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Leadership Means Having Strong Soft Skills, Too

In the FGIA Education Department, we talk about the labor shortage and continuing education all the time. But another integral facet of education that doesn’t always get as many headlines is the importance of leadership skills.

What skills does a leader need?

As education manager at the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance, it is often necessary to balance many responsibilities within a limited amount of time. Throughout my career at FGIA, I have learned a lot about leadership and how fine-tuning that skillset can provide equilibrium within your team and ultimately your organization. While having a mastery of skills in one’s field is obviously very important, so are things like soft skills, which a leader needs to achieve his or her full potential.

Everyone in the workforce develops hard skills required to be employed in the fenestration and glazing industry, but developing soft skills, such as communicating effectively with people, recognizing a company’s culture and effectively aligning with that culture and understanding accountability in the workplace, provides the necessary intangibles to become a great leader.

How do soft skills make you strong?

Imagine how much more you could get done in your leadership role if you had a firm handle on concepts like:

  • How to keep people engaged
  • Getting more productivity out of your team members
  • Knowing how to address difficult accountability discussions with others
  • Gaining general “buy-in” with your vision, or generating teamwide buy-in
  • Learning to communicate effectively with various personality types, ensuring all are clear on their action items and purpose

Soft skills have served me well in my role as a manager. Leading a team and leading a team well are two different things, and I think the industry might do well to put more focus on these skills all industries need to be more efficient and successful.

For more information on great leadership traits and to learn how to be a great leader every day, consider taking part in FGIA’s Leadership Development Program. Enrollment is open until March 31. Learn more at


FGIA Kaydeen Laird

Kaydeen Laird

Kaydeen Laird is the education manager for the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance and has worked for the association since 2003. She oversees all education initiatives. Kaydeen is responsible for the execution of all webinars and professional certification programs, including FenestrationMasters and InstallationMasters.