Being a good leader is a key ability to have, whether it’s in the workplace or in your personal life. Every business, club, and organization needs talented leaders in order to thrive, but those skills will also come in useful when you’re managing personal projects with other people. True leadership is about more than just a job title – it’s a mindset of inspiring those around you and helping them become the best versions of themselves. This might sound challenging, but there are plenty of ways in which you can work on the skills you need to succeed.
What skills does a good leader need?
Being a genuinely excellent leader requires you to develop a broad range of skills. While there will inevitably be some variation depending on the industry you work in or the situation you’re in charge of, the following skills are the type you should be aiming to develop:
- Decision making
- An ability to inspire and motivate others
- Confidence (but not arrogance)
- Interpersonal skills to work with people of all different abilities, backgrounds, and temperaments
- Written communication
- Spoken communication and presentation skills
- Mediation and conflict resolution
- The ability to give feedback, elicit input, and disseminate news (both good and bad)
- Digital literacy
- Teamwork and knowing when to defer or delegate
- An understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion
- The ability to generate positive change
- The ability to respond appropriately and effectively to external changes
- Financial literacy
- Administrative skills
- Time management and organizational skills
How do I develop my leadership skills?
So now that you know which skills you’ll need let’s look at how to develop them. Firstly, take some time to analyze your current abilities and identify those areas you need to work on. Once you’ve done that, try some of the following methods to improve:
Study for a degree – if you’re dedicated to learning more about leadership and becoming the best possible leader you can be, studying for a degree in the field is a fantastic choice. Doing a PhD in leadership will teach you about different leadership types and help you to develop your own style.
Put together a self-study program – for those who don’t have the time or budget for a formal course, creating your own study program is a great alternative. You can use books, podcasts, articles, videos, and more to focus on the specific aspects of leadership that interest you and you need to improve.
Seek out opportunities to develop at work – the best opportunities for development are often right under your nose. Try to play an active role in new initiatives at work and take on extra responsibilities where you can. If there are no such chances in your office, find a way to volunteer in your local community instead.
Ask for feedback – actively seeking out feedback from bosses and colleagues is a very effective way to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Getting an outside perspective on your current skills will help you to see them in a new light.
Find a mentor – identify someone who exemplifies the type of leadership style you’re aiming for, and ask if they would be willing to act as a mentor to you. This can be a wonderful chance to learn directly from an expert on a personal level.