What turns a boss or an employer into an inspirational leader?
Let’s face it, successful companies in the manufacturing sector need more than a great selling point and a robust process to get ahead of their competition. The best organisations thrive because they have a leader capable of driving employees towards their real potential.
Unfortunately, just because you’re at the head of a specific group or team doesn’t automatically mean you’re a great leader. If you want to encourage and motivate the professionals in your midst, then you need to cultivate and maintain the right skills.
So, which talents should be at the top of your list?
1. Excellent Communication
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to get everyone on the same page. You need to be able to explain your ideas clearly and outline requirements for your employees so that they can see a clear path towards their goals.
Communication is an essential skill in any industry, and it’s crucial in the manufacturing sector, where a single misunderstanding can be both dangerous and costly. With that in mind, you’ll need to focus on building your communication skills, both in-person and through mediums like phone calls, social media and email.
Remember, listening is a significant part of communication. Always be open to suggestions or feedback, and make sure that you have a strategy in place to allow for open conversations throughout the company.
2. The Ability to Inspire and Motivate
For a leader to be incredible, he or she needs to know how to rally the troops. In other words, you need to inspire your team to stand behind you and follow you on the path to success. The more motivational you can be, the more devoted your employees will become.
Ideally, you’ll use your interview process to find candidates whose aspirations already align with your business ambitions and company culture. However, it’s important to make sure that you know how to get your hires engaged with your brand mission too.
Regular feedback and recognition can be useful here – as we all like to know we’re doing our jobs well. A little bit of praise can be very stimulating.
3. Honesty and Integrity
It doesn’t matter how professional your employees might be – it’s tough to support an employer that you can’t trust fully. All of the best leaders are transparent, honest, and brimming with integrity. In simple terms – they do what they say they’re going to do.
If you want to lead your manufacturing organisation into success, then you need to convince your people that they can rely on you. Let them know that you’re happy to stand by your word and fight for your cause if necessary.
For example, if you say that the next person to come up with an idea is going to get a reward, then give that prize – regardless of whether the concept is “good” or not.
4. Problem Solving Know-How and Flexibility
Incredible leaders succeed because they know how to respond to challenging situations. It’s tempting just to give up when something doesn’t go according to plan in any industry. However, issues are common in the manufacturing sector, and it’s up to you to do whatever you can to respond to them as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Being able to solve problems and respond to issues quickly often means being open to suggestions and feedback from your team. After all, two heads are better than one. You’ll also need to hone your analytical abilities so that you’re ready to evaluate the circumstances from a strategic perspective.
Remember, no matter how terrible things get, great leaders have perseverance and drive that can set them apart from the crowd.
5. Responsibility and Commitment
Being a leader is hard work. You’re responsible for the successes that happen because of your creativity and intuition – but you’re also responsible for the failures too. If you pawn problems off and blame them on your employees, then you’ll lose their respect and allegiance. In fact, you might even have to start recruitment all over again.
Don’t let your team see you pointing fingers and making excuses. Accept your mistakes, and come up with a plan that helps you to avoid similar failures in the future.
At the same time, commit to your decisions and ideas. Don’t backtrack after something goes wrong and attempt to convince your staff that you didn’t think the idea was right in the first place. Your followers in the workplace can learn the value of sticking to their gut by watching your behaviour.
6. Clever Delegation
Just because you need to take responsibility for your actions as a leader, doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. While it’s important to put the work in and lead by example, it’s also crucial to remember that your recruits are there for a reason.
There isn’t a single company in the manufacturing world that’s achieved amazing things without an organised team. Leaders who attempt to take on too many tasks alone struggle to get things done. On the other hand, if you know how to assign the right jobs to the right people, then you can make your entire operation more efficient.
Take the time to identify the skills of each employee you hire and learn how to assign duties based on those unique talents. The more strategically you can delegate, the more projects you’ll complete quickly, and accurately.