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  • By Andrea Schlapia
  • |
  • June 8, 2012

Integrating management skill development is a critical component in order for managers to become leaders. Adding the mere word “manager” to a title does not define or magically transform a manager into a leader. In order for managers to understand and carry out leadership skills and strategies for your firm, it is imperative that they have an in-depth understanding of how their actions make a vital impact on the firm’s profitability.

A manager is to a leader as a seed is to a plant.

This analogy tells us that the seed needs to be nurtured in order to grow. The same is true for managers in your firm. In order for managers to succeed and become leaders, you need to provide the components needed for their growth.

Leadership development is essential to the success of an organization-Firms with effective leaders execute better, therefore capturing the capability to deliver more powerful and tangible results leading to fulfilling the goals you have established for your firm.

Good leadership requires the understanding that leadership involves serving– Leadership is often misunderstood as a means to direct people and make organizational decisions. A true leader understands and knows that they serve an organization or a group of people, rather than fostering the idea that they are to be served. Leadership is about behaviors first followed by specific skill sets.

Strong leaders are often described as possessing qualities such as assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence, and preciseness. Leaders who are positive, inspiring, and empowering develop followers which result in higher performing teams for your firm.

Leaders Make Things Happen By:
• Knowing objectives and having a plan to achieve them
• Building a team committed to reaching the objectives
• Helping each team member attain their full potential by providing support and empowerment

Embrace Characteristics To Become A Better Leader
Learn More About Your Leadership Style – Define your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have determined areas that need work, you can begin to improve your leadership abilities.

Encourage Creativity – Encourage your team to express their own unique ideas. Offer new challenges while supporting your team to achieve the goals of your firm. By encouraging creativity and providing support you will motivate team members to stretch to their limits without becoming discouraged by barriers to their own success.

Show Your Passion – Think of ways that you can express your zest. Don’t just focus on completing tasks without sharing your genuine passion and enthusiasm for projects.

Be A Role Model – “Walk the walk and talk the talk.” Team members admire and will emulate behaviors that you display. Model qualities that you want to see in your team members.

Communicate Effectively – Keep the lines of communication open. Ensure that your team members know that they are able to share their contributions to the overall success of the firm and be certain to recognize their contributions and achievements. As a leader, don’t forget to embrace new ideas from team members.

Effective leaders need to consistently work towards developing and improving their own unique leadership style and skills.

Ironstone can assist you in developing a leadership training program. Assess the leadership and managerial skills in your organization with our Profiles CheckPoint 360⁰ assessment. Here’s a sample from the information you will gain from this report. By determining leadership styles, we will assist you in transforming managers within your firm into leaders.   6.8.12CheckPoint Ind & Comparison Sample

Today’s managers need more than basic managerial practices and tools to lead high performing teams. Contact Ironstone to set up find out more about the CheckPoint 360⁰ and how we can provide the training needed to direct managers onto the path of leadership which will align with the organizational structure and strategy of your firm.

What does your firm currently do to promote leadership development? Share your best ideas and practices with us!

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• The Human Element

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Author Bio

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life. Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.