Learning leadership

Leaders in the bakery must maintain and develop an array of skills.

In the past, a business manager’s job consisted of maintaining order and directing employees in ways that adhered to the status quo. This enabled employees, managers and the business itself stay solvent and sometimes grow and expand, but times have changed.

Today’s business environment makes it necessary for business owners to expand the traditional notion of management. The leaders you want running your bakery today need to teach and learn rather than just direct and give orders. They need to foresee the changes to come before they’re in the midst of change. They need to possess strong ethics and work to build the bakery’s brand and reputation to the best it can be. 

Strong Leaders

One of psychology’s greatest contributions to the business world in recent years has been determining the characteristics of people who are acknowledged as being great leaders. Using tests, they’ve determined the traits most commonly shared among successful leaders. Use the following list of character traits to gain insight and to help develop your managers’ and supervisors’ leadership skills.

Emotional stability: Good leaders must be able to tolerate frustration and stress. Overall, they must be well-adjusted and have the psychological maturity to deal with anything they are required to face.

Dominance: Leaders are often competitive, decisive and usually enjoy overcoming obstacles. Overall, they are assertive in their thinking style as well as their attitude in dealing with others.

Enthusiasm: Leaders are usually seen as active, expressive and energetic. They are often very optimistic and open to change. Overall, they are generally quick and alert and tend to be uninhibited.

Conscientiousness: Leaders are often dominated by a sense of duty and tend to be very exacting in character. They usually have a very high standard of excellence and an inward desire to do their best. They also have a need for order and tend to be very self-disciplined.

Social boldness: Leaders tend to be spontaneous risk-takers. They are usually socially aggressive and generally thick-skinned. Overall, they are responsive to others and tend to be high in emotional stamina.

Self-assurance: Self-confidence and resiliency are common traits among leaders. They tend to be free of guilt and have little or no need for approval. They are generally unaffected by prior mistakes or failures.

Compulsiveness: Leaders are controlled and very precise in their social interactions. Overall, they are very protective of their integrity and reputation and consequently tend to be socially aware and careful, abundant in foresight, and very careful when making decisions or determining specific actions.

Intuitiveness: Rapid changes in the world today, combined with information overload result in an inability to know everything. In other words, reasoning and logic will not get you through all situations. In fact, more and more leaders are learning the value of using their intuition and trusting their gut when making decisions.

Empathy: Being able to put yourself in the other person's shoes is a key trait of leaders today. Without empathy, you can't build trust; without trust, you will never be able to get the best effort from your employees.

Charisma: People usually perceive leaders as larger than life. Charisma plays a large part in this perception. Leaders who have charisma are able to arouse strong emotions in their employees by defining a vision which unites and captivates them. Using this vision, leaders motivate employees to reach toward a future goal by tying the goal to substantial personal rewards and values.