No matter what you’re doing, you need the right tools and equipment to do the job right. In some cases, using the right tools is a matter of efficiency. In others, it’s a matter of safety. When you work in industries like the healthcare field and construction, you need protective gear to shield you against the hazards of the job. You’ll also use basic equipment in your day-to-day life. For example, it’s hard to play high-intensity video games if you don’t have a decent gaming computer.
So what equipment does someone in a leadership position need?
Leader equipment can typically be sorted into one of two categories. One refers to the leader’s technical ability to help their team or group function and work together. The other refers to a leader’s behaviors, rather than their tangible tech. A leader might not have the best computer or the strongest connection, but they can always bring the right behaviors to the table.
This second half of leadership tends to be the most difficult to master. Because the “equipment” is intangible and focused on the internal self, it’s hard to find a course that “teaches” it. Most people in leadership positions have never taken a formal class on how they should behave. They’re just expected to pick it up by instinct.
In fact, studies show that many leaders may work in a leadership position for fifteen years before they’re ever given any evaluation of their actual leadership behavior. Researchers found that most people received their first feedback at around age 42, but most people also received their first leadership promotion at around age 27.
Because of how important leadership behavior is, some leadership training experts believe that there should be formal courses to evaluate a person’s behavior. There has been quantitative research done that shows what qualities are most important for effective leadership.
Among these areas of competency is the capacity to inspire and motivate people, the ability to set clear and achievable goals, the desire and ability to communicate in an effective manner, and the ability to listen to other people’s feedback. By combining all of these qualities, leaders help facilitate better collaboration. They will be far more likely to succeed than a leader without these qualities.