No matter what industry you work in or how big your company is, all businesses need employees with good leadership skills. So, if you are hoping to move up to a managerial role or similar position in the near future, it’s important that yours are sharp and up to date. Read on to find out more about exactly what skills a good leader must have, and some top tips for giving yours a boost.
Skills required to be a good leader
There are a broad range of abilities you’ll need in order to excel in a leadership position. While there will be some slight variation depending on the exact industry you work in, the list below offers a helpful overview of the sort of talents every leader in every business should exhibit:
- The flexibility to deal with internal and external changes
- Problem-solving and critical thinking
- Good administrative skills
- Financial literacy
- Strong interpersonal skills to work with colleagues and clients of all ages, backgrounds, and personalities
- Excellent presentation and communication – both written and verbal
- Tact when delivering bad news
- The ability to inspire and motivate the people you lead
- General transferable skills, including organization and time management
- An ability to assess risk and judge how to respond to it
Ways to Improve your leadership skills
This might sound like a lot of talent for one person to have, but luckily there are lots of methods by which you can work on these skills. Here are some top tips:
- Seek opportunities at work – many of the best chances to work on your leadership skills are right in front of you. Take on extra responsibilities where you can play an active role in any new initiatives that come up and turn every day into an opportunity to develop.
- Ask for feedback – one of the most fruitful ways to learn is by asking others for feedback. This could be your boss, people on your team, or even your family. They can see your skills from a different perspective and advise you on where you are strong and where you might need to improve.
- Volunteer – don’t restrict yourself to just the workplace. Volunteering with a local charity – for example, by helping at a soup kitchen or holding an event encouraging people to donate money – can be a fantastic opportunity to work on new skills and build your confidence.
- Take an online course – for a more structured approach, consider taking an online course. This could be in leadership itself, or a specific skill that you know is a weak point of yours. Alternatively, you could go back to college to get a degree such as an MBA.
- Create your own study program – if you prefer to learn more informally, try creating your own study program using books, journals, podcasts, and videos. That way, you can tailor your studies to match your individual needs and interests.
- Find a mentor – who better to learn from than someone who is already in the position you want? Reach out to a person you admire and who demonstrates the type of leadership style you’re hoping to emulate – you never know where the encounter could lead.