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The art of leadership and management 

November 01, 2023
A group of business people meeting in board room.

Spend a few minutes browsing job advertisements, and you’ll likely notice that two skills appear frequently in the lists of required skills: leadership and management. These abilities are in high demand across careers and industries. In 2023, management was the number one skill desired by employers, and leadership was number four, according to the LinkedIn 2023 Most In-Demand Skills list.1 

Management and leadership skills are related but distinct from one another. Both deal with human relations and developing the skills and success of a team. However, managers oversee workflows, improve efficiency and ensure their teams meet deadlines. A leader can enact change in organizations and help employees improve their performance.2 This article explores leadership strategies and management skills, such as effective communication and strategic planning, that are crucial to your career development.  

Principles of visionary leadership 

Visionary leaders inspire employees to embrace their organization’s central mission and work toward shared goals. They also empower workers to make decisions and engage in professional development.3 Below are some key principles of visionary leadership.  

Effective communication

Visionary leadership emphasizes the need for strong communication skills to share expectations and plans for the future among teams. Effective communication strategies include:4

  • Establishing clear and attainable objectives
  • Using vivid metaphors to convey complicated ideas
  • Explaining how each employee can contribute to the organization’s success 

Decision-making and problem-solving 

Successful leaders solve complex problems and make strategic decisions. They often consult diverse stakeholders and their teams for insights and advice. Additionally, visionary leaders use creative problem-solving and effective communication to create innovative solutions that may require new attitudes or behaviors.5 

Team building and motivation 

Leaders build collaborations and encourage their teams to perform their best. Here are some strategies for team building and motivation:6 

The role of management 

Like leaders, managers play a pivotal role in their organization’s operations. Managers typically take on responsibilities in these key areas:7 

  • Planning: Setting goals and developing plans of action to accomplish these objectives
  • Organizing: Designing, filling and structuring roles within the organization to achieve goals and objectives 
  • Leading: Delegating tasks, motivating teams and coordinating all collective efforts 
  • Controlling: Overseeing and measuring progress, adjusting plans as needed to overcome unexpected challenges, using innovation to improve processes 

Leadership styles

Determining your leadership style can help you recognize your strengths. Common leadership styles include:8 

  • Autocratic: These leaders make decisions independently without considering feedback from others 
  • Democratic: These professionals value input from all team members during the decision-making process 
  • Laissez-Faire: They delegate tasks and give minimal direction to their teams 
  • Servant: These leaders focus on mentoring their employees, listening to their needs and helping them achieve personal growth 
  • Transformational: They bring passion and energy to the workplace and increase their employees’ motivation 

Effective team leadership 

Business professionals use numerous interpersonal behavior theories and strategies to lead teams effectively. Sometimes the difference between good managers and great ones are those who have the ability to help team members develop their own strengths while still leading teams to success.

Team performance 

Leaders develop high-performance teams by implementing strategies that promote collaboration and growth, such as:

  • Hosting weekly team meetings
  • Creating a mentoring program 
  • Organizing regular social activities, such as happy hours and trivia games 
  • Conducting frequent performance evaluations


Empower employees to reach their full potential by delegating tasks using effective communication. Leaders delegate successfully by clearly defining duties and ensuring employees have the necessary resources to complete them. They also build trust by letting their employees choose how they accomplish tasks.10 

Conflict resolution

Conflict is inevitable in collaboration, especially when teams involve people with different backgrounds and communication styles. This is why conflict resolution skills are integral to any successful manager's career. 

Leaders can mediate conflicts by establishing clear rules for communication and encouraging active listening. They can also ask team members to propose solutions to their conflicts and work with them to find the right path forward.11 

Strategic planning and effective management 

Managers use strategic planning to make decisions that help an organization achieve its goals. This approach involves:12 

  • Setting objectives that align with the company’s present and future goals
  • Considering how the outcomes of decisions may affect the organization as a system 
  • Establishing metrics and using data to evaluate performance 
  • Continuously seeking improvement 

Leading innovation and change 

Leaders and managers play an essential role in driving change and innovation in organizations. Change management includes several basic steps:13 

  • Recognize processes or policies that must change
  • Create a plan to enact change 
  • Get employee buy-in to implement the plan 
  • Evaluate the results 

Business professionals also navigate uncertainty by planning for the worst-case scenario and adapting plans as necessary.13 

Leadership ethics and corporate social responsibility 

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to making decisions about personal and social change that benefit employees, stakeholders, society and the environment. Leaders use CSR to balance organizational goals with societal impact and stay accountable for their decisions.14

A leader could use many approaches to promote CSR. For example, you could: 

  • Implement employee education programs 
  • Organize community events 
  • Prioritize sustainability 
  • Make decisions that benefit customers over profit  

Leading with business ethics has many benefits. Employees often feel safer when working with leaders who embrace CSR, which enhances their creativity and encourages risk-taking. They also perceive an ethical leader as more authentic and reliable, leading to a more positive workplace environment.14  

Developing leadership principles and management skills 

Strengthening your leadership and management capabilities can help you advance your career and work effectively with teams. 

Many people enhance these abilities by participating in formal training programs. For example, you can pursue a graduate degree in management or organizational leadership. Additionally, many professional associations offer certificates and workshops on leadership and management. 

Coaching and mentoring programs can also help you become a more effective leader and manager. Use your alumni network and online resources like LinkedIn and Meetup to seek experienced mentors. It’s also helpful to set goals with your mentor so they can provide specific guidance for your professional journey.15 

Set yourself apart as a visionary leader and manager 

Prepare to become a transformative leader and manager of change in fast-paced business environments. Marquette University’s online Master in Management is an online learning program that provides career guidance from seasoned business leaders. The Marquette Business Career Center also offers career counseling, interview practice sessions and other types of support to promote your professional success.

Our humanitarian-centered curriculum helps you build a critical understanding of what it means to be an innovative and successful leader. You’ll learn the latest approaches to leadership and effective communication as you take courses like Character-Driven Leadership, Leading People and Change, and Leadership Coaching and Development.

Don’t wait to get started. Make an appointment with an admissions outreach advisor today to learn more about how the program builds competency for leadership and effective management. 

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  11. Retrieved on October 9, 2023, from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470432/
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