There is no doubt that some people just have something about them which makes others listen, feel inspired and want to be part of whatever they are doing. But leadership is a skill that can be developed.
Defining ‘leadership skills’ is an almost an impossible task, as the skills and characteristics of one successful leader may be completely different to those of another. Working with leaders and followers from diverse industries, businesses, and in diverse locations has led us to identify 10 ways in which you can develop your leadership skills:
The more authentically passionate you are, the more contagious that passion is. The person who feels inspired by something usually unable to stop their enthusiasm from bubbling out of them, and often it is purely that pleasure that others want to be part of. Let your passion expand and be free.
People who have accomplished something are admired. Obviously the level of achievement and difficulty in attaining it both factor into things, but people in general will be impressed by a human being who had the ability, discipline and drive to achieve something.
- Set goals
There is nothing more inspirational that someone who defines where they are going, and then take action to get there. Setting and attaining goals builds credibility and confidence, and it shows the world that you know where you want to go, what you want to do, and how you plan to do it.
Talk to people. Tell them about your goals and your passion. Let them know that you have ambition and are inspired to move forward. By talking others, you are not only sharing your ideas, you are gaining followers, collaborators and partners; people who can help you along your journey and make a journey for themselves.
Often achievers expect others to know of their achievements, and more often than not, most of us have been brought up not to brag. There is a delicate balance between humility and self-defeating behaviour. People who tell others of their achievements, in a subtle and modest way, build their following on an ongoing basis.
- Focus on your strengths
There is a philosophy that says if you focus on your weaknesses, and never your strengths, you build a world of mediocrity for yourself. Your core focus should always be to do what you do well most of the time. Strengths build strengths, and great leaders focus on their strengths.
- Build your brand
We all have ways in which we do things, and mannerisms or accomplishments that others identify with us. Part of working with your strengths and building your credibility is knowing what people know about you, think of you, and how they see you. Use this information to further embed that image of yourself – this becomes your brand.
- Accept your failures
No one is good at everything and no one succeeds at everything. Leaders have the ability to lift themselves back up after setbacks. Some of the greatest leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln, led lives of numerous failures until the final break, which led them onto the path to success. Failures are inevitable, but they don’t need to define you.
- Build up others
One of the most defining characteristics of leaders is that they continually grow and develop others. For some, there is joy in developing another person, or in sharing knowledge. Yet for leaders, the more they build up others and share their knowledge, the more successful they themselves seem to be. Great leaders proactively grow and develop other people.
- Celebrate success
All too often we spend our life chasing the next objective, putting out the next fire, trying to fit something else in. Leaders stop after they’ve achieved something meaningful and then they celebrate. They reward themselves and acknowledge their own milestones. For a leader, the path is as important as the final destination. Enjoying the road to success as part of the success.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincey Adams
Need help developing your leadership skills? Speak to a business coach today! Your first session is free.