6 Critical Management Skills for Business Leaders

Provided by Bisk, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame

Whether the CEO of a global enterprise or the owner of a small retail store, every business leader must come to the job with more than just a vision. The fundamental management skills to bring it to life are just as necessary.

From the ability to communicate effectively to time management and organizational aptitude, managers should develop these relevant skills if they intend to lead:

1. Communication. Whether it’s making a case to advance an idea or directing a staffer to tackle an important task, being clear and convincing while remaining enthusiastic is critical to achieving positive outcomes. Those who come across as negative or bullying will likely find their success stymied.

2. Conflict resolution. The conflict-averse will have trouble succeeding as business leaders. It’s key to handle disputes or issues that threaten a smooth-running environment directly and fairly. This can be a challenge as there’s never a shortage of situations that stir emotions and require a firm and unbiased manager.

3. Delegation. Smart leaders know the wisdom of surrounding themselves with the best people whose skills augment theirs and then setting them loose to get the job done. But giving employees the responsibility to carry work out is only one aspect of the delegation equation. The challenge is to avoid micromanaging while ensuring enough control to monitor work without stifling their ability to do it effectively.

4. Organization. Being organized has a variety of aspects that come into play for leaders who expect to keep their organizations on the path forward. Part of it is the ability to prioritize the most important tasks. Without this skill, meeting deadlines is problematic. The skilled leader makes sure everyone knows what job to do and is given the resources to do it.

5. Reward hard work. No one likes to work in a vacuum. It’s the smart leader who acknowledges how the hard work of employees, specifically and generally, has helped the organization achieve new measures of success. A pat on the back in front of a staffer’s peers can have just as much effect as tickets to a ball game or show.

6. Time management. Goal setting and prioritization are important components of time management, as are planning and the ability to make decisions – like which projects take precedence. Ultimately, being productive with time creates ongoing opportunities to improve how work is done, leading to better results and value for the organization.

Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame is an accredited, independent, national university located in Notre Dame, Indiana. Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business offers a range of executive education programs 100 percent online, including certificates in leadership and management, negotiation and business administration, among other disciplines. Learn more here.