5 Essential Skills of Great Leaders

What Does It Take to be a Leader in Logistics?

5 Essential Skills to Master to be a Great Logistics Leader

Leadership is a valuable and unique attribute that transforms a good employee into a great one. A leader should possess an unshakeable vision and the ability to transcend this into an actual reality. Beyond this, the best leaders in the world will inspire others to do the same.

To push the logistics industry forward, we need a united and future-looking outlook. Arguably, as one of the fastest-growing sectors affected by globalization and a string of technology advancements, it has become necessary for our innovators to be the driving force.

“Behind every great leader there was an even greater logistician.”
– James M Cox

Leadership is more than inspired character and experience, it means having access to new ideas and concepts, which influence your approach. Read on to discover what it takes to lead change in logistics.

Establish A Clear Vision and Communicate It Clearly

Strong leaders will motivate others to share in a common goal. While it’s easy for most of us to generate an exciting idea, to shape this into an inspiration for the wider workplace and industry is a unique challenge. Outstanding communication and an intuitive understanding of your coworkers are essential.

Every supply chain is reliant on consistency all the way down the line, from data collection to the final delivery for a customer. In order to maintain an effective operation, leading logistics professionals will need to keep well-informed, to empower other workers as a catalyst for positive change.

Keep an Eye on the Future and Keep Moving Forward

Industry advancements aren’t quite what they were. They’re more subtle, quick to turn around and can disrupt the entire line of supply. If your management team isn’t able to recognize and understand trends, economic success can be stunted at a rapid pace.

Forecasting these demands ahead of time to craft an effective response is crucial. As organizations continue to leverage and create a digital community, we need to digitize our key financial and business processes in order to stay ahead. Predicting the trend requires experience, understanding and an informed network of professionals.

As the sector continues to see significant structural shifts in terms of management, even junior positions entail some serious decision-making opportunities. This brings with it a unique set of challenges, most importantly how you can balance original innovation with fundamentals. A leader will leverage their capacity to learn, analyze and filter based on their experiences.

Build Authentic Relationships

Meaningful individual relationships are an important component of a much broader leadership picture. It takes years of work to recognize the failures in personal ambition when it comes to cultivating a genuine working relationship at each point of the supply chain.

Authentic and diversified communication is the only way to move forward and bring your coworkers with you. Digital influences change the way we communicate with each other, where everything from briefing to reviews can be done online.

“Creativity is an import-export business.”
– Ethan Zuckerman

Now, more than ever, a strong rapport and support system needs to be spearheaded by a trusted individual. Job hopping is as common as smartphones, and employee retention is a very serious issue facing the logistics industry. One unmotivated employee could spell disaster at a much higher level.

To be a leader in logistics, you need to show by example and communicate with both workers and supplies. This builds confidence and shows employees they are valued.

Stay Curious and Never Stop Learning

Adult learning is integral to employee growth; no matter your age or position, connecting with new ideas will always be the best way to grow. A considered leader will not only have access to new ideas and ways of thinking but actively seek this knowledge.

In our present culture of instant demand and satisfaction, it is crucial that leaders develop at a rate that can keep pace and, as time goes on, eventually take the lead. Your practices are essential when it comes to reviewing and replacing outdated process. An education, whether a university degree or a Diploma in Logistics, is central to this.

Experiences create opportunity, and leadership cannot be defined by one single moment or position. The best leaders wear many different hats throughout their career and continue to build on each position and change leadership style along the way.

Reflect On Inefficiency

Reflect on your personal performance and the achievements of others in order to identify where there are chinks in the chain, and what can be replicated elsewhere for better results. Logistics management requires the constant re-evaluation of data and processes in order to get a clear picture of where your business sits in the global industry.

“The wisdom to realise when working on Plan A, you’ll run into conflicts in executing Plan B and being properly prepared, and successfully executing Plan E.”
– Captain John Laverdure

Real-time integration and complete visibility are the gateways to the future of the logistics sector. Don’t only give constructive feedback, consistently seek it from others to effect the outcome. Often we can find it easier to critique others, instead of looking to improve ourselves.

The best leaders in logistics? They learn from their experience and others around them to continue to reinvent the industry’s future.

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Helen Sabell

Helen Sabell is the founder of The College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas.

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