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Leading an organization is the ultimate test of a manager’s business skills. Many educators and consultants focus solely on leadership skills when talking about organizational leadership. However, this discipline goes much deeper. While leading people is part of leading an organization, it is only the beginning.

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There are many different skills that go into leading an organization. There is a traditional figure of speech, “jack of all trades but master of none,” which refers to the notion that when people focus on learning too many skills, they never become an expert in any of them. However, effective organizational leaders are the exception to this rule. There are many different skills that go into leading an organization. Effective leaders are truly jacks of all trades. But unlike the popular saying, they are also masters of them all .

1. Corporate Image

Effective leaders must be able to create a positive public image. In an era of special interests, a good corporate image is becoming increasingly important. The quality of a company’s product or number of jobs created no longer matters. Buzz words like social responsibility have become part of the media’s lexicon. While generating a profit is always a leader’s first priority, disregarding social expectations is no longer acceptable. Leaders must be able to work within social expectations and create a positive public image for the company.

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2. Drive Change

Effective leaders must be able to drive needed change. Making changes just for the sake of making changes is not a sound strategy. Leaders must be able to foresee the consequences of their changes. Driving change begins with the ability to distinguish between negative and positive changes. Once positive changes have been identified, leaders must have the ability to drive those changes. They need to be able to communicate the benefits of these changes, ease employee concerns over change, and motivate employees to participate. Take an online leadership course from famous General Electric CEO Jack Welch to learn how to effectively manage change.

3. Recognize Weakness

Nobody is perfect, not even masters of their trade. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Not only must effective leaders know what they are capable of, they must also know what they are not capable of. They must know their limitations and weaknesses. Great leaders surround themselves with people that can fill the gaps and cover their weaknesses. Leaders that think they know everything or refuse to acknowledge their weaknesses are incapable of effectively leading an organization.

4. Goal Achievement

Much has been written about the importance of establishing goals. However, not every business leader understands what to do next. Effective leaders understand the business processes behind goal achievement. They understand the mentality of employees and how employee participation is crucial to goal achievement. They also know the limitations of the company and are willing to hire the help needed to achieve their goals. Whether they hire additional executive staff or outsource to a consulting firm, they find the talent needed to achieve their goals.

Effectively leading an organization includes more than just leading people. Effective leaders must learn to coordinate business process for effective goal achievement, manage the company’s public image, and surround themselves with people that can fill in the gaps. Good business leaders know business. Great business leaders know business and they know themselves. They also know how to motivate others to supplement their own strengths. Take Jack Welch’s online leadership course to learn how to put your leadership skills into action.

Page Last Updated: February 2020