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Leaders exist in every scale. Whether you are the CEO or the manager of a branch, or if you run a small business from your home, you make decisions that affects your organisation or business on a regular basis and that requires you to be an effective leader. Here are some tips to improve your leadership skills.

Balance Between Control and Creativity

A good leader knows when to tighten reins and when to loosen it, and allow for people to be creative and contribute constructively. Because of the shifts that are happening in businesses and management, leaders now are not expected to know everything but now must have the ability to see the bigger picture a bit more clearly and quickly compared to most others so everyone can leverage each other’s strength towards the same direction if the team ever gets stuck in the mud.

Communication Is Key

Many experts and industry players agree that communication skills is key to longevity and sustainability in this era. The advantage of a great communicator is the ability to make people understand their value and importance in a team. This helps with self-esteem and increases their motivation, which in turn increases productivity. A great communicator who acts as a leader also inspires confidence and is able to gel a team together, which helps if everyone wants to move forward as a productive unit together.

According to Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric, “Real communication takes countless hours of eyeball to eyeball, back and forth. It means more listening than talking.”

Be Pragmatic But Remain Open

A pragmatic leader considers the reality; the facts, the data, the numbers, before they make a decision in contrast to fully idealistic leaders who strive on big ideas. An organisation can benefit from a leader who takes the time to be both pragmatic and idealistic.

A leader usually have more information than everyone else in the organisation, and that helps you to remain pragmatic with expectations and management of resources. However, there is another side to this: a leader is the one who can stretch your organisation’s capability the most with the knowledge they have. The question remains: how far are you willing to take risks? That’s probably a discussion for another time.

Constantly Formulate Solid, Understandable Plans

The old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is especially true for leaders. A good leader should be able to set up an understandable framework of tasks and how everything connects to each other to keep an organisation running smoothly. A plan helps you manage the most important resource an organisation has (or a person, for that matter) has, i.e. time. For every objective, there must be a clear plan, but remember you don’t have to formulate this alone.

Create A Supportive Environment

We hear plenty of stories of how great leaders are those who play a supportive role in the team – we’d like to propose something of a step up. A leader creates the environment where people are supportive of each other, even when the leaders are not there. It sounds daunting because it requires the leader themselves to be a role model and play an effective supportive role in the organisation, in addition of having the ability to build an ecosystem of everyone else who has the same idea. But it can be done.

According to Leadership author, Mike Myatt, trust is the most important you can have in a team therefore nurturing a sense of trust and camaraderie in your team is very important.

This article is an initiative by to help and guide businesses in Malaysia to ease their journey in the business world. If you have any suggestions or comments, kindly email

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