Not everyone is a leader and not all leaders lead. We have leaders and we have those who lead.
There are natural leaders, those that are born with the gift to inspire others. That has the tendency to make people take action, to move in their directions, to hope and believe in the future to come.
And then we have those who hold the position of power or influence but they don’t inspire us. We do what they want not because we’re happy to do it but because we must do it to get our share or make ends meet.
These kinds of people have zero or little loyal followers who will do whatever it takes to be with them and go their directions. And this is down to the fact that they lack the necessary leadership skills to inspire.
But those who inspire us are leaders we naturally want to follow, sometimes it’s difficult to explain why we feel that way but we’re loyal to them.
They also hold the position of power or influence but we don’t follow them because of that position.
The good news is that even if you’re not a natural-born leader, you can learn the leadership skills needed to inspire others and become a great leader.
In this article, I’ll go over the 10 most prominent leadership skills of great leaders and what you need to do to become one.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
This is one of the most important leadership skills and qualities of a true leader and everyone can develop this important skill.
Integrity is been honest, setting a very high standard for your team and everyone close to you. This high standard is what gives birth to highly creative leaders.
When you develop this skill, most of your decision making as a leader will come from your gut, your organization will automatically have a strong direction and you’ll command the loyalty of your team.
Developing your integrity to high standards takes a lot of work but it must be the first skill you focus on improving. That’s because there is no reason for others to follow you when you don’t give them the reason.
People follow those they’re in awe of. Those that have a higher standard than they do. Those that had a vision of a world to be and clearly show them how to get there.
You must exhibit this qualities if you’re to develop your skills.
Have you ever seen a team that’s been lead by a coward? I’m sorry if that seems insulting and I would be happy if you can comment a better word in the comment section.
The level of the confidence of your team highly depends on how confident you’re. You must understand that your team (those you lead) will always want to do things to your satisfaction.
For this reason, they’ll only go to the direction you craft knowing that whether it works or not, the responsibility rests on you.
Highly confident leaders speak with power, the take actions with eagerness (even though they aren’t 100% sure), and people can sense that confidence from a thousand miles away.
Developing your self-esteem is not rocket science and it takes time depending on your level of integrity.
Here are the steps to develop your confidence:
- Visualize yourself as you want to be (think of a difficult situation and visualize yourself as a confident leader that solves the problem with eagerness).
- Affirmation (morning affirmation will go a long way to building your confidence).
- Consciously do the thing you feel less confident about often
- Ask yourself one simple question – “why am I not confident about this?“.
These steps will help you develop your self-esteem and feel more confident about yourself.
3. Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking is a thought process that focuses on evaluating the critical factors of a particular situation or performance that influence long term and short term performance of a business or team.
To develop this skill, you must ensure that there is no assumption in your data collection process.
What most leaders do is to collect all possible data then they evaluate the critical factors of this data before making a decision.
If care is not taken, an assumption can enter this thought process and the end result can be catastrophic.
However, even if the end result turns out to be satisfactory, it’s not a good practice and will do more damage than good in the long term.
You must ensure you collect all possible data without an ounce of assumption and diligently evaluate each situation.
Great leaders knows the importance of strategic thinking and it’s the core of leadership skills that needs continuous development.
4. Planning and Delivery
Your ability to craft an informed plan and ensure the plan delivers the end result by strictly following the plan is another important leadership skill.
Planning and delivery take place after strategic thinking has been applied to the situation at hand.
Developing this skill is easy and you can simply delegate it to qualified personnel in your team while overseeing the process and ensuring that the plan is been followed.
Undoubtedly one of the most important leadership skills, your ability to solve problems will make or break your business.
Creative leaders are able to easily adapt to situations and find innovative solutions to each problem that comes their way.
To develop your problem solving skills, you must follow the steps below:
- Listen – You must actively listen to your team, staff, or customers voicing their concerns. Your ability to read emotions and understand every word is very important to solving a problem.
- Gather data – As I said in this article, you must remove assumptions from data gathering and thought processes regarding any situation.
- Strategic thinking – Ensure you think out of the box.
- Develop a solution.
- Rinse and repeat.
6. Creativity and Innovation
Creative leaders must be creative. However, the ability of some leaders to truly innovate their industry, their business strategy and organization are what sets them apart from the rest.
As a leader, you must develop the ability to create innovative solutions in your business.
Your team or organization will depend on you for solutions and permission to carry out their daily task and other important activities in your business.
As a leader, you must be dependable and your team will revolve around you. You must be committed and hold yourself accountable for every part of your team’s effort.
Your teammates or employees must also be held accountable for their daily activities. Your ability to develop your integrity to a very high standard will ensure your team sees you as a trustworthy person they can depend on.
Great leaders know that humility is a very important skill that must be honed over and over again.
You just can’t fake humility and your ability to remain humble will be spread throughout your team or organization.
You won’t always have answers and solutions to your organizational problem and admitting while seeking answers from your staff or teammates requires humility.
If you lack this simple but important skill, your teammates will pick it up and try to imitate you. This will be catastrophic for your business.
How do you approach your employee? How do your employees approach your customers?
Communication is one of the most important leadership skills and must be appropriate to get the right words to your teammates.
You must continue to improve your communication skills and create a border for what words are allowed in your organization.
Listening is also very important in communication. Your ability to actively listen will help you communicate the right words at the right time.
10. Ability to Inspire
This is perhaps the greatest skill you must develop, nurture, and continue improving on.
Great leaders are those that start with WHY in every situation they find themselves.
Why do you start your business in the first place?
Why do you have that problem at that particular time?
You must always ask why to truly inspire others to take action. Great leaders inspire their team and the team is willing to follow them.
While other leaders manipulate their team through various incentives and fear, their team follow them because of their own gains and are always ready to jump ship at the sight of a better opportunity.
When you start with WHY, you’ll be able to truly inspire your organization and command their loyalty.
Great leaders must possess all 10 leadership skills listed in this article. The good news is that all the leadership skills are related and you can improve two or three skills just by focusing on one.
Which skills are you working on improving right now and what question will you like to get an answer to?
Leave a comment in the comment section.