Leadership in logistics: How to improve and its benefits
Created on January 14, 2022
In this article you will get:
When we talk about leadership in logistics, the first thing that usually comes to mind is some kind of short film in which a great leader (which in this case is often played by ourselves) motivates and leads his team to success.
But what exactly does leadership in logistics mean? Who is this leader and what skills does he/she have?
Strong leaders are important for any business function, but since the logistics industry is characterized by its rapid expansion and ability to innovate, a good leader is one who not only develops innovative solutions to optimize the strategy and operations of the supply chain but also who encourages their team to deliver the best possible results.
What does it take to be a good logistics leader?
As Ralph Drayer, president of Supply Chain Insights, said, “leadership is the ability to inspire people based on the vision you create for them.” Leadership in logistics is a valuable and unique attribute, so a leader is one who is able to transcend his vision into the real situation and, more than that, inspire others to do the same.
However, to do this a good leader needs to have certain skills and knowledge. So here are 5 essential skills for you to master in order to be a great logistics leader:
- Communication is the key: Clear and objective communication skills are vital to a good leader. Establishing good communication with your team members and other co-workers is essential to ensure an open and healthy relationship.
Strong leaders will motivate others to share a common goal, and in an environment where communication flows well, this becomes simpler.
To maintain an effective operation, the key logistics professionals need to keep themselves well informed, to empower other workers as a catalyst for positive change.
In addition, it is extremely important that you establish a communication channel from which your employees will feel safe and comfortable to give their feedback. And similarly, you will also feel comfortable expressing your opinion about the outcome of the operation and suggest improvements.
- Always be one step ahead: The rapidly changing role of technology in supply chain operations represents another vital topic for logistics leadership.
It is crucial that freight forwarding and logistics professionals who wish to assume leadership positions are able to carefully observe industry trends to help anticipate changes that may affect their company.
This means that since industry advances are not quite what they were, that is, they are more subtle and rapid, if your logistic team is not able to recognize and understand trends, processes can lose efficiency and effectiveness.
Therefore, it is crucial to anticipate these demands early on to create an effective response.
- Teamwork makes the dream work: A leader cannot exist without a team. To be a good logistics leader, you need to have a strong relationship and support system with your team.
In addition, you need to show by example and communicate with your team. This builds trust and shows employees that they are valued. Recognizing your team’s efforts is also part of the leader’s role.
Get to know your team, discover the strengths of each employee, and work on them. It is by working together that all aspects of the supply chain can be successful.
- Keep learning: As the famous quote by John F. Kennedy points out, “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. It is practically impossible for a leader to remain in such a position without continuous learning and curiosity.
In a market such as logistics and freight forwarding that expands and evolves very quickly, it is crucial that leaders get involved and follow the latest industry events not only to keep updated but also to apply new concepts in their company’s routine and create new strategies.
- Analyze and think about it: Great logistics leaders have vision. They understand the importance of analysis to bring positive change to supply chain management.
Reflect on your own and your team’s performance to identify where there are gaps and what can be replicated to achieve better results. One of the crucial steps in logistics management is to constantly re-evaluate data and processes to get a clear picture of where your company stands in the global industry.
Always seek to implement strategies that have a real impact on your forwarder’s performance, improving its processes and differentiating it from the competition to gain a competitive advantage in acquiring more freight partners.
Furthermore, make sure that you are involved in all stages of the process so that you are prepared for any eventuality. Follow-up needs to be a constant part of a leader’s routine to ensure that everything runs according to the set goals.
Keep in mind that solid leadership in logistics is felt throughout the company and can be the difference between your success or failure.
4 reasons why strong leadership is important in a freight forwarder
As mentioned previously, every company, whether large or small, can prosper and expand its operations by having good leadership. We all already know how strong leaders are able to motivate their teams to achieve the company goals and thus improve the overall quality of the workplace experience.
But now we have gathered 4 other reasons why strong leadership is important to your forwarder and the benefits of it.
- Good leaders identify opportunities, which means they have the ability to look forward, they are focused and goal-oriented, and can make your company one step ahead of the competition;
- Effective leadership leads to a great company culture therefore, a happy and satisfied team that feels appreciated and involved in the forwarder’s journey will be more likely to remain loyal to it;
- Leaders are great mentors, they like to see their teams succeed and enjoy sharing their own skills and knowledge;
- Logistics leadership can increase a forwarder’s revenue since, in a well-led business where employees feel appreciated, productivity will be higher.
You have what it takes!
Now that you know what skills are needed to be a good leader and the benefits that leadership in logistics can bring to your freight forwarder, you can start positioning yourself differently within the game.
You can use this list to identify which of these points you have mastered and which of them you can still develop a bit more. Remember that developing/improving a skill takes time and determination. However, if you have come this far, know that the will to become a leader is already a great start.