5 Ways to Elevate Your Leadership Skills

“What makes a good leader?”

 

“What makes a good leader?” This is the most commonly asked question at all our leadership programs. Many of us implicit link the presence of underperforming team members or a high turnover of high performing staff to weak leadership.

Leadership skills is a big determinant of career development and there are many different skill sets that can help you become a more effective leader. Here are some of the key traits of good leaders:

• Trust and Delegation

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done…and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

A successful leader does not micromanage. Empowering your team to make decisions and thinking out the box are a part of effective leadership. Most leaders have high “D” personalities, meaning that they can be strong-headed when making decisions, believing that their way is the only acceptable approach. However, many leaders fail to understand that there are multiple ways to accomplish a task, and team members could have better and more innovative ideas. Trust and delegation is a crucial first step to developing a more motivated and committed team that feels empowered to make decisions.

• Lead by example and your flock will follow

While many of us readily cite this often-quoted cliché, deep introspection would reveal that most of us fail to practice what we preach. The most important leadership skill is to lead by example. You must intentionally and consciously walk your talk to motivate those around you to follow you as their leader. Your peers, supervisors and subordinate are constantly watching your every decision. If you are caught bad-mouthing and speaking ill of others, chances are that your people will unlikely to see you as a great leader. Nothing destroys a cohesive team quicker than a lack of trust in your ability to walk the talk as a leader.

• Reward and recognise small achievements

Every team and individual needs to be motivated through rewards, acknowledgement and affirmation on how they have contributed to the team. Recognise their achievements, celebrate their wins and support them when they need it. The team will see it as affirmation to continue moving on the right direction.

• Be an inspiration and motivate others

Being a great and effective leader depends on your ability to get things done. An effective leader motivates others and drive his people to do their best even in the worst situations. Great leaders have a deep connection with their teams and inspire them to do their best work. If you have a great leader to look up to, strive to become a leader whom others will seek to emulate. The best way to become a great leader is train yourself to constantly improve, not just by helping others to learn and grow, but also to invest in self-development and grow with your organisation.

• Engage with your team

“When you come into your office in the morning, don’t turn on your computer until you have walked around the office and connected with people first,” – Jack Zenger, Author, Co-founder and CEO of Zenger Folkman says.

Leadership is all about motivating people, and motivating people is all about having a connection with them. Motivating people begins with building a bond and there is real value in connecting with people and letting them know that you care. Investing time in your team beyond the ordinary course of work builds trust and give your staff the confidence to perform, knowing that you will always have their back.


Great leadership skills are essential to career development. “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority,” said Ken Blanchard.

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