Leadership is the ability of leading, inspiring, motivating, influencing, and guiding a group of people, teams, or an organization toward shared goals and objectives. Developing effective leadership skills not only benefits you for your future career advancement, it also helps contribute to the growth and sustainability of your organization. On this blogpost, let’s explore the benefits of leadership skills as well as the strategies for developing them.

Importance of leadership skills

I bet, like me, you’ve probably worked with great leaders who shared clear visions, fostered engagement, created a positive and rewarding work environment, and ultimately accomplished what you and team set out to do. Why are good leadership skills crucial?

Share visions and direction

When there’s a clear vision or direction, a team can work together toward the same outcome. An effective leader not only articulates a clear vision to align his/her team members, but also uses the vision as a compass and guides the team toward achieving the same goals.

Boost motivation and morality

Strong leaders inspire, motivate, and empower their team members, which in return fosters members’ ownership and boosts their engagement and productivity. At the end, the common goals are achieved, and team members feel a higher sense of satisfaction. It’s definitely a win-win for everyone who is involved in the process.

Cultivate a positive work culture

Leaders lead by example and actions. When you, a leader, share a compelling value, set clear expectations, inspire your team members, encourage collaboration and open communication, and etc., you set the tone for the culture of your team. It’s the responsibility of a leader to cultivate a work environment where your team feels valued and supported.

Accentuate innovation

Effective leaders have a growth mindset, and they often see failure as a learning opportunity for something better or future improvement. For example, without many great leaders in the technology industry, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Adapt to change and uncertainty

Change is inevitable, especially in this fast-moving technology era we are in. When change or uncertainty occurs, good leaders communicate openly, address it clearly, and most importantly guide the team forward through it. The resilience, courage, and adaptability you demonstrate will empower your team to embrace the new with a sense of confidence and stability.

Macro impact: Organizational success

When everyone is on the same page and work together toward the shared goals with the same levels of clarity, focus, effectiveness, and devotion, this is when the team will perform at its best and succeed with results. At the same time, you will not only retain your current but also attract other talents for your future success.

Micro impact: Future leader development

Great leaders don’t stop at where they are; they develop, mentor, and nurture others to take on the baton and become great leaders to ensure future growth and success of their organizations.

Developing leadership skills

I hope you’ve been inspired by what impacts a good leader makes. So much so, you are ready to invest and start developing your own leadership skills for your future advancement and leading others.

Self-assessment and -awareness

First of all, know yourself! And before you focus on your weaknesses, identify and develop your strengths. Understanding and utilizing your innate strengths and gifts not only boosts your confidence, it will also allow you to put them to work for you right away.

Keep a journal to objectively track your successes and failures, which offers you a better understanding of yourself, identifies area for improvement, and utilizes the most of your gifts and values.

Self-discipline

Whether it’s being puncture for meetings or being decisive for a decision, when your discipline is demonstrated through your interaction with your team members, you inspire them to be disciplined as well. Good leaders lead by example, and their team members will simply follow suit, which eventually brings higher efficiency to the workplace.

SMART

This starts with having a clear vision for your team, and then determines the SMART short-term and long-term goals. Make sure you align the talents, skills, and resources of your team as well as the strategies and direction of your company.

Other important skills

Keep growing and perfecting your skills when it comes to communications, listening, problem solving, decision making, and emotional intelligence.

  • Communication: Good communication empowers you to share visions clearly and inspire and motivate your teams toward the shared goals. This applies to verbal, nonverbal, and written communication.
  • Listening: Good leaders not only pay attention to what people say, but they are also humble and open to suggestions, ideas, and feedback for future improvement and innovation.
  • Problem solving: Where there are people, there are problems and conflicts. Agree? Problem solving skills prepare you to resolve conflicts, build good team relationship, achieve harmonious collaboration, and ultimately improve your team’s performance.
  • Decision making: Have you ever worked with a leader who often changes his/her decisions? It is frustrating and resources wasting, isn’t it? A good leader understands the importance and impact of each decision and will consider all options, benefits, and disadvantage before the decision is rolled out.
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ): EQ allows you to understand and manage your emotions and those of others. It also helps you navigate challenges with empathy and resilience and contribute to your team’s well-being and success.

Continued learning

Leaders are not born but made.

Whether you read books, take courses, attend leadership training/workshop, or seek mentorship, allow yourself to stay on top of the industry trends and technologies to help you make informed decision and drive innovation. When you invest in your professional and personal growth, you become a catalyst to inspire a culture of growth and improvement in your team.

Feedback

Soliciting feedback could be intimidating; however, it’s a great way to get insight from your peers, team members, or mentors into your leadership, identify area for improvement and adaptation. It will, furthermore, foster trust, excellence, and accountability in your team.

Ownership

Everyone makes mistakes. But when good leaders make them, they recognize their mistakes, admit it, and correct them. I hope you see mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve; as when you handle your mistake well, it will foster a culture of learning and growth for your team.

Leadership style

May it be authoritarian, transformational or other style of leadership, understanding your leadership style and what you bring to your team is crucial. The understanding of your style not only fosters authenticity and confidence, it also helps build trust and maximize impact on your team.

Empowering and Inspiration

This is about inspiring, delegating, and supporting the growth opportunities of your team members. Empowerment makes your team feel trusted, valued, and supported, and it cultivates a sense of responsibility which leads to a higher job satisfaction.

A mentor or two

Choose someone who you feel comfortable with and who is respected, honest, and available to spend time and provide guidance, advice, or feedback. He/she is willing to get involved and develop you into a great leader in the future.

Action

Whether it is seeking opportunities to lead projects or solve cross-function issues, leaders act and inspire proactivity, capability, and confidence within their teams. Action shows your commitment, and it helps realize the shared goals and visions.

Practice

One of the best ways to develop your leadership skills is through practice. Practice allows you to learn about yourself, experiment different approaches, and learn from mistakes and setbacks, which helps morph you into the leader you want to be. Be proactive to seek new or available tasks to put your leadership into practice.

Developing leadership skills is a journey and a process. As you grow and evolve, the skills you acquire will contribute to your own personal success, allow you to empower others, and eventually become a model of excellence to others.

 

Photo by Seri on Unsplash

About Faye Weng

Your Online Life and Career Coach

Faye Weng is an expert life and career coach who works with clients to take back control of their lives by rediscovering their passions, living/working with a clear purpose, and becoming people who can positively impact the communities around them. As your life and career coach, Faye will help you minimize noises and distractions, focus your effort and attention on the right things, execute a clear plan of action, and celebrate alongside of you when each milestone is reached. Click here to book a complimentary session.