Bookshelves are full of leadership manuals. Yet leadership is an art. Leadership should be in the business of establishing and fostering fair, caring relationships as well as meaningful collaboration among employees.

In this modern day and age, leadership skills hold great importance and play an important role in providing opportunities for progress to any person. Everyone tries to establish his/her impact upon the other, by trying them to show their accomplishments and potential. However, not every person is a leader, but an ordinary human being trying to leave an impact upon the thinking and attitude of other people.

Social media has revolutionised the way we conduct business
It’s safe to say our lives wouldn’t be the same if social media didn’t exist, and there is no place where this is more true than in the world of business. Social media has entirely changed the ways that we conduct our businesses, with it now being possible to do everything solely online. All businesses strive to increase their customer base. Even if the business is located in a small town or large metropolis, obtaining a large following is important. Before the internet, businesses were working with limited advertising options. Fortunately, this has all changed. Today, businesses rely on the Internet to market their brands. While they utilize email, website personalization, content customization, and localization for advertising, they rely mostly on social media.

An effective leader guides employees toward pursuing a company’s shared mission.
A leader provides employees with direction, which has three components: values, a vision and goals. A leader should communicate a company’s values. Is the firm family-friendly? Client oriented? An employee needs to know a company’s core principles, to stay on track with work and goals. Leaders also need to be clear about what a company is working toward: the company’s vision. The vision is the destination, and your leadership is the driver on the road towards that objective. Change can be frightening, but it’s your job to lead through it. Sharing your vision means directing your team or company towards shared goals and outcomes. With collaboration, direction-setting, and bravery, your leadership will bring ideas to fruition and success.

Leadership is about developing healthy, positive relationships with employees.
Tied to the success of a company is the loyalty of its customers. While this customer-first mentality is necessary for the continuation of a company, employers sometimes forget to honour another intrinsic element of success and growth – the employee and employer relationship. Employees are a lot like plants: give them a place in the sun, just enough attention, but not too much, and room to grow and they’ll thrive. Keep them in the dark, hover over them too much, or neglect them outright, and they’ll fail to produce. If building a stronger relationship with your employees is important to you, you can’t go wrong by shining the spotlight on their achievements, giving them enough positive reinforcement without micromanaging, and allowing them to develop their talents.

Change can be beneficial in a company, but employees need to be involved in the process.
A wise person once said never to expect 100% support from any individual who was not personally involved in devising a change that had an impact on their work. The wise person was right. People don’t mind change once they get used to the idea and have had the opportunity to provide input about the direction of the change. Even asking an employee’s opinion and then later choosing another direction is significantly better than never giving the employee a voice in the change.

Good leaders don’t just make employees happier. They have the potential to reform the profit-focused, impersonal capitalist world from the inside out.
Since their conception, capitalist systems have been exclusive systems. Most employees are excluded from a company’s production process; they take orders from the top. Many are poorly paid and don’t benefit when profits increase. Thus, workers are often frustrated and unsatisfied. Good leaders know that people thrive best in inclusive environments, not exclusive ones. People are happier, healthier and more creative when they feel involved and appreciated. That’s why the best leaders favour inclusive capitalism, a system in which everyone plays a role in developing and maintaining the system itself. Inclusive capitalism is based on intimacy. Relationships aren’t just about contracts. Workplace intimacy means that you care about each of your employees and the work each person does.

Listen to employees’ concerns.
Listening to employees’ concerns can help you develop retention strategies that focus on boosting employee morale. When employees say they want their voices to be heard, they are really saying they want leaders who will not just hear them, but really listen to them. As employees seek more attention, feedback and support, leaders must become more mindful of individual needs in order to more effectively inspire professional development and overall performance. Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent and breed loyalty.

Good leaders lead elegantly, making decisions carefully and thoughtfully.
Leading elegantly is the ability to achieve maximum impact through simple, powerful and practical means. Elegant leaders would be very accessible and easy to connect with. There would be nothing excessive about them. They would do nothing wasteful. Someone asks a simple question, and they get a simple, meaningful answer. Elegance requires that you subtract. Leaders should ask themselves two questions: One: What would the people in my organisation like me to reduce or stop doing? Two: What would my competitors hate for me to reduce or stop doing? This is challenging, of course, because adding is a human inclination. In leadership, it can be tempting to become enamoured with status. However, it is crucial that leaders focus on their staff more than they focus on themselves. The best leaders are selfless and more concerned with the well-being of their team than with their personal titles. You cannot be an effective leader if you feel you are better than your subordinates. Furthermore, teams under such leaders live with hostility and experience low productivity and high turnover.

In conclusion…
Great leadership is about being compassionate and humane. It’s certainly not about barking orders at people who have less power then you do. So, respect your employees and listen to what they have to say. Engage them in the company’s progress as much as possible and assign them tasks they truly find meaningful. Leading in a humane way is better for everyone: you, the people with whom you work and the company as a whole.