Being a leader isn’t just about leading the charge towards success, but being able to grow and nurture those around you on that journey.
That comes with the need for a leadership toolbox that enables you to develop important leadership skills that allow you to be impactful in any situation.
Your leadership skills are like any skills, they need to be constantly developed and improved as you, your team, and your business evolve.
To create great businesses, we need to be great leaders, therefore our leadership journey starts on day one.
Here are some of the most important qualities and skills necessary for leadership:
1. Ability to Lead
This connects closely with your ability to share your vision. An essential component of leadership is the ability to bring others along on the journey. That means having a clear vision, providing purpose for those who work alongside you, and providing a clear path to success. The buck stops with you after all.
2. Effective Communication
All great leaders are great communicators. Understanding how to share information and ensure it is retained is a core skill. Each person learns in their own way so you have to be aware of that.
Rather than assume that the other party doesn’t understand, it might be that they don’t learn that way. By understanding the other person, you can develop the right way to share ideas, feedback, and support that gets the right outcome for both parties.
3. Relationship Building
A passion for people and connection will increase the positive influence of your leadership. Long gone are the days when being a leader meant having the biggest office and little interaction with your team.
With new working environments developing constantly, being front and centre is becoming more and more important. Access to leaders is critical for true connection and understanding under all circumstances.
This isn’t limited to staff but all relationships that enable your business to operate and thrive. After all, all business is about people in some shape or form.
4. Perceptive of Team Needs
Right people in the right seats is an old cliché but it is going to fast-track success for the business if the right people are doing what they are good at and enjoy. As a leader, it is essential that you don’t silo people into such fixed roles. There is often hidden talent in all teams that are waiting to be found. A leader’s role is to constantly be looking for ways to develop all aspects of the team and the talents that sit beyond their cv.
Trustworthiness should be a default of any leader along with integrity. But what makes really great leaders is for them to be open, vulnerable, and approachable, this is what creates trust.
Being able to have strong and fulfilling conversations where each party knows that the other is sharing the right trust and intent for the best outcome.
6. Time Management
Great leaders not only have to manage their own time, but they also have to create a culture of accountability when it comes to the impact of their time management on that of others.
It’s not just about being where you said you would, but understanding the value of time on stress, budgets, and profit. Businesses that are run well reduce stress, create an environment of strong and clear expectations, and move quickly towards success.
Great leaders are committed to their business, their employees, and their customers. A humanistic leader will think beyond the numbers, work with the right people and not give up when the going gets tough. This shows your team that they can rely on you and your vision.
8. Problem Solving
All leaders must know how to solve problems for their team and company, in fact, it is one of your core leadership skills. Essentially businesses are by their very definition there to solve a problem for another party. But often it’s about understanding what the real problem is in the first place that is what creates the best outcome. That requires other key skills including; curiosity, critical thinking, and a passion to challenge the status quo.
Self-doubt can slow your leadership as arrogance. Confidence shows your team they can trust that you are taking the right path. But confidence is earned through success and failure. The ability to take planned and considered risks helps you build resilience and therefore confidence in all aspects of your business from disruption to closing a sale.
10. Inspire Others
Leaders inspire by doing. Managers manage the process, leaders inspire those around them to understand and believe what is possible, even if they don’t have all the answers.
By showing the way by doing you will help others on their journey of growth and fulfillment.
11. Decision-Making Capabilities
While decision-making is critical for all leaders, it is also about the cadence at which you make decisions and your ability to allow others to make decisions for you. If you have to make hundreds of decisions a day you will soon burn out.
Decide what needs to be you, and what needs to be delegated to others. Remember no decision is worse than the wrong decision.
It’s one of the toughest leadership skills to own and master. Poor leadership will lean into blaming, strong servant leadership will ask why the situation is as it is. If you as a leader can hold yourself accountable and provide a fair framework for others, you remove blame and encourage ownership.
13. Delegation and Empowerment
You cannot do everything. Literally. That’s one of the biggest lessons to learn and quickly.
Businesses simply do not grow if you do not empower and delegate to others. Leaders accept that they are not experts in everything and they understand how to make themselves redundant in key roles as they grow the organisation.
This comes with massive awareness and trust in others. But before you delegate, communicate, train and support, that will help you create strong and clear expectations.
Leaders should develop empathy with those that they serve. And that’s the critical lesson, as a leader you serve others every day and the only way for the relationship to grow is to be able to step into the shoes of that other person. This builds greater understanding and connection in all situations.
Your job as a leader is never done. While you are serving others you have to continually assess your own leadership skills, where you are weak, where you are strong and what you can do to improve them to be a great leader.