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Acknowledging the Importance of Leadership This July 4th

Leaders make or break an organization. Learn five considerations when making your next people manager selection and why leadership is so crucial in building great teams.

The Fourth of July– also known as Independence Day or July 4th– is a federal holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the United States. The Declaration of Independence – adopted on July 4, 1776 – declared the 13 American colonies' intention to form their own government and separate from British rule.

The United States gaining independence from Britain was a monumental achievement, and having the right leader was a crucial part of the process. George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, was the perfect choice to lead the fight for independence. Washington was selected over a handful of other candidates due to his prior military experience and the belief that a leader from Virginia would help to unite the colonies. He had the charisma and leadership skills necessary to inspire and motivate his troops, as well as the strategic mind to make key decisions on the battlefield.

Without Washington's leadership, it's unlikely that the United States would have been able to overcome the military might of Britain and secure its independence. The importance of having the right leader cannot be overstated, and Washington's contributions to the American Revolution are remembered as a key factor in the nation's founding.

While the context in which leaders operate today differs from those during the Revolutionary War, the core principles of leadership remain the same: a leader must be able to inspire and guide their team towards a common goal, communicate effectively, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Globally, there has been a rise in unhappiness and an increase in burnout, leading to lower levels of adaptability and resilience. Having appropriate systems, structures, and tools is crucial for progress, and it is leaders who hold the keys to success. People managers play a critical role in building the connection between upper management and teams, interpreting corporate messages, creating authentic relationships with individuals, cultivating new skills, and fostering future-ready teams.

However, people managers today are overworked, undervalued, and most importantly, misunderstood. The wrong people frequently make it into these critical roles. Those who thrived in their individual contributor roles are promoted to manage teams, with little understanding of their appetite or capability to do so. The stereotypical view of a leader who has elevated confidence and charisma has often led organizations to overlook ‘boring’ and ‘dependable’ individuals who may deliver better results.

A leader must be able to inspire and guide their team towards a common goal, communicate effectively, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Here are five considerations when making your next manager selection:

  1. Define what skills & behaviors are needed to excel in the role. By defining these upfront, you will ensure that your decision is made based on the skills required for success.
  2. Consider the less obvious candidate. Expand your pool to include those who have the potential and desire to be great managers, even if they do not have all the traditional qualifications.
  3. Provide your people managers with the resources they need to succeed. When you give your people managers the freedom to thrive, you are empowering them to be successful.
  4. Provide training and development opportunities. While a candidate may enter the role with many of the qualifications, allow growth through additional learning opportunities.
  5. Create a culture of appreciation. By celebrating and rewarding talented people managers, you are showing them, and the rest of the organization, that you value their contributions.

The right leader is essential in any era, whether it is the Revolutionary War or today's world of work. With the right people and the right skills, equipped with tools and support to flourish, people managers can help us bring a new, more fulfilling, and durable world of work into reality.

SHL’s Manager Hiring Solution identifies individuals that can build a strong culture, balance people, purpose, and profit, and become agile and insight-led; ready for constant realignment to optimize business opportunity and individual potential.

Partner with SHL to upgrade your manager selection to maximize individual potential and business success.

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Tori Villodas

Tori Villodas is a Field Marketing Manager at SHL, based in Washington, D.C. With more than 8 years of experience in the field, she is focused on helping businesses to accurately and objectively identify potential and fit.

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