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Why Is Leadership Important?

5 min read
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Alice Florence Orr

Every successful company needs a good leader. But being effective is harder than you might think. We often confuse it with egotism and grandstanding. And after watching the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes and Sam Bankman-Fried, it’s clear that substance is far more important than style.

In the end, being a great leader is about more than dressing the part. Effective leadership is about social skills, inspiring people, and staying focused on the bigger picture. Having a long-term goal will demonstrate a strong leadership style.

In a recent article on modern leadership, Forbes focused their lens on the importance of “digital empathy”. Remote and hybrid work has removed many physical signals that we rely on as social beings. In the absence of eye contact and body language, it can be hard to interpret meaning, leaving many employees feeling confused and alienated. Good leadership takes human emotions into account, equipping their managers with tools that increase employee recognition and engagement.

“Leadership will demand not just digital literacy but also digital empathy – the ability to connect, understand, and guide team members through virtual means.”

– Forbes

Mo takes the time to understand what modern leaders need. We have the tools to support companies through engagement, reward, retention and communication slumps. We do the hard work, so leaders can focus on their vision.

What does it mean to be a leader in 2024?

With one eye on their people and another on rapidly changing technology, a successful leader in 2024 will need a strong sense of direction to weather the market. Putting too much emphasis on AI technology may leave employees feeling undervalued. Not taking artificial intelligence seriously would also be a mistake. How do you strike a balance?

An effective modern leader will improve employee recognition while removing menial tasks from their plate. One means to achieve this is through employee engagement software. It reduces the amount of admin for managers while making staff feel more valued.

Gallup states that managers determine 70% of the variance in team engagement across companies. By reducing admin and giving managers more power to reward good behaviour, we see a direct effect on employee engagement, retention and productivity.

Whether they are the CEO or a line manager, power establishes the work culture. A leader must be strong and make tough choices. However, if they lack empathy, it can lead to the creation of a tyrannical atmosphere. You might be featured on a podcast in the future, but not for good reasons.

Luke, Mo CEO: “Leaders set the pace. But they must inspire their team with the confidence to keep up.

Technology is rapidly changing. More of us are working remotely. Many workers are concerned about the impact of AI on their industry.

A good leader will steer their team through uncharted waters while acknowledging that there is no way you can fully understand the future. Data helps. But being realistic with your people is best practice. After all, trust is essential.

Leaders are visionaries; how they translate that vision into a successful business is what differentiates Adam Neumann from Steve Jobs. Own your mistakes; time will reward your triumphs.

What type of leader are you?

A leader creates a large part of a company’s culture. If you act without human empathy, this will trickle down your organisation.

Plenty of leadership styles exist, but choose carefully. During your leadership development, pay attention to the traits of people you admire. Are they fair? Decisive? Do they exercise humility?

At Mo, we admire agile and resilient leaders. Anyone can gather funding and hire a team. But it takes real leadership to guide a company through turbulent economic and social changes.

As an exercise, write five qualities that you admired in your last manager. What do these qualities have in common? When you can see it on the page, the path forward for your leadership style becomes clear. Share your list on LinkedIn and tag us.

What Makes a Good Team Manager? The Answer May Surprise You

📖 Read the article

Tools to improve your leadership skills

You have the vision, now it is time to execute. Equipping yourself with the right tools is just as important as surrounding yourself with the right people.

But before you rush out and onboard every tool out there, carefully consider the needs of your team. What are your areas of struggle? Is there a theme?

  • Employee engagement
  • Hiring, retention and rotation
  • Team communication and productivity
  • Cash flow and investment
  • Management training

Many of these issues are interconnected. Poor management training has a direct negative effect on employee engagement, which then decreases productivity and staff retention. It costs thousands to replace an employee. Therefore, leaders should be working on their skills to improve these areas while giving themselves the tools to do so efficiently.

Mo allows everyone from CEOs to line managers to properly engage with their teams. It doesn’t matter if you have a local or global organisation, team connection matters.

Leaders will always be required to make tough decisions. But with engagement data, you can see where the weaknesses in your organisation exist.

Rather than reducing or replacing staff, consider taking steps to improve productivity. This can be much more cost-effective than paying severance or recruiting a new employee. Book a demo with us and we’ll explain how.

Five steps to effective leadership

Step 1: Identify your weaknesses

It may sound counterintuitive, but many leaders overestimate their strengths and underestimate their weaknesses. Having a grasp of our limitations gives us the foundation from which we can hire an effective, complimentary team to support us. This also works for people who experience “imposter syndrome”. If you overestimate your weaknesses, doing a realistic assessment will help leaders realise that they are better equipped than they think.

Step 2: Hire the right people

Your second-in-command will make or break your company. Equally, having an adequate HR strategy will give you the confidence that your team will be robust. An adaptable company culture will give you the ability to weather periods of change.

How to Build an Adaptable Culture to Thrive in Periods of Change with Beth Lang

🌱 Watch the webinar

Step 3: Set a realistic trajectory

You have a vision for your company. It’s easy to get lost in dreams and forget that execution is usually much harder than you think. Even the co-founder of Nvidia admits that he would never have started a company if he’d known how taxing it would prove to be. That’s why setting a realistic set of goals is essential. Make sure to communicate your aims to your team regularly. This will improve trust and motivate your managers.

Step 4: Monitor team engagement

Using software like Mo enables you to keep track of employee engagement, which has a direct relationship to productivity and retention. We use rewards and recognition techniques to keep teams motivated, reducing admin for managers while promoting a cohesive company culture. Book a demo and we’ll show you how we can implement positive changes in your organisation.

Step 5: Learn and innovate

A leader never stops learning. In a changeable market, a good leader will remember that they need to adapt and innovate to stay on top. With a people-focused approach and an eye on new technology, leaders can effectively navigate change.

At Mo, we’re always publishing articles about how to improve your company through effective engagement strategies, helping managers and HR better motivate their teams. Why not sign up for our next webinar to gain insights from top industry professionals?

November 28th at 1:30PM GMT

Unlocking the Power of the Mind: How to Use Psychological Principles in Change Management

Join us as we speak with celebrated Transformational Coach, Author and Speaker, Rishita Jones. In this session, Rishita will delve into the fascinating world of workplace psychology and unveil the secrets to successfully implementing and sustaining organisational change.

Hosted by Luke Fisher Rishita Jones
Sign up to attend our free webinar

Further reading:

Agile Leadership: What is it & Why Does it Matter?

Everything You Need to Know About Adaptive Leadership

The Cost of Poor Leadership on Your Recruitment Agency’s Culture

Leadership Styles: The 5 Most Common & How to Find Your Own

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