Improve Your Business Leadership Skills

December 01, 2022

Being a great leader starts with your mindset. Do you think you know it all — or are you certain you don’t? If you fall into the latter category, you’ve already got a leg up. To be a successful manager, you need the skills to step outside your comfort zone to meet your employees where they are. Here are some business leadership skills to focus on. 

Diversity and Inclusion

In years past, diversity in the workplace didn’t go beyond a few slides in an HR presentation. Today, inclusion is a vital leadership skill for a healthy business.

Here’s one of the keys to being a successful leader no one tells you: Self-awareness. It’s not just about strengths and weaknesses. True awareness means having a solid understanding of who you are and identifying your blind spots. As a leader, creating an inclusive environment starts with: 

Building Trust with All Employees

Trust starts with fostering authenticity. Get to know your employees on a personal level and give them the space to speak their minds and take risks. This is where great work happens — a win for the employee, a win for the company and a win for clients. 

Truly Hearing Others' Views and Taking Them into Account

Fairness doesn’t end on the playground. In a professional setting, fairness can be more subtle but even more important. Support ideas outside your own comfort zone and encourage those around you to do the same. 

Being Adaptable

A growth mindset is key in developing your staff and yourself. Your job as an inclusive leader is to be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. In some cases, it’s as simple as a mindset shift. Can you move from “That will never work” to “Let’s try it and see what happens”?

Employee Well-Being

Today’s successful leaders must do more for employee well-being if they want to find and retain talented individuals.

We’ve moved from a time when the concept of a work-life balance was a bonus to a time when it’s essential. More than ever, employers and employees recognize that the best work does not come from someone exhausted from long hours and never-ending deadlines.

Still, that pressure remains and it’s up to effective leaders to show their employees what well-being really means — mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.

It starts at the top: prioritizing development and learning, taking vacation days and encouraging your employees to do the same, scheduling emails during work hours and respecting your employees’ time.

If you’re feeling even a little skeptical, think about the business productivity benefits of a healthy, happy workforce. Satisfied employees are more likely to stay in their jobs long-term, produce consistent results and go above and beyond. 

Management Agility

Thinking and acting quickly are vital leadership skills in the insurance business. All day long, you are making decisions — about how to protect your clients, what to do when things go wrong and the best ways to grow your business.

Creating a rigid plan or set of rules can only take you so far. An astute leader can think beyond their playbook to truly see a situation for what it is. Maybe your normal way of handling something won’t work with a certain client or a specific employee.

Agility is all about adaptability. Being flexible and open is always a good place to start. Hear your employees and listen closely to your clients. Welcome growth and change, and don’t be afraid to change your mind. 

Grow Your Business Leadership Skills

Are you interested in becoming an insurance agent, but unsure where to start? Learn more about what it means to become a Farm Bureau agent.