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Do you have a plan for developing yourself as a more effective leader? If not, why not? You cannot expect to grow as a leader if you are not continuously developing your skills. Leaders who continually improve their leadership skills stand the best chance to advance in the most competitive business climates. If you do not prepare and study for the leadership challenges ahead, you will almost certainly get swamped by the competition.
Effective leaders are take-charge, can-do, action-oriented individuals who work hard to make a difference. It is possible to get a little better every day as a leader. If you are willing to put in the time, you really can learn, practice and apply new skills.
When it comes to leadership development, there are many books available that seem to all tout the same skills in different defining points. Sifting through all the different points of view is difficult to say the least. In this article, we will focus on the 7 most important skills that you will need to stay competitive and make sure that you are moving forward.
1. Lead By Example - First and foremost it is important to lead by example, which is hard for some, but crucial overall. You have to make sure that you are leading by doing as often as possible. This transcends just giving lectures, rules, or advice, you have to do what it is you are asking others to do and have a proven track record as proof. If you want to instruct someone else, you have to be an expert, it does not work otherwise.
“You do not become a leader because someone else says you are. You become a leader because you embrace leadership for yourself.”
2. Good Decision Making - Good decision-making is the second major key to success. If you are making bad decisions, you will see the results come to you fast and they will be far lower than expected. Do not fool yourself; making good decisions is not easy or something you can procrastinate in doing.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
3. Vision - Without a vision, people fall away with ease. You have to not only hold onto the vision that you have for your future, but for the future of anyone that is going to attach themselves to your leadership. You cannot move forward without a long-term vision, or else you will plummet before you even come close to victory.
4. Team Building - How strong is your team? Without a core group of team members, there is no leader. A team is “a small number of people with complementary skills...committed to a common purpose, a set of performance goals and a shared approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” Without having a good team in place to help build the vision further, a leader will fall the wayside.
“The strength of the leader is the team. The strength of the team is the leader.”
5. Communication - Clear communication is the key to making sure that the team knows how to move forward and acts on what to do next. Without a clear line of communication, a person cannot expect the maximum growth potential that is necessary for longevity in any type of business situation.
6. Train For Maximum Growth - Training is important, because without fundamentals, a person or even a team cannot thrive. Establishing good fundamentals is the most crucial thing to moving ahead of the curve. Without doing so, a person will end up losing out on big things.
“Create a small group of powerful mentors to support you and keep you going.”
7. Empower Others to Lead - The last thing to remember for anyone that is looking at effective leadership skills is the empowerment of others. Without empowering others, a leader fails to have a long-term legacy. No legacy is complete without the empowerment of others, developing them to become the leaders of tomorrow.
“You modify your strategy when you’re not achieving your goals. You modify your tactics when the way you’re working isn’t achieving the results you want.”
With the 7 Leadership Skills in play we urge you to move forward in leading your team to act the success that you all will attain.