management degree help? Let’s have a look at a few skills:
A leadership position does not come without challenges. When faced with obstacles, backup your hard work with the face of confidence, and you will find your confidence becoming contagious. But don’t just save it for times of trouble. Maintaining a cool sense of calm and confidence at all times gives a boost to morale and productivity within your team.
At management schools, you will be provided with platforms to present your thoughts and ideas, through interactive projects. Standing up in front of a roomful of peers and professors scrutinising your every word and action can be a daunting scenario, but the results are exceptional. You will gain confidence, not only in your abilities, but in your very persona- an essential and recognisable trait of a successful leader.
2. Focus, organisation and analytical thinking
Unwavering focus is at the heart of leadership. Good leaders are those who are able to keep their eyes on the goal, plan ahead by employing effective organisational strategies, and exhibit analytical thinking to arrive at decisions, solutions and strategies. Analysing case-studies, engaging in creative problem-solving activities, taking part in internship opportunities and strong mentorship programmes offered by IILM can help you in developing leaders’ quality.
You may be crystal clear about your thoughts and ideas, but much can be lost in translation if you cannot communicate them well. As they say, communication is key! You need to hone inter and intra-personal abilities to equip you to vocalize your thoughts, directions, and inspire a healthy and open line of communication among your team. For a good leader, good communication is in everything- from a speech, a simple instruction, team meetings, casual conversations with your staff, to open door policies, e-mails and even text messages. Use your words carefully and deliberately, and you’ll notice the power of communication when you take up a leadership role.
If you find yourself lacking in communication skills, don’t worry, it’s a skill that can be learnt, given the right direction and support. Taking up a course at reputed management institutions like IILM can provide you with ample opportunities to hone your communication skills. Group discussions, debates, presentations, mock-interviews, and more interactive spoken and written activities can give you the tools you need to learn in the best way possible
4. Integrity, honesty and positivity
Truthfulness, trust and a positive attitude are values integral to the making of a good leader. Fostering an open and trusting relationship with your team can lead to greater levels of productivity, teamwork and positivity. As a leader, it will be important for you to imbibe and depict not only the values and beliefs your business or brand represents, but be honest and ethical in your dealings with your team. Set the right example, and they will follow suit. Management schools can teach you soft skills in how to encourage honesty, and work out strategies towards creating a healthy and positive work environment.
Beyond these, qualities like responsiveness, creativity, commitment, motivation, compassion, empathy, accountability, and intuition are the key to developing a rich palate of leadership traits. You must focus on these aspects in order to succeed in this field.