Communication is an important skill for a leader to convey his vision and plans to the followers. Leadership failure
will ensue very quickly if communication fails. Both vertical and horizontal communications are important. Vertical communication
is either up-down or down-up and is between the leaders on the top and followers at the bottom. Horizontal communication is
between peers. There is a need to communicate both inside and outside the organisation.
Decision making and problem solving are primary managerial functions that every leader must undertake. Failure to make
correct decisions on time or solving problems timely will lead to leadership failure. Timely decision making is so important
that it is said that a less than perfect decision in time is better than a perfect decision that comes late. A bad decision
can always be corrected by a later decision whereas there is no remedy for a missed decision.
Leaders undertake managerial functions of planning, setting goals & objectives, and evaluation. These require both
vision and technical competence. The leader need not be an expert in the technical aspects. As long as he has the vision,
he can get assistance from those with the professional skills.
Leaders form and lead work groups. They coordinate their work and make decisions on tasking. A leader can not work alone. He can only produce quality work if he has a team to help him. The team must
be formed, trained, and directed.
Dealing with people involves: conflict resolution, motivation, maintaining
relations with superiors and subordinates. People or human skills are the most important of skills in leadership. A leader
who is good with people can get the best out of them. Failure to handle people well leads to a distance between them and the
leader. The distance could even become outright hostility and conflict. A leader who lacks people skills can not keep his
team together. There will be continuous conflicts among followers with eventual break-up of the organisation.