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Develop Leadership Skills for Today and Tomorrow
Leaders and leadership roles are found at all levels throughout an organization. Some are in a position of leadership, some aspire for a role with a greater scope of influence, and some are high performing and wanting to lead from where they sit inside the organizational structure. Wherever you sit in an organization, keeping your leadership skills current supports your ongoing success.
Change is moving at a faster pace and the importance of leadership skills in the workplace is becoming more pressing. Individuals are developing leadership skills to meet the swift currents of change head on with greater capacity and agility.
Similar to leadership styles, there are many skills that support being or becoming a great leader.
WHAT ARE EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP SKILLS?
Ultimately, what determines effective leadership skills is the result or impact of applying those skills. Not only which are applied, but how, when, where and with whom. Consider that good leadership skills focus in many directions… inward (on self), outward (staff, team members, stakeholders, the organization), and across time – looking into the past, at the now, and into the future.
WHAT ARE THE FIVE LEADERSHIP SKILLS?
Pick up a book or relevant article and you’ll see that there are many types of leadership skills, leadership skills examples, and leadership skills lists – all labeled as important skills. The data out there can seem overwhelming, leaving you asking yourself, “Where do I begin?” or “What is most important?”
From our point of view, the broad list of leadership skills can be distilled down to a short list of what a good leader does. If you start here, you’re on your way to becoming an even more effective leader.
Leadership: A Lifetime of Learning
- 1Leadership Communication Skills. This is one of those “soft skills” areas that most of us have to continually work on. If you’ve ever taken any leadership training in this arena (and even if you haven’t), you probably recognize that we all have built-in perceptions and filters based on many factors (values, experience, etc.) that cloud our listening, that shape our communication. In order to effectively communicate, one of the things we can do is to be fully present and engaged. Good communication starts with taking ownership of our contribution to any miscommunication, and to notice when and how things are done when it’s working (not just to our satisfaction, but to all involved in the communication.)
- 2Forest Through the Trees. Having the ability to see the big picture in the midst of the minutia is a key leadership skill. We can get caught up in the smaller details and miss the bigger, important indicators on our dashboard that impact the collective. Adapting our perspective helps the organization move forward.
- 3Gap Analysis. Knowing what to look for and why, understanding what’s important to measure and how, figuring out what’s missing and where… these are key leadership skills. The context will vary. It might be organizational creativity and innovation, or budgeting, or staff skillsets, or stakeholder needs, or even in one’s own knowledge, skills or abilities. The context for gap analysis is broad and certainly based on what’s happening today. Analyzing relevant gaps to success is key, but just as important is how you address the gaps. Strategizing and filling the gaps effectively and efficiently is key.
- 4Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This is another of the “soft skills” that some research indicates determines the difference between a good leader and a great leader. Being able to understand and manage your own emotions creates richer soil for thinking with greater clarity, making decisions with greater confidence, operating with deeper focus and presence, and learning from mistakes. Emotional intelligence is also the awareness of others and the ability to manage and navigate those relationships with greater success. Leaders don’t operate in a vacuum (at least successful ones don’t), so maintaining a consciousness of others and your relationship to them supports employee engagement and influencing others, among other leadership efforts.We said five, but here’s one more…
- 5Resilience. Enough said. Not really… Someone once said that 100% of our capacity to deliver reside in our body. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, we can’t be there for others, we can’t fulfill on our commitments, we can’t make the difference we’re striving to make. For some of us, staying resilient means managing stress and burnout. For others, it might be eating better or spending more time with our families. Rejuvenating yourself is important for longevity on the court.
- 6Decision Making. Have you ever seen a leader waffle on what to do? What was the impact on you, on others in the organization? As leaders, we often don’t have 100% of the data and often we have much less, though pressures are mounting for a decision to be made and communicated. What’s important relative to decision making is how it’s done and the clarity with which it is addressed: what is being decided, the inputs (what, from where, from whom, when, why), the process, the roles of those involved and the desired outcome(s). Having the ability and the skill to make good decisions (and recover from those that could have been better) is essential for effective leadership.
According to Forbes Magazine, 2021 will require a shift in leadership skills.
Are you ready for 2021? Find out.
WHAT ARE THE 10 CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD LEADER?
In addition to what a leader does (leadership skills), good leadership is also determined by how he or she is being (characteristics). Here are our top ten characteristics of successful leaders are:
- Trustworthy –High Integrity
- Motivating (people can see where they fit and how they can contribute)
- Inspiring (creates a vision – a future to move toward and into)
- Of Service
HOW CAN YOU
DEMONSTRATE LEADERSHIP SKILLS?
You might be asking yourself this question. Or, you might ask how you can demonstrate your leadership skills in a better, different or more impactful way. There are many options out there and talking with a high-caliber, seasoned leadership coach can help you find answers. In one conversation or over a series of conversations, a coach can ask thought-provoking questions that are designed to expand your perspective, narrow your approach and clarify your action steps. Maybe you are already high-performing and looking for that next big challenge. Maybe you’ve struggled to step fully into the leader you know you are. Maybe you want to increase your scope of impact. Maybe you want to develop your staff to step up. There are endless options and yet, for you, narrowing them down and choosing a pathway forward regarding how and where to demonstrate your leadership skills is your journey. Our coaches are prepared to walk with you and provide support as you develop your leadership skills.
Where Do You Want to Go as a Leader?
Identify and Leverage Your Leadership Strengths
WHAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS ARE YOUR STRONGEST?
One of the tenants of great leaders is self-awareness and in this case, it’s knowing your strengths and weaknesses (“development opportunities” as we call them). It’s interesting that many people spend a lot of time and energy trying to fix what’s sub-par, which can result in frustration and upset. That time could be better spent identifying your strongest leadership skills and utilizing them effectively. Which do you choose?