Expert weighs in on what it takes to be a good leader

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: In a competitive era where every leader wants to reach the top, they have to discover the keys to succeed and shine among others. Today, leadership is barely defined by titles or positions held. It is the ability to inspire, influence and guide others towards a clear and aspiring vision. Kuwait Times interviewed management consultant and trainer Ahmad Ndoom to unravel the secrets of successful leadership and provide practical strategies to cultivate the qualities needed to thrive in this role.

Management Consultant and Trainer Ahmad Ndoom

Kuwait Times: What are the necessary skills and qualities that a leader should possess?

Ahmad Ndoom: The skills required of a leader differ from those required from an employee. An employee needs to know their area of expertise and their role within the organization. They are then required to possess the skills to perform their job. For example, an accountant needs to know accounting, and a purchasing department employee needs to know how to prepare purchase orders and receive them upon arrival. On the other hand, a leader is expected to possess leadership and team management skills.

While it is true that a leader should be familiar with the tasks of their team and how to manage them, they should also know how to identify the tasks they want to delegate, assign each task to a specific person and follow up on the execution to ensure that the work is being done correctly and on time. Therefore, the most important skills a leader should possess are task delegation and follow-up skills.

KT: How can a person develop strong leadership and communication skills?

Ndoom: Developing any skill goes through two stages. The first stage is obtaining the correct information. It is important to note that obtaining information is different from obtaining the correct information. Some information may be incorrect or inapplicable, so it does not benefit the person when learning it. Correct information should help you act better. Therefore, the first stage is obtaining correct information from books, courses or from experienced colleagues who have preceded you in the field.

The second stage is applying this information and repeating its application. No matter how correct and useful the information is, when you apply it for the first time, you will not be proficient at it. Therefore, you need to repeat its application and refine your skill until you become proficient at it. Thus, successful training should not be theoretical only and explain the information, but it should contain practical exercises that are repeated until the trainee achieves the information and hones the skill as well. Skills are developed in training courses, as well as in the workplace or what is called ‘on job training’.

KT: What strategies can be used to effectively manage a team and create a positive work culture?

Ndoom: The most important strategies are: Written orders rather than verbal orders, because verbal orders are the fastest way to chaos, as one might forget what they have said to the employee. Therefore, communication should be in writing. Another important strategy is regular meetings — the team should meet regularly, weekly, and if work is progressing quickly, there is nothing wrong with having short daily meetings.

The purpose of the meeting is not just to talk at the meeting table. The main goal is to ‘direct efforts’. Therefore, on a daily basis, a leader should know what his or her team did the day before and how things are progressing and what they will do today. When a leader is aware, there will be no surprises and if a problem occurs, it can be quickly resolved. So, the two most important strategies are documentation and follow-up.

The post Expert weighs in on what it takes to be a good leader appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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