Perhaps you are doing great at your company and you have many years of experience behind you, however, you feel like you could contribute to your team in a more impactful way. In fact, you could make this impactful contribution from a leadership position. Before you step into leadership, you will need to develop your business acumen skills. Business acumen is best construed as a combination of skills and knowledge which stems from experience regarding business development. The good thing about this is that anyone can become a good leader in a company by learning business acumen skills, regardless of their current job title. This is also great for the company since all of the employees will be able to rely on one another with the skills necessary to see the big picture and make proper decisions which contribute to the development of business. Now people from different areas of work, can combine their expertise with the newly acquired business acumen skills in order to contribute to their team in the best way possible. Here are six key ways to develop business acumen skills and make a step towards leadership.
Get professional training
A surefire way to make a step in the right direction immediately is to get professional training. One of the latest and most optimal ways to develop your business acumen is through the use of digital training platforms which offer simulated business environments for you to learn some of the most challenging aspects of running a business. This is the best way to gain hands-on experience without creating unnecessary risks for the company. This is a great option for people who want to learn in their own style and pace.
Learn to lead
One of the biggest components of developing good business acumen is improving leadership and management skills. Anyone can become an effective leader no matter how big their team is. These skills are not limited to big management teams anymore. In fact, more and more companies are actively searching for new job candidates who excel in leadership and management skills regardless of their position. This is really important since most companies are working within teams. Some of these skills include: commitment, time management, self-motivation, honesty, motivation skills, innovative thinking, delegating tasks properly, and a mindset for growth.
Learn about finances
Apart from being able to lead people, a good leader should also be skilled with the financial aspect of work. Financial acumen involves developing a high level of financial literacy as well as adhering to protocols such as budgeting, making financial reports and making important predictions based on data. Ideally, each employee should be able to understand what moves the cash-flow in and out of the company. This is because the responsibility ultimately lays in the hands of the individual, and each person can maximize profit by making small tentative steps on a daily basis while also minimizing losses. This allows for a much more integrated approach to making important business decisions on the level of the entire organization. Specific skills to look out for include; making detailed financial reports from each department, being able to read and understand important financial metrics, preparing a budget and its implementation as well as working with financial statement analysis tools.
Find a mentor
Once you have a baseline level of business acumen skills, you can look for a mentor who is going to provide further hands-on experience by delegating some of the tasks in certain cases. The best thing of all is that finding a mentor doesn’t even have to occur face-to-face. You can follow your favorite mentor online, and learn from them by reading their blogs and following their social media in order to develop a better sense of understanding of how they operate. Once you learn enough, you can also become a mentor to someone else, this is a great thing for the company because employees can rely on one another to develop a global improvement in business acumen skills.
Learn from failures
One of the best ways to develop long-term success with acquiring business acumen skills is to adopt a positive growth mindset. Some difficulties and potential failures are inevitable along the way, and although you cannot control the outcome you can always control your reaction to a problem. Recent
neuroscience research has found that the optimal way to learn doesn’t mean avoiding failure but actually failing 15% percent of the time. This provides a sufficient challenge which is going to reinforce key points in acquiring new business acumen skills. The right attitude towards learning itself is going to give you the most value in the long run.
Learn to communicate
In order to implement any of the aforementioned skills effectively it is incredibly important to be able to communicate in an efficient and clear way. A big part of delegating tasks as a leader involves communicating the details about a task to the rest of the team. This is also going to be a valuable overarching skill in negotiating important points with your stakeholders. In the long term you will be able to create a cohesive work environment and build great relationships within the organization in order to maximize business outcomes.
Within a company, each person has the responsibility to develop their business acumen skills as well, as this means that everybody will be on the same page and able to contribute more efficiently to the entire company. This can be done by assessing a few things first; seeking professional training, learning to lead, educating yourself on financial management, finding a mentor, learning from failures, and developing communication skills.