With effective leadership driving productive, engaged, and successful teams, it's no wonder that leadership skills are some of the most sought-after attributes.
Although some people might be 'natural born' leaders, it's fair to say that most people have to work at these skills. With the right motivation and commitment to development, anyone can gain the skills needed.
In this blog, we look at what these skills are, and the attributes needed to be successful in a leadership role.
Without a doubt, communication is the most essential leadership skill. If you can't communicate your vision, then you can't motivate your team to deliver it.
Research shows that successful leaders are typically great communicators. Not only are they able to articulate their messages with clarity, but they tend to do so with a confidence and positive attitude that inspires buy-in from others.
When delivering their messages, they listen and question more than they speak, which helps build rapport and trust. Many successful leaders also operate an 'open door' policy, reinforcing the sense of team and accessibility.
The next most important leadership skill is Strategic Thinking. Distinguishing leaders from managers, strategic thinking is critical to successful leadership. Being able to identify and analyse critical factors and then process them in such a way that they are organised to create long-term business success is key.
It may sound complex but this level of thinking is certainly something that can be learned..
A great strategy is useless if your team doesn't feel inspired to carry out the plans.This is where the need to inspire your team is so important.
Inspired teams tend to feel valued by their leaders and to have trust in their plans and direction. To achieve this, there are several important considerations:
By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their teams, good leaders can delegate tasks to the right people. Giving authentic praise, challenging team members, and demonstrating trust in their abilities are all great ways to motivate team members and to ensure they feel invested in their work.
Delegating tasks allows leaders to see the woods for the trees – which in turn boosts their strategic thinking. Controlling tasks and failing to delegate are sure ways to become lost amongst the trees and to lose the broader perspective that is essential to successful leadership.
Most people who go on to become great leaders, do so on the back of errors. In fact, it's fair to say that people who don't make errors have, in likelihood, done very little. They've certainly not tried to push ideas and initiatives forward. Good leaders learn from mistakes made. They understand how to adapt their approach going forward and then move onto the next thing.
One thing good leaders don't do is to allow errors to define them or to limit future initiatives.
If you are looking to take your leadership skills one step further, then enroll on our high-impact leadership training course. This one day course is delivered in-house and covers essential topics, such as:
Contact the Training South West team for more information.
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