Leadership is important to the organization’s success but leaders just can’t do it all. In order to execute a business strategy effectively, leaders have to put together a team that contains people who are able to work together toward the agreed upon goals. Southwest Airlines uses the motto that they hire for attitude and train for skills. That concept is growing in Personnel offices in companies around the world. Successful businesses are finding out that when recruiting potential employees, it is important to note their people skills.
We all know people who are great at their trade but just cannot get along with other people. We also all know those teachers who are very knowledgeable about their subject matter but just cannot seem to get the concept across to students. In today’s competitive environment, people skills are as important (or, in many cases, more important) than the technical skills of getting the job done.
When leaders are participating in the hiring process, there are a number of questions that can be asked during the interview that will shed some light on how well the candidate will fit in with the team. Questions such as, “What can you contribute to our organization?” and “Why should I hire you?” allow the interviewer a glimpse into what motivates the potential employee. In addition, questions such as “What are your long term plans?” and “What would your former boss say are your strengths and weaknesses?” allow the interviewer a perspective concerning the candidate’s foresight skill. People who have made mistakes and learned from them tend to have better developed skills in foresight.
It is critical that employees understand and buy in to the vision and mission of the company. When adding members to the team, it is important to make sure that they are a good fit with both the team and the vision/mission. Leaders are much more effective when they are able to motivate employees to meet goals and achieve success. Understanding what motivates employees is essential to the overall implementation of the strategy.
Leadership involves so many parts of the overall functioning of any organization or group. The process of becoming a great leader is never ending. From hiring to firing (and everything in between), leaders must display skills such as: Persuasion, Listening, Empathy, and Foresight. In order to improve your leadership skills, consider the tips that follow:
· Participate in leadership training
· Join online leadership groups
· Never stop learning
Baggerly-Hinojosa (2010). Are You a 10? USA: Lulu Publishers.