Leadership skills are essential for people who want to take the initiative and coordinate various processes, especially in the educational area. Essentially, leadership is tightly connected to social patterns, developing unique vision, strategy making and improving critical thinking. A decent leader should be able to deal with a team and direct them toward certain goals while managing human resources factors and thinking in perspective and being able to see different possible outcomes. Thus, in order to master personal areas of focus which are necessary for taking the lead, it is important to focus on specific elements of a leader’s vision, deconstruct them, understand them, and learn how to apply them.
One of the essential parts of becoming a reliable leader is developing a unique set of core values. That being said, a person who is willing to take the lead has to deeply understand themselves and identify specific directions and goals first in order to be able to further comprehend the actions of members of the team on a deeper level and to lead them towards the core perspective (Kiamos and Lumme, 2020). This way, the leader has to be firm and confident in the way they determine what is important since only a genuine belief in specific core values can help a person to convince other people to follow them. However, there are multiple factors outside of the values which affect a leader’s reliability and efficiency and which are necessary in order to properly communicate with people and to lead them.
One of the essential primary elements is a well-developed level of empathy. There is a common belief that a decent leader has to be strict and authoritative towards the team in order to have better control of the overall company dynamics and to be able to direct the workers straight to the main goal. However, within teams with noticeably enhanced levels of communication, there is a tendency for a better general working process (Bushuev et al., 2019). The reason behind it is the collective ability to communicate ideas, which includes expectations and execution strategies. Communicative dynamics result in employees’ better comprehension of the tasks, goals and further achievements, which majorly contributes to the efficiency of the working process.
In order to build a decent level of communication and trust within the team, the leader themselves has to be empathetic and responsive. Well-defined abilities to express compassion, understanding and social cooperation towards the team build a better level of trust and communication between the leader and the employees (Bushuev et al., 2019). This way, the workers are more likely to approach the leader with any occurring issues or concerns, which enables the leader and the team to find solutions together operatively. Additionally, through a properly built system of communication, the leader is able to clearly express ideas and expectations in order to follow the core values. Hence, a leader’s understanding, compassion and communicative skills have a significant role in the process of directing the team toward their core values and goals, which makes empathy one of the necessary elements within the building of a reliable leader vision.
A leader’s control over the team and all undergoing processes are just as important as a developed level of empathy. Essentially, people have to perceive a person who takes the lead as an authority in order to follow their rules and decisions and to trust them. However, there is a major difference between dictator leadership and reliable authority.
In the first case, the team is oppressed by the leader’s demands and has little to none chance to affect the working process, which often negatively affects the overall working process. At the same time, in the case of subtle and reliable authority, the ability to combine compassion and communication with firm expectations and wise control over the situation builds up to the multifaceted nature of the leadership (Tokbaeva, 2018). Thus, a leader who can successfully operate both control and empathy seems both reliable and human in the perception of their employees, which positively affects group work within the team.
Additionally, unlike the situation where the leading person holds no power over employees, the distinctive authority permits the leader to keep control over the situation and direct the team to the bigger goals. Thus, authority is an element that gains its full significance in combination with empathy. Only together, these approaches allow the leader to efficiently direct the workers according to the leader’s core values.
When it comes to the process of leading, solely communicative and directive skills are not enough to make a person seem a reliable and efficient leader. In fact, one of the most important factors is the leader’s experience and skills within the area they are working in. Knowing the theory well, the leader is able to analyze the situation wisely and understand the outcomes of specific actions (Bolman and Deal, 2018, p. 337). This way, experience within the fields allows the leader to determine the most relevant goals depending on given circumstances. Moreover, the well-developed skills of the leader can be a motivating example to the employees which would encourage them to seek self-improvement with the assistance of a reliable leader.
The proficiency itself is not enough to achieve desirable goals. In addition to it, the leader has to be good at analyzing the situation in order to identify possible outcomes. That being said, it is equally important to be able to see the details of the process and a big picture of overall dynamics at the same time. This way, the leader is able to evaluate the proper strategy for the team’s actions in order to achieve what is determined by the core values (Venus et al., 2019). The combination of proper experience in the field and the understanding of a big picture of a given situation gives the leader an opportunity to understand the outcomes of certain actions and to therefore evaluate what would be the best strategy for the team both in regard to short-term and long-term success.
Finally, one of the most important elements of the leader’s vision is the ability to present themselves decently. Although it is more of a surface factor, without it, the employees would not be able to truly comprehend the abilities of their leading person. Good self-presentation means that the leader is able to demonstrate their level of proficiency within the field, successfully communicate their vision of a bigger picture and further goals, and verbalize the purpose of specific actions (Bolman and Deal, 2018). This way, the leader raises the team’s awareness of the overall working process and contributes to the trust towards them and the reliability of their image.
Proper self-presentation majorly depends on the leader’s communication skills and the ability to self-evaluate. Once the leader can identify the qualities valuable for the working process, they have to communicate it effectively to the employees, while being aware of the subtle verge between it and bragging. Hence, successful self-presentation does not give the team an impression of the leader’s self-centered orientation. Instead, it should clearly show the employees the benefits of accepting the lead from this person.
In the end, all of the discussed elements are crucial within the process of building a reliable leader vision. Identification of the core values represents the leader’s overall ability to evaluate and defines the direction where they are going. Then, empathy, ability to control, proficiency in what they do and good analytical skills and to see the big picture are the key tools to communicate the core values to the team and to direct them towards it as well. Finally, a decent self-presentation serves as a way to properly use these tools to reach the final goal, as it shows the workers that the leader is reliable and encourages them to give this person the lead.
These elements complement each other in order to create a successful leader’s narrative. The combination of them creates what is called a leader vision and enables the person to evaluate, analyze, communicate and command. A proper proportion of all of the factors discussed previously creates the last factor, which is the efficient and productive conjunction of these elements in order for them to not overpower each other. Thus, a successful leader’s vision contains the understanding of each of the factors separately and the comprehension of how to make them work together effectively.
Bushuev, S., Kozyr, B., & Rusan, N. (2019). Modeling of empathy, emotional intelligence and transformational leadership to the project success. International scientific-practical conference (pp. 209-222). Springer, Cham.
Bolman, L. G. & Deal, T. E. (2018). Reframing organizations. Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio.
Kiamos, K., & Lumme, D. (2020). Find and be true to your personal & Professional core values: Leader, mentor, STEM advocate. Naval Engineers Journal, 132(3), 66-70.
Tokbaeva, D. (2018). Impact of leaders’ characteristics on the competitiveness of firms: Applying weber’s charismatic authority theory to leaders of post-soviet media businesses. In Competitiveness in Emerging Markets (pp. 145-171). Springer, Cham.
Venus, M., Johnson, R. E., Zhang, S., Wang, X. H., & Lanaj, K. (2019). Seeing the big picture: A within-person examination of leader construal level and visual communication. Journal of Management, 45(7), 2666-2684.