Solid leadership skills are vital for those who work with and motivate others. Whether you are a community leader, a sports coach or the CEO of a large organization, there are character traits that must be utilized to manage effectively. If you weren’t born a natural leader, don’t worry, many of these traits can be learned and cultivated through time and experience. Let’s look at four of the most important skills a true leader will need to possess.
As you can imagine, communication is key. From one on one meetings to large group presentations, people who lead others need to master the art of public speaking. Being able to convey your ideas, expectations and instructions clearly is vital to the success of the entire group. If the thought of speaking in front of people makes you squirm, look into courses on how to improve your public speaking skills. Communication is not just a one-sided experience, so a solid leader must also know how to listen. Someone who only barks orders and never hears what others are saying lacks true communication skills. It is a delicate balance that sets the masters of communication apart from the imposters.
Initially, you might think a strong leader should be able to do it all. This can be a huge downfall for many otherwise capable leaders. Someone who thinks they have to have their hand in all things will eventually burn out or micromanage their people into the ground. Delegation is an essential part of leadership. Taking note of your people’s strengths and then using them for the good of the entire group is a valuable part of leadership. If you are called to oversee a project, get to know those working with you and find ways to maximize their skill sets to ensure project success.
Being able to inspire a team to greatness takes a lot of work because not everyone responds to the same type of incentive. Being approachable and a true mentor to your group can be a big motivator. When people feel supported and valued they are more likely to deliver high-quality results. Being a leader who inspires by being genuine and authentic can translate into a positive workflow and team member experience. Some leaders think they must act like a superior and demand respect instead of earning respect through being a positive and motivational leader.
Last but not least is commitment. Strong leadership requires a real commitment to the team and the end goal. In the end, the leader of the group must be accountable for the group’s performance whether that is a success, failure or somewhere in between. Leaders should be willing to back up the team no matter what. A leader who is constantly evaluating the team’s progress should be up to speed on whether or not goals and benchmarks are being met. If not, course correction is necessary. A team knows whether or not their leader is committed and will likely perform accordingly.
The quest to be a strong leader requires constant learning and growth. There are very few people, if any, who are born leaders with all of these qualities in place. The best leaders are those who have earned their way to the top with blood, sweat, and tears. These types of leaders have come by their success honestly and can truly relate to those they serve. A leader who can communicate and listen, delegate responsibilities based on skillset, inspire growth and performance and stay committed to the team win or lose is a leader who deserves a following. If you are determined to increase your ability to lead, gain knowledge, and experience that will strengthen these four core areas of leadership.