Many organisations today are lamenting the dearth of "high potentials"; those future leaders who can lead them to success well into the 21st century.
Indeed, the demand for good future leaders seems to be swelling, as organisations ride the wave of increased growth, complexity and competitive pressure. It is increasingly becoming harder to secure your market position; even more so to generate growth.
So identifying, developing and retaining talent is a pivotal key to long term organisational success. So how do you do this?
Consistently, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), in essence social and people skills, has been shown to be significantly better at predicting career success than cognitive ability. The Linking Skills Profiles taps into this truism by assessing the task, people and leadership competency of an individual around 13 different skills. It is these skills that make the difference between a leader and a manager.
People Linking SkillsSix of the Linking Skills are associated with people skills. These are the skills that create an atmosphere of harmony and trust.
Communication covers the concept of Pacing, where leaders need to vary their communication style to match the preferences of the person they are talking to. This enhances rapport and leads to better outcomes.
Active Listening means 'listening' to others and showing them that you are interested in what they say by asking questions, building on what they say, and summarising what has been said.
Good Team Relationships are critical for sustained success.
Problem Solving & Counselling means that leaders will be available and responsive when team members have a problem.
Participative Decision Making requires leaders to involve others in decision-making on relevant issues, so that there is ownership of solutions and commitment to their implementation.
Interface Management is a term used to describe the process of managing the links between each individuals and teams.
Task Linking SkillsFive of the Linking Skills are related to team tasks, creating a solid team foundation, to promote confidence, consistency and stability.
Work Allocation means effectively assigning tasks to team members, according to their strengths.
It is also important to put effort into Team Development so that all critical Types of Work functions are performed well by the team.
Delegation is a process of training and coaching people so that they develop competence. Competence leads to confidence, which then leads to trust.
Objectives Setting is crucial. Research has shown that teams with clear achievable goals are more focused, motivated and productive than those that do not have a sense of purpose or direction.
Quality Standards Consistent quality is one of the keys to long term organizational success.
Leader Linking SkillsTwo additional Linking Skills are essential for leaders – Motivation and Strategy.
Effective leaders articulate a compelling vision of the team’s future. If people are to give of their best, they need to have a clear picture of what lies ahead. A leader who can focus unwaveringly on the team goals will inspire team members to give their best.
Survival also depends on an effective and fluid strategy. In such a complex world, it is important to differentiate between the ‘quick fix’ and the underlying root cause of any problem. A strategic thinker will spend time looking for the root cause, considering the interaction of all elements involved in any complex issue. A dream without action planning remains simply a dream.
Outstanding leaders are not reliant on technical competency, but those that can build teams, motivate others and inspire them to give their best, in a global marketplace. This requires excellent EQ or Linking Skills, which can be learnt and developed over time.
It is Linking Skills that distinguish a manager from a leader.