Why You Should Want to Become a Better Leader

Want to become a better leader? Wherever you live, there are most likely a handful of organizations that offer leadership development classes. It’s a trend that has become the norm as the modern workplace continues to change and companies try out different approaches to increase productivity, engage its employees, and plan strategically.

A recent McKinsey & Company study opens with a rather powerful statement – over 90 percent of CEOs have plans to increase investment in leadership development because they view it as the most important human-capital issue their organization faces.

Through research, McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that leads businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations and not-for profits, found that a small subset of leadership skills creates leadership success. This is especially true when your employee(s) with leadership potential want to become a better leader.become a better leader - word leadership with a dozen responsibilities listed

In their study, they used their experience and searched relevant academic materials to create a list of 20 leadership traits. Then, the firm surveyed 189,000 people in 81 diverse organizations globally to analyze how frequently distinct kinds of leadership behavior are applied within their organizations.

Finally, they divided the group into organizations that showed strong leadership performance and those that had weak leadership performance.

According to McKinsey & Company, “What we found was that leaders in organizations with high-quality leadership teams typically displayed 4 of the 20 possible types of behavior; these 4, indeed, explained 89 percent of the variance between strong and weak organizations in terms of leadership effectiveness.”

4 Leadership Traits You Need to Become a Better Leader

Here are the four top leadership behaviors identified by McKinsey & Company and why they are important to start implementing now to become a better leader:

  1. Solve problems effectively

Solving problems effectively allows you to make the best decisions you can for your business. Problem solving involves gathering necessary information, analyzing it, and considering it.

Solving problems effectively is the most important trait on this list because you don’t want to lead your team in the wrong direction. This skill will be used everyday whether you are resolving conflicts within the office or trying to find a solution for a strategic matter. Want to become a better leader? Become a problem solver.

  1. Be supportive

Leaders need emotional intelligence to be successful. Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor your own and other’s emotions. Supporting your employees builds trust and when your employees trust you, influencing or leading them is smooth sailing!

leadership - group of peopleLeadership is defined as the act of guiding or directing a group. You can guide a group whose feelings you are not in tune with. Be supportive. Don’t be afraid to step into a division’s group work and promote efficiency. Be the positive energy that promotes a healthy business culture, too. Want to become a better leader? Be supportive.

Learn more about the importance of having emotional intelligence in a recent blog post.

  1. Operate with a strong results-orientation

Leaders “do.” They are results-oriented and productive. To be the most productive you can be, it’s important to prioritize the highest-value work.

Developing and communicating a vision for your company leads you nowhere if you don’t follow through on the objectives outlined in your plan. Be the one that takes charge and creates success as seen by results. Want to become a better leader? Focus on results.

  1. Seek different perspectives

Making decisions based only on your perspective is a huge risk. You should surround yourself with people who have different perspectives. They will help you shed light on an issue that you may have not seen previously.

Also, leaders have mentors or coaches. They seek the advice of others, which helps them grow as a leader. Want to become a better leader? Keep an open mind.

Prioritizing these four leadership traits is the first step in investing in leadership development. And, while it’s been said that different leadership traits work better for different companies, these four behaviors cross over many industries in helping build strong, successful leaders.