Leadership as a Career
If you already own or manage a business then you will know that there can be quite a difference between delegating to a team and working with or supervising that team. Time as a leader is usually divided between strategical planning and delegation with a broad range of other abilities called on intermittently.
Skills such as negotiation, business planning, organisation, delegation, devising and establishing partnerships are all key skills for undertaking a leadership role.
Leaderships skills can be utilised in many kinds of scenarios and workplaces. Whether you are leading a team, running a meeting, managing an office or leading an organisation, different leadership skills can be beneficial towards achieving the aims and objectives of your role.
There are a number of differences between leadership roles and supervisory or management roles but there will also be some crossover areas and of course many leaders will take on multiple functions including management and supervision. Managers and supervisors may also be looked on as leaders and will often become skilled in this area through natural aptitudes and experience.
Leadership, Management and Supervision Roles
- Leaders normally create the strategic plan, managers and or supervisors implement that strategy.
- Leaders through networking and planning create partnerships and professional networks, Managers/Supervisors ensure that these run smoothly, maybe also devising ways to expand and develop these relationships.
- Leaders usually decide on the structure of the organisation, Managers and supervisers operate that organisation within this structure, usually taking care of hiring and firing of staff.
- Leaders negotiate the terms of the business; opening hours, number of staff, division of departments. Managers and supervisers run the business according to those terms.
Certain leadership characteristics will be beneficial when considering career options in this area
- Positivity – a can do attitude with positive outlook and openness towards possible opportunities
- Dependability and reliability – the ability to make agreements and operate within the constraints of these agreements
- Empathy and active listening abilities
- Opportunistic – the ability to see both opportunities and risk and make decisions that are not overly risky or overly risk averse
- Flexibility – the ability to reach compromise and make sacrifices where needed
- Communication – one of the most important leadership skills is the ability to provide feedback and give direction in a positive and effective manner
- Creativity – the ability to provide solutions and ideas that will lead to new directions and opportunities
- Team building abilities – capability to create suitable roles and delegate these to team members based on the skills and abilities of those members
If you feel that a leadership role is one which will offer opportunities for you career wise there are a number of courses you can take which will enhance your chances of succeeding on this career path and give you that edge when being considered for a leadership role.
A key step then, is first of all deciding what level of management or leadership you are interested in now or may eventually be interested in, and also in what area you wish to manage and then look for leadership skills courses accordingly. Taking a sample from the courses available we can look at a number of types and levels of courses available on this website:
- Pitman Training offers a Supervisory Skills course. The course teaches how to delegate effectively, how to motivate a team to achieve best results, motivation of a team and building a positive team environment. Further and more advanced courses in Management and leadership are also available from Pitman Training.
- Griffin College offers a Certificate in Supervisory skills, this is ideal if you are looking for a role in middle management or Supervision, the course content reflects the needs of such a position and covers all aspects of Supervisory Skills; The role of the supervisor is a pivotal role, communicating management decisions to staff and ensuring there adheration. Therefore content like staff discipline, organisation, attention to detail, communication, stress management are key aspects of the course.
- The Leadership and Management Award-HR also from Griffin College is for people who are looking to further their career and further their knowledge in areas such as recruitment, induction and delegation. Assignments, of which there are three to complete, are based on real life scenarios with no exams needed to complete the course.
- The Retail Management Diploma offered by CMI College offers people who are interested in Retail Management an opportunity to study with industry experts and offers real and practical experience as part of the course. Students cover a wide array of topic ranging from Merchandising and point of sale strategy to International Relations and past graduates have an impressive employment rating.
- For those interested in applying leadership skills in a community setting there are third level social studies courses that will lead to qualifications in this area. One of these is the Community Development (BA) course on offer from Munster Technological University
Leadership courses can be of interesting to someone wishing to upgrade existing skills, for someone changing career path or for someone setting up their own business.