Without the foundation of great leadership, any company will eventually crumble. And with more than half of organizations lacking the internal leaders to effectively run their companies, there’s an urgent need to shift this tide.
In the restaurant industry, we hear these same complaints from owners and operators. On one hand, they have employees who show promise, but who they feel aren’t quite ready yet for the responsibility. On the other hand, the employees they do promote all too often fail in the new role.
Clearly, something is missing from the equation.
Soft Skills Matter
When considering someone for a leadership role, many tend to focus on their hard skills – those skills that can be more easily taught, like computer knowledge or inventory management.
Soft skills, like personality characteristics and attributes, are actually much more vital to leadership success. Being a leader goes way beyond being able to do the basics of the job – things like follow a checklist, make a burger, clean the cooler, or coordinate a schedule. Leaders need to be able to connect with people.
Before promoting that next employee, here are nine soft skills to look for in a future leader.
- A love for the company. Leaders need to love what they do. No one will love every minute task, but by and large, they should exude passionate and excitement about their position and company.
- A natural communicator. Leaders must be able to communicate with their team, day in and day out, on many different levels. They don’t over-complicate their message and speak in way that inspires and encourages others.
- An infectious personality. It’s impossible to be liked by everyone, but the best leaders among us come close. They usually have an almost magnetic personality, one that attracts people to them and puts them at ease.