It’s all about skills in the modern world. It’s never been more challenging to be a leader than it is today. Markets and entire industries are changing rapidly. For any leader to be successful, it’s important to have the proper skills.
There are thousands of books describing good leadership. You can find lists of skills and attributes in most of those books. But if you want to be a good leader, you need to find a solid list and get busy embracing what it says. Many of the names and terms are interchangeable. So find a good list and run with it.
Many of these skills are evergreen. For example, leaders will always need to be able to communicate well and delegate tasks. Some are table stakes. Take heart that your leadership skills will be valuable for a long time!
Here is a good list to start with
Shore up these 10 leadership skills and protect your future:
The ability to motivate others. Great leaders are great motivators. Think about how you motivate yourself. It’s not that much different to motivate someone else.
Communication skills. Leaders must be excellent communicators. This includes public speaking, addressing small groups, and one-on-one. Remember to practice good listening skills. Fortunately, educational materials abound and there are plenty of willing victims to practice your skills upon.
Delegation skills. You can’t do it all alone. Many high-achievers have trouble letting go and giving up control. You must be able to trust others and use them in the most effective way possible. It’s not enough to just delegate, you must delegate assignments to the those who will excel in that particular task.
Create the proper culture. Leaders must create a culture that matches the industry and the employees. A Wall Street investment bank has a different culture than an elementary school or a pharmaceutical company. Even departments may have their own unique culture.
Adaptability. The challenges facing leaders change regularly. Industries change. Customers change. Economic conditions change. Technology is rapidly changing the way organizations do business. Leaders have to be able to evolve to meet the changing landscape.
Still more leadership skills to consider
Time management. Leaders are busy. There’s always more to do than there are hours in the day. Choosing the most important tasks and making the time to complete them is paramount. Time management skills are easily learned, but don’t come naturally to many people.
Relationship management. Great leaders have strong relationships with their direct reports, hourly employees, executives, and customers. The stronger your relationships, the more you can accomplish. During great challenges, your relationships can make you or break you.
Change management. Leading an organization or department through change is a valuable skill to develop. As companies add technology and reduce workforces, change comes more rapidly.
Be a good follower. Leaders have to follow, too. Leaders that don’t follow are considered dictators. Once you inspire a team, they become largely self-sufficient. It is then your job to follow and provide occasional guidance.
Poise. Leaders face challenges. Poise is a necessary trait for a leader to possess. Without poise, small challenges become bigger, and employees lose faith. When you’re stressed and panicked, your employees are uncomfortable. Build your poise if you want to excel as a leader.
How do your skills measure up?
You can try to predict your success as a manager from this list of skills.
Leaders are much more than Managers. Good managers run processes. Leaders inspire people.
Build your leadership skills and your long-term results will be enhanced. Even with all the big changes in modern businesses, leadership skills continue to be highly valued in the workplace. Great leaders are always in high demand.