Leadership skills can play a large role in a person’s career development. To be an effective leader and help move your career forward, you’ll also need soft skills, such as the ability to be a good listener and communicator.
There are several core leadership skills that are considered important traits to help you become a more effective leader. Whether it’s taking the initiative, developing critical thinking skills, or learning how to motivate and empower those around you, you must constantly be challenging yourself to enhance your leadership capabilities.
There are many different types of leaders, but very few people are natural, born leaders. Most of us need to learn, develop, and improve on how to be a good leader. Leadership development involves identifying and mastering the key skills and characteristics that are required to become a successful leader.
To be an effective leader, you’ll need to be adept at managing a team. This requires knowledge of the organization’s mission and how its talent needs will evolve over time. Other skills, such as recruiting, hiring, delegating, coaching and training will help build on your ability to manage staff.
A true leader should positively influence people. When employees or coworkers lose their ambitions and passions, a true leader can energize and motivate them. How do leaders motivate people? First, they know what people need and want. For example, if an employee loses motivation because they think their hard work is not being recognized, a good leader will talk to that person and offer the recognition that is deserved.
Sometimes, people lose their motivation because they are facing difficulties, are tired of doing the same repetitive tasks, or are disappointed they are not being asked to get involved. A good leader should seek out team members to see how they’re doing, listen attentively, and empower them to be more involved in the process.
Creating a positive work environment is also a key motivating factor. Establish positive rewards for hitting benchmarks, such as a weekly new client goal or an error-free work week for a production area. Reward them with a Friday lunch or an afternoon of snacks and treats to help people decompress and know that they’re appreciated.
Discipline is required in order to execute the goal. Even if you have a vision or a good idea, it’s useless without discipline. If you want to execute effectively, you need discipline.
For example, say you and your team wanted to create a business plan to attract investors. You had lots of ideas for the business plan, but there was no discipline in place to ensure the presentation was rehearsed. When it came time to present the proposal, you were not able to properly communicate your objective to the investors. This outcome resulted in the investors declining your proposal.
To be a good leader, you need to be self-disciplined, and make sure others on your team are disciplined.
When things are changing rapidly, it is important to constantly learn and challenge yourself. Study other leaders and their qualities, mannerisms, and the way they communicate. Although you don’t have to copy another leader, incorporate some of their traits into your style.
According to Theodore Roosevelt, “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Leaders have to know how to handle difficult people and resolve conflicts. If an employee doesn’t work to the best of their ability and brings a negative attitude to work, leaders have to step up and talk to that person in private.
Be a Follower
Leaders should learn to recognize the value of team members, learn from them, and encourage other team members to learn from them. Learn things that you didn’t know from a person who specializes in a particular area. If an employee has a new idea, encourage it, and see where it goes. Be one of their biggest fans. Help them to step out of their comfort zone and by believing in them; you’ll instill confidence. Recognize when one of your employees is taking the type of initiative that you took when you were just starting out, building your skillset, and honing your leadership skills.
Engage via social media
As we advance further into the digital age, more business leaders are stepping out from behind the scenes and making their presence known on social media. Taking some time to engage with your organization’s digital audience via social media helps establish you as an expert; it also adds a personal component to your organization’s online interactions.
Engaging with your organization’s customers and potential customers is a great way to add a human element to your company’s brand identity. It helps you to appear personable and gives customers the idea that they know you and what you value.
Engaging with customers or clients can be as simple as commenting on trending topics on social media. Though these topics may not necessarily relate to your company’s brand, they may be important to your organization’s online audience. Personally delivering news to your organization’s online followers about new products, services, and or initiatives is another way for the public to put a face with the brand they love. Also, if you enjoy writing, publishing a blog on industry related topics and sharing those blog posts on social media is another way to connect with customers.
Good leadership skills are essential to career development. If you want to improve your leadership skills, think about what actions you can take to be more influential. If you are already a leader, think about how you can influence others.