Seven Ways To Boost Your Leadership Skills
If you are ready to boost your leadership skills, you need to invest more time and efforts for sure. Leadership is about sharing a vision and guiding others to achieve it. But how to boost your leadership skills?
Some people are natural leaders, but anyone can develop the skill set needed with some practice.
This is a factLeadership is many things, but in essence it all comes down to this: a leader provides a pathway to help others expand their thinking, challenging their beliefs and attitudes about what’s possible.
Leadership allows others to own their contribution, which boosts conﬁdence, growth and personal performance.
If you want to take your career as far as it can go, then you have to be willing to put in the work. Being a leader means everything from keeping your employees happy, to making sure that everyone is doing their part, to sometimes having to deal with difficult situations.
It’s no secret that strong leadership is required for a company to achieve ambitious and aspirational goals.
Increasing the capabilities of your leadership is essential if you want your organization to continue to grow, to capitalize on opportunities, and to respond to an ever-changing and increasingly complex global business environment.
Leadership skills can be acquired by following best practices. Take note of these guidelines, inspire those around you and refine your leadership qualities.
Whether you’re looking for ways to enhance your value to your current employer or make yourself more marketable as you seek your next job, enhancing your leadership skills is a wise career move. Here are my seven ways to boost your leadership skills at the highest level.
Discipline Is Freedom
A good leader needs discipline. Developing discipline in your professional life is a must in order to be an effective leader, and to inspire others to be disciplined as well.
True discipline comes with vision and dedication to purpose. People will judge your capacity to lead by the amount of discipline you display at work.
This is a factTo improve personal discipline one must channel his or her energy to the right things, spending more time on activities that build skills of leadership. Facets of discipline include time and resource management.
Leaders who take a disciplined approach to leading have a reduced level of fear and frustration.
Disciplined leaders identify and communicate a small set of objectives for the year, then for each quarter. Then, that one big thing or rallying cry is highlighted and embraced across the organization.
Once you have decided on the discipline you are going to develop, the key is for you to launch strongly on your new discipline.
Resolve to never allow an exception until it becomes permanent. If you fall off the wagon, immediately restate your affirmation or command to yourself and begin again. This is the only way you can succeed.
Your life can be so scattered and piecemeal you don’t know what’s coming up next. Disciplined leaders do their best to avoid this.
They know they can’t be productive if they don’t have a focus on what’s to come. So they plan out their day, they know what needs to get done and what doesn’t, and they focus on the important activities.
Sketch To Stretch
Good leaders make time to not only solicit other people’s opinions but also genuinely listen to them and probe as appropriate to gather more details. This information gathering process arms you with relevant details for decision making.
It is also important as a leader to teach others what you know, to help them grow and develop in their jobs.
Taking time to train others helps you to learn your team at a deeper level and identify strengths to nurture and weaknesses to mitigate. When you take time to teach others to become leaders, you can empower them with valuable skills.
Effective communication goes beyond compelling speaking and persuasive writing skills.
This is a factGood leaders realize they don’t have all the answers and are willing to listen to others. When interacting with your colleagues, be alert for useful information and insights, good advice, and creative solutions.
Your team needs to be encouraged to flex their creative skills. Set time aside to brainstorm and share your creativity and offer new challenges to your team.
Make sure that you have an office culture that fosters ideas and promotes contributions from everyone. If people are too intimidated to share their ideas, your company’s innovation will become stifled.
Poor communication is a barrier to effective leadership. Good communication is important when sharing information from one person to another.
Benefits of clear communication include strengthening work relationships, increasing productivity and collaboration, prioritizing well, increased work satisfaction and saving time and money.
Open The Door
Be approachable. When you give the workers a chance to walk up to your room and talk about anything that is bothering him/her or is beneficial for the company, it gives a sense of satisfaction that their voices do matter.
A good leader is someone who identifies his or her weaknesses and utilizes the team around them to learn and grow.
This is a factThe best leader isn’t someone who has all the answers, nor is it someone who never makes mistakes. Be humble and don’t presume that your opinion is always the right opinion. Trust others and watch your company blossom.
Effective leaders know who they are. They understand their strengths, which they continuously leverage and hone.
They also know their shortcomings and can determine which are career limiting and need attention, and which they can overcome by surrounding themselves with colleagues who have the capabilities and skills they lack.
By acting in an open and honest manner, you inspire others and build trust.
You can motivate your team through transparency by endeavoring to share relevant information so that everyone is kept updated. In a transparent work environment, people are able to talk freely with each other and this can provide benefits such as better collaboration, stronger teamwork and higher engagement.
True leadership mastery is achieved when you get over yourself!
This is a factWhen you become self-aware you know that it’s not about how good you are, but how great you can be at supporting and encouraging others to be amazing. Building a team of individuals whom you genuinely want to be better than you creates an outstanding environment of belonging, respect and appreciation.
Learn To Follow
A true leader has no problem yielding control to another person when appropriate. You should not feel threatened when someone disagrees with you, questions your thinking, or puts forth ideas of their own.
The best boss is someone who knows how to select a team that he can rely on to get the job done. You can’t do everything yourself.
Learn how to delegate work to the best people for the job and try avoid micro-managing. You hired your employees because you believed in them. Now give them the space to prove you right. It will empower your team and free up your time, allowing you to concentrate on other things.
Become a mentor, not dictator. When you take the role of a leader, it is expected that you have a clear vision about the bigger picture.
As a result, you would expect the team to follow instructions to achieve goals. Leaders who have become an influencer, and not someone who demonstrated authoritative powers are known to make a greater impact.
An initial step on the path towards becoming a great leader is to be a good follower.
This is a factGraduate into being a leader by practicing the art of being a follower. Put yourself in the leader’s shoes and think of how you would want your followers to behave and then embrace those positive behaviors as a follower.
Leaders recognize that there’s more than one right way to accomplish a goal or complete an assignment.
Good leaders are naturally curious and open to new ways of doing things. When you welcome alternative viewpoints and ideas, you foster your own growth and development while making those around you feel supported and accepted.
📚 Additional reading
When you have entrusted the people in your team with their respective tasks, believe in them and leave them to do their job. A good leader understands the importance of freedom and is willing to adjust if the task is taking more time to get completed.
Gossip Is Cheap
Thorough leaders do not rush to judgments. It is the leadership quality to analyze the situations, find the solutions, and then rush to any judgment you have in your mind.
As a leader, you are going to run into difficult people and will be forced to deal with conflicts.
Learn how to do this in a way that is authentically compassionate and your employees will respect you for it. Letting conflicts simmer will only lead to unhappy employees who will probably end up jumping ship.
Don’t be a manager from hell! Not everyone will get along all the time.
This is a factIt can be tempting to ignore conflict and hope that it will go away, however, unresolved conflict can escalate leading to heated arguments, pointing fingers and blaming each other, loss of productivity and even affect others who are not involved.
What happens when leaders are the ones spreading gossip? Leaders set the tone of how they want their company’s culture to behave.
Leaders need to be transparent in what they feel. If the leaders are upset about an issue, then approach them directly, not gossip behind their back. Gossip doesn’t benefit anyone. It’s a form of harassment and many organizations struggle with this on a daily basis.
Involving yourself in workplace gossip is a surefire way to undermine your credibility as a person and as a leader.
As a leader, you are responsible for developing healthy relationships, both with your direct reports, your colleagues and your senior leaders. So, as tempting as it is to talk about others — STOP IT! It doesn’t serve you or them.
Nobody Is Omniscient
The best path to becoming a good leader is to always keep learning new things. It keeps your mind sharp, and your skills fresh. It primes you for new challenges that may come your way, which is always a good thing in a leader.
Being a critical thinker is key to being a good leader.
While staying open to everyone’s ideas helps your company to innovate, being able to spot a good idea from a bad one is even more important. Ask as many questions as possible to ensure that your idea is airtight.
Value transparency, practice humility and be willing to roll up your sleeves if the situation arises.
This is a factA leader is not someone who stands two feet far from the team to show off his position, but the one who is actively involved in all decisions and tasks carried out by them.
Leaders can’t possibly do everything by themselves hence the need and importance of redistributing work and achieving results through others.
Delegation should not be used as a tool for dumping unpleasant tasks to employees rather it should be viewed as an opportunity for improving productivity and giving subordinates a chance to try their hand on new tasks and responsibilities.
A team leader must distribute the tasks amongst their team members and have trust in the team’s potential.
This is a factDoing this encourages creativity and the team would find multiple alternatives to do the simplest task. When you send out a confident message to the team that you have immense trust in them, they would in turn, trust you.
📚 Additional reading
Humility is enhanced through self-awareness — being aware of how you talk and act, how you respond to others and recognizing your shortcomings and weaknesses.
Purpose Is King
You cannot lead if you don’t know exactly what you want to achieve and why you are doing what you do. You must start with a clearly deﬁned vision and set of core values that drive the behaviors of the team and underpin the direction that the team is heading.
Your vision identifies a destination or outcome and then as a leader you figure out a roadmap or route to get you to your vision.
This is a factMotivating people to buy into an idea and to achieve the same level of enthusiasm requires having great passion and conviction, this is an essential leadership quality as leaders are gifted with the ability to inspire others with their vision which is propelled with passion.
A vision depicts a big picture overview; a visualization of the kind of future that you want.
A clear vision acts as a compass, it tells you where you are going, it motivates you and keeps you focused, it helps you to imagine possibilities and opportunities, it gives you a reason to face each day and it helps you to persevere through challenges.
A common flaw in many leaders is getting a bit too obsessed with their own success and not putting their organization’s goals above everything else.
This more often than not results in failing to meet the goals, and hence such leaders also don’t manage to go far with their short-lived success. A good leader understands that their effectiveness depends on how well the needs of the organizations are met, and if enough progress is being made in achieving the set goals.
People don’t care what company they work for, they care which vision they are on.
This is a factIf they all have the same vision, they will all work hard to see that vision come to fruition. Explain to them in detail how this vision will not only benefit the company, but as a result how it will benefit them.
These strategies are part of becoming a more resilient, adaptable organization — critical assets in today’s ever-changing environment. Efficient leaders understand that and share their insights to make sure that tomorrow can be even better than anything you have ever done before.
Leadership skills are necessary for career success and the key to improving one’s self is to constantly learn new things.
This is a factGood leadership skills are essential to advancing your career, but as you can see, leadership is much more than simply being in charge. Leading teams means motivating the team members when the stakes are high and consequences would be hard.
Leadership can be as unique as our individual DNA. Self awareness is the key.
However, these best practices can help a leader improve and strengthen his or her capabilities and effectiveness, enabling the broader organization to achieve the goals it aspires to.
At the end of the day there’s no one leadership style that suits everyone.
Find a way that works for both you and your employees. Evaluate what your leadership style is like at the moment and identify areas that are working really well as well as areas that may need improvement.
Imbibing above compelling skills and taking efforts to practice them will help you move to the upper hierarchy faster and don that hat of leader soon in your career.
With a bit of luck, you have successfully become familiar with some incredible ways that can help you to boost your leadership skills. Despite these mentioned ideas, you can have some other ideas as per your desire. Do let us know if you had been a great leader or you had one.