Professionalism & Leadership
Whether a business adheres to a casual, open door policy or a formal, gray suit culture, it will need strong and effective leadership to succeed in the long run. Businesses without solid, professional leaders who have the ability to inspire others will likely succumb to eventual failure. Leaders must possess strong ethics to go along with their passionate, energetic charisma. These professional characteristics come together to motivate business teams to achieve success.
Leaders must take on many roles to project an efficient and effective environment that motivates employees. They plan projects and strategies, and initiate action. Throughout the cycle of the project or strategy, they must control events and outcomes by ensuring that the team adheres to standards. Leaders provide emotional and technical support to team members by listening to their feedback and offering solutions to setbacks. A good leader knows how to delegate authority and responsibility to appropriate team members. Finally, he evaluates progress and outcomes. All effective leaders perform their functions and duties with strict adherence to ethical and professional standards.
Seven types of leadership styles exist. The transformational leader shows deep conviction about goals and transforms the commitment of the team with his unconventional thinking. Enforcer-type leaders manage employees with legalistic standards regarding strategy and methodology. The dealmaker uses his natural passion and energy to motivate team members. Leaders who employ the administrative style follow detail ruthlessly and maintain tight controls over all resources. The visionary inspires team members to dream, but often fails to follow through with the necessary steps. The serial entrepreneur takes risks and uses his creative imagination to foment motivation. Spin doctors, often called lawyer-type leaders, exhibit all of the qualities of an effective leader, but with inconsistent behavior that slows achievement.
All team members, not just leaders, must project an air of professionalism while in the workplace to create a suitable place for all personalities. Companies, large and small, that promote a culture of professionalism without being stodgy have employees with high levels of loyalty toward the company. Businesses should encourage employees to keep discussions of personal events, positive and negative, to a minimum while on the premises. Employees can meet after working hours to discuss personal issues with one another or deepen friendships. This type of business culture increases productivity, work quality and employee retention.
Effective leadership establishes an environment of enjoyment and accomplishment for team members. An ethical and professional leader communicates with all members working on a project or carrying out a strategy in a way that creates professional bonds and relationships. Team members feel free to voice opinions, positive and negative, that help the leader adjust the control or parameters of a project to better serve team personality and culture.
Even natural-born leaders could benefit from a class in leadership. Changing business environments and technological developments also affect which leadership styles promote effective work environments. Experienced and accomplished leaders can learn skills in handling disputes, dealing with apathy and working with diverse people from advanced courses in leadership. Some institutions offer self-paced courses online that provide valuable insight into an individual’s leadership strengths and weaknesses.
Based in Houston, Samantha Gluck has been writing articles targeting small businesses and the medical profession since 2000. She owns All Media Freelance, LLC, where she works as a professional copywriter. Gluck holds a Bachelor of Science in finance and an Associate of Science in microbiology from the University of Texas.