The following 35 important leadership skills to develop, give a summary of what is required to achieve holistic leadership excellence. Holistic leadership relates to leading and excelling in all areas of life.
All these skills need not necessarily be in-born. These can be developed via a systematic approach to self improvement. The aspiring leader can use this list as a basis to start building his leadership prowess. The accomplished leader can use this list to look for gaps that might exist as he moves towards leadership excellence.
The essential leadership skill can be divided into 6 basic skill-sets. These skill sets can be further divided into the important leadership skills.
- Leadership Skill-set #1 – Executive Skills
- #1 of Important Leadership Skills – Goal Setting and Planning
- #2 of Important Leadership Skills – Strategic Thinking
- #3 of Important Leadership Skills – Ability to Execute
- #4 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Negotiator
- #5 of Important Leadership Skills – Flexibility and Adaptability
- #6 of Important Leadership Skills – Productivity Mindset
- #7 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Decision Making Skills
- Leadership Skills-set # 2 – Communication Skills
- #8 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Communication
- #9 of Important Leadership Skills – Emphatic Listening
- #10 of Important Leadership Skills – Public Speaking
- #11 of Important Leadership Skills – Writing Skills
- #12 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Speech
- #13 of Important Leadership Skills – Executive Presence
- #14 of Important Leadership Skills – Gadget Intelligence
- #15 of Important Leadership Skills – Social Media Skills
- Leadership Skills-set # 3 – Self Management
- #16 of Important Leadership Skills – Personal Management
- #17 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Personal Life Management System
- #18 of Important Leadership Skills – Well-Being Management
- #19 of Important Leadership Skills – Self Discovery & Knowing
- #20 of Important Leadership Skills – Emotional Awareness and Management
- #21 of Important Leadership Skills – Self Grooming
- #22 of Important Leadership Skills – Work Life Balance
- Leadership Skills-set # 4 – Dealing with People
- #23 of Important Leadership Skills – Team Building Skills
- #24 of Important Leadership Skills – Networking Skills
- #25 of Important Leadership Skills – Influencing Skills
- #26 of Important Leadership Skills – Relationship Management
- #27 of Important Leadership Skills – Hiring Skills
- #28 of Important Leadership Skills – Social Intelligence
- Leadership Skills-set # 5 – – Learning Skills
- Leadership Skills-set # 6 – Management Skills
Leadership Skill-set #1 – Executive Skills
Executive skills are a set of talents that help you get things done. These allow you to plan, organize, manage and execute. These are essential in the real world when you want to achieve goals. It is related to the expertise required to manage yourself and your resources as you move towards your goal.
#1 of Important Leadership Skills – Goal Setting and Planning
What – Goal setting is the art of defining what you want and focusing your available resources to attaining it. At an organizational level, your resources could be time, money or manpower. At a personal level, your resources could be time, energy, personal focus or money.
Why – Goal setting helps optimize your resources and allows you to strategically plan your battles. This mindset multiplies productivity. It forces you into long-term thinking. A leaders every step needs to be goal oriented. This will provide clarity and reduce anxiety. In the long-run, you would achieve lots more with a goal-setting mindset than without it. Your goals will also act as a compass to guide your actions.
How – Start by writing your goals down immediately. Your goals should cover every aspect of your life. Aim for true fulfillment in all areas. Some of these areas include work and career, health and fitness, wealth and finances, love and romance, family and friends, spirituality and faith, recreation and lifestyle, personal development. Use the SMART philosophy to set goals.
#2 of Important Leadership Skills – Strategic Thinking
What – Strategy is the plan you make to achieve your goal with the optimum use of your resources. Goals are the end point and strategy is the means to getting there. Strategic thinking should be the cornerstone of every endevour that you undertake. Strategic thinking is the opposite of emotional reactions.
Why – Strategic thinking ensures that you increase the chances of achieving your goal while optimizing expenditure of resources. Strategic thinking forces you to focus on your goals.
How – The simplest way of being strategic minded is to make a plan to reach a fairly difficult goal. Start by making a list of steps you need to take to achieve this. Look out for possible obstacles and build back-up plans. Set time lines and milestones to evaluate progress.
#3 of Important Leadership Skills – Ability to Execute
What – Execution is the ability to implement your strategy. This in turn moves you towards your goals. Execution is the art of getting things done. Its where the rubber meets the road.
Why – The ability to execute effectively, immediately puts you ahead of the curve. It exponentially increases your chances of success. Failure to effectively execute is the area where most big ideas fail. The more you get done, the more you will be able to do. There is power in executing tasks. The execution muscle improves exponentially the more you get done.
How – Overcome procrastination by doing the easy stuff early and fast. Plan steps and make lists to help build a strategy to achieve complex goals. Embrace GTD to help you get things done. Build discipline to overcome initial inertia with starting a task or project. Maintain focus in finishing what’s started.
#4 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Negotiator
What – Negotiation is the skill of winning your point when discussing a contentious matter. The best negotiation results in a win-win outcome for all parties involved.
Why – Negotiation skills help leaders ensure positive outcomes with peers, customers and direct reports. Leaders spend considerable amount of time negotiating. Effective negotiation skills allow you to get the wins you need to move you closer to your goals. Its a prized skill that requires great effort to master. Once mastered it can increase your leadership influence considerably.
How – Always focus on on win-win outcomes. Its always good to keep in mind what you are willing to forego during your negotiations. The leader should also be well versed with negotiation tactics such that he can be aware when these are used. Emotions should be kept at check and ego not allowed to get in the way.
#5 of Important Leadership Skills – Flexibility and Adaptability
What – Adaptability is the ability to manage one’s self to change and fit a a new environment or situation. It’s the ability to acclimatize and perform when out of the comfort zone.
Flexibility in your ways allows you to be adaptable. Its a prerequisite to being adaptable in changing environments.
Why – The ability to quickly find your bearings in a new environment and perform at your optimum is be a prized skill. As you become a master of change, your leadership influence will increase. As your influence increases, so will the “change” challenges thrown at you. Leadership roles will consistently challenge you with disturbances and disruptions. Plans will fail. The unexpected will happen. You need to be flexible and adapt to it.
How – Embrace every opportunity that throws you out of your comfort zone. Deliberately do things that force you to move out of routines. Routines increase efficiency but also make you rigid. Do things differently every now and then to break your rigid ways. Resisting change is normal. Being highly adaptive to changing environments is not normal and that is why it is a prized skill. Look at opportunity in every change.
#6 of Important Leadership Skills – Productivity Mindset
What – A leader with a productivity mind-set is always optimizing the use of available physical and mental resources (energy, effort, time) to reach his goals.
Why – Productivity helps you achieve your goals faster with the optimum use of resources.
How – Embrace GTD or any other productivity philosophy that appeals to you. Build a productivity system that you can work with. Consider using a web based system or an app on your mobile device. Effectively learn to manage your email and meetings. For more information read 23 email productivity hacks and 23 productivity tips for busy individuals.
#7 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Decision Making Skills
What – Decision making is the ability to evaluate the facts at hand and determining the path forward. Once the facts are known, the leader makes a choice.
Why – The greater your influence as a leader, the greater will be the calls for you to make decisions. You will be inundated to decide. Without effective use of your decision making muscle, you will be paralysed and unable to function at optimum levels. There is tremendous burden on your mental capacity when there are lots of pending decisions or indecision.
How – Start to make quick decisions with the smaller things in life. Once decided, live with your decision. Start with personal preferences. Decide swiftly when it comes to deciding what to eat, where to go and what to wear. When bigger decisions are required, evaluate the facts at hand. Do a quick assessment of the cost of your decision either way. Knowing this cost, decide and move on. Your decision making prowess will quickly increase the more you use it. Make big decisions earlier in the day as your decision making capacity is limited and reduces through the day.
Leadership Skills-set # 2 – Communication Skills
Effective communication is essential if you want to transcend into leadership greatness. Communication is one of those skills that can override other weaknesses. The ability to effectively communicate gives you the power to influence large groups of people. When large groups of people believe and want to follow you, nothing further is required.
The following are some of the essential leadership skills that aspiring leaders need to be aware of.
#8 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Communication
What – Effective communication is the skill to get your message across in the least amount of words. The other party should grasp your message as you intended to deliver.
Why – Effective communication increases productivity. Miscommunication requires effort and energy to clear-up.
How – Follow these guidelines to sharpen your communication skills;
- Get the message across in the least amount of words
- Messages need to be simple, crisp and clear
- Speak in a manner that others want to listen
- Always evaluate if your message is being clearly understood. When communicating with direct reports, ask them to reiterate your message so that you can hear what they have understood.
#9 of Important Leadership Skills – Emphatic Listening
What – Emphatic listening happens when you are fully present in the conversation. You not only hear what is spoken but sense the feelings and body language.
Why – Everyone wants to be listened to. A leader that is wholeheartedly present during a conversation leaves a lasting impression. He endears the listener to him
How – Do the following when in conversations
- Ensure focus and be fully present in the conversation
- Listen to the verbal and non-verbal cues.
- Be consciously aware of body language, facial expressions and mood.
- Focus on what is not being said
- Try to feel the emotions swirling in the room
#10 of Important Leadership Skills – Public Speaking
What – This is the ability to keep audiences captivated when speaking. It also involves the ability to deliver key messages with utmost clarity and poise.
Why – The ability to captivate audiences is a prized skill. A good public speaker is able to connect with audiences at a deep emotional level that is beyond rational thinking. Such a skill can build a following that no other skill in a leader’s repertoire can do. It allows speakers to connect with their audience at heart level. A talented speaker is able to use words to stir emotions, motivate, empower or even sell his vision
How – Consider the following guidelines
- Practise speaking in front of crowds
- Record your speech and playback. Assess what you hear and where you would like to change.
- Pitch, volume and tone are important. Practise and master voice control
#11 of Important Leadership Skills – Writing Skills
What – This is the ability to get clear and unambiguous messages across to the desired audience. It enables the writer to achieve his goals by winning the reader over.
Why – Writing skills will help you get your message across to your desired audience. The bigger your leadership role, the more important your writing skill. With a large audience, you will predominantly communicate via written messages in social media, blog, memos, etc.
How – Pay attention to your writing style. Get feedback on your writing skills. Put your self in the shoes of your audience. This is a skill that needs effort and practice to developed. As such, you will require to put some effort into learning how to it.
#12 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Speech
What – This involves speaking in a way that captivates irrespective of when you are speaking to a single person or a group of people
Why – You need to keep your listener wanting to listen to what you have to say. The listener needs to be interested. Without effective speech capabilities, the listener will not have the interest to listen to you with enough focus and attention to grasp what you are trying to get across.
How – You need to work on voice control. Having a loud commanding voice helps to a certain extent. A soothing and calming voice can be just as effective. What’s more important is that you speak with confidence.. Your voice should display your passion. Your speech should not be a monotone. Speak with short, clear and well constructed sentences.
#13 of Important Leadership Skills – Executive Presence
What – This can carry many different interpretations but essentially means the ability to have command of the room. Sylvia Ann Hewlett wrote about this in her book Executive Presence. According to Sylvia, Executive Presence is made out of gravitas (how you act), communication (how you share your message), appearance (how you groom yourself). In simple terms, do others perceive you as leadership material?
Why – According to Sylvia, you can have the experience and qualifications of a leader but without EP, you will not advance. Executive Presence allows you to signal your confidence and credibility.
How – Read the following books as a starting point to improve on your EP.
#14 of Important Leadership Skills – Gadget Intelligence
What – This relates to having the knowledge of the latest gadgets that can have a positive impact in your life. It also entails effectively using these gadgets to increase productivity and maximize life management.
Why – Properly utilized gadgets maximize the benefit you can derive out of technology. Your mobile phone and tablet are essential to maximize productivity. Your GPS smart watch could provide invaluable health and fitness related data. Maximum utilization of the right gadgets will provide you with tremendous leverage to achieve your goals.
How – You need to be aware of the advances in technology. You should also keep abreast with the apps and software that can maximize productivity and simplify your life. Invest time into learning how a tablet, smart phone and smart watch can add value to your life.
#15 of Important Leadership Skills – Social Media Skills
What – This entails building a following on one of the main social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook Pages or Linked-in. It also relates to being savvy with your messages and to avoid miscommunication.
Why – Social media allows a leader to magnify his voice. He builds and audience that is inherently not obliged to listen or follow him. A leader can only build an audience via his persona and pull-factor. It will give you the chance to master several different skills such as strategy, communication, influencing. When you do eventually fill a key leadership role, social media will likely be your communication medium with the masses.
How – Decide on 1 or 2 social networks and start building a presence. You will find that it is not easy to build an audience with people who are not obligated to listen to you unless you have something of value to offer. Practise regular posting until you find your style and what works for you. This is a long process but will pay huge dividends as you move up in leadership levels.
Leadership Skills-set # 3 – Self Management
#16 of Important Leadership Skills – Personal Management
What – Personal management relates to taking responsibility for your actions to enable you to move towards your goals. This encompasses
- Being disciplined to carry out the necessary actions
- Taking responsibility for the outcome of your actions
- Managing your reactions to situations
- Effective management of your behaviour
- Limiting impulsive actions. Being calculative at all times
- Having unquestionable integrity
Why – Personal management is essential in moving you towards a greater leadership position and your larger goals. Without effective personal management your journey will be extremely arduous.
How – Have a good look at your habits. Keep track of the following and evaluate on a weekly basis
- What you plan and what you get done
- What you promise and what you do
- How you react emotionally to different situations throughout the week.
- Keep track of impulsive actions.
- Have you been blaming everything but yourself for the challenges in your life?
Based on the above analysis of a typical week in your life, you will be able to know where you stand in your personal management and where effort is required.
#17 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective Personal Life Management System
What – This relates to having an effective productivity system to manage your calendar, tasks, activities, etc. This has to do with effectively managing all your actions, goals, ideas, notes, activities and plans.
Why – An effective productivity system will free your mind to be more creative and productive. All you need to do is to enter the necessary information into your system and trust that it will take care of it. It will reduce anxiety and wastage of mental resources.
How – Select a software or paper based system. Most people use their mobile phone and tablets to effectively manage their personal lives. The important thing is to have a system to bring order into the management of your life.
#18 of Important Leadership Skills – Well-Being Management
What – Managing all aspects of your well-being such that you can perform at optimum levels. This includes your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Why – When either is affected, your life will be in turmoil.
How – You need to start by having well defined goals for the physical, mental and spiritual areas of your life. Once you have defined them, you should next plan the actions you will undertake to fulfill your goals. You could set a goal to lose weight or eat healthier. You could also decide to start meditation and be more present in the moment. Consider using a mobile app that helps you monitor and review your activities and actions.
#19 of Important Leadership Skills – Self Discovery & Knowing
What – This entails knowing every aspect of your self. It includes knowing your strengths, weaknesses, personality traits, leadership qualities, leadership traits, mental clarity, etc.
Why – Knowing your present condition is the first step to self improvement. Upon knowing where you presently are, you can decide on your goals and ultimately chart your journey. You will need to know where to focus and what needs to be done. A fervent pursuit of self discovery will put you ahead of the curve.
How – There are many online applications available that allow you to know your self in more detail. Look for books to read on the topic such that you get an insight of the analysis done.
#20 of Important Leadership Skills – Emotional Awareness and Management
What – Emotional awareness relates to being increasingly aware of your emotions. Emotional management relates to being aware of the triggers and managing your responses.
Why – Emotional responses often lead to lose-lose outcomes. Often you would be the biggest loser. Being emotionally aware will ensure that you avoid negative outcomes from emotional lapses. Emotional management allows you to emerge positively in what would have otherwise been an emotionally charged reaction.
How – You need to be aware of your emotional state at every point. You can do this by heightening your emotional awareness. You need to be be aware of emotional triggers and your responses towards it. Record these triggers and your responses. Record also how you should have responded. Your goal should be to eliminate emotional reactions or responses.
Emotional management relates to handling your emotions and avoiding negative outcomes as a result of it. You want to ideally give your time to react in a calculated rather than emotional manner.
#21 of Important Leadership Skills – Self Grooming
What – Self grooming is the effort you make in keeping your outward appearance. This relates to dressing, personal hygiene, make-up, management of body hair, etc.
Why – When you groom yourself well, you will be the main beneficiary as you will feel much more confident. Furthermore, first appearance counts. Sylvia Ann Hewlett from CTI (Center for Talent Innovation) writes in “Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success” that senior leaders report these five top aspects of appearance:
- Being polished and groomed: 35% importance for women, 38% for men
- Physically attractive, fit, slim: 19% for women, 16% for men
- Simple, stylish clothes that position you for your next job: 12% for women, 13% for men
- Being tall: 6% importance for women, 15% for men
- Being youthful and vigorous: 6% for women, 4% for men
How – You could start by getting feedback from a close friend or a spouse. They could provide you with insight on what you need to change immediately. Its best to get feedback from someone who is better groomed than you. He or she should give you honest feedback on your dressing and outward grooming. Learn about professional dressing etiquette.
#22 of Important Leadership Skills – Work Life Balance
What – This is the requirement to devote attention, energy and resources in a balance manner in other areas of your life other than your professional endeavours. The other areas of your life could be family, spirituality, health, relationships, giving back to society, etc.
Why – Focusing too much on your professional endevours will leave a tremendous void that will eventually need to be filled. When the need to fill the void becomes to great, a trail of destruction is usually left behind. This includes a sense of emptiness even with all the achieved professional accolades. Broken relationships, emotional upheavals and a general sense of dissatisfaction are the end results.
How – No matter how professionally driven you are, what will matter is how you judge yourself on your deathbed. Such an assessment will always bring you back into balance. Set goals for all areas in your life and consciously decide how you will share your available resources of time and energy. When you have outlined goals for the other areas, you will very likely be able to bring your life into long-term balance although short-term imbalances may still occur.
Leadership Skills-set # 4 – Dealing with People
#23 of Important Leadership Skills – Team Building Skills
What – This is the ability to achieve yours or your organization’s goals via the synergy provided by high performance teams.
Why – A high performance team working in synergy can produce results and achieve goals that would otherwise not be possible to a single individual.
How – The leader would naturally lead the team he is building. Team members should be more competent than the team leader in their respective areas of specialty. The leader must be able to determine the different skills required in a team and find the necessary people to fill those roles. Subsequently, the leader needs to ensure that team members are adequately competent to fill their designated roles, able to work together and evolve into a high performance unit. The leader needs to be able to guide team members through the process of finding their roles, fitting into those roles and excelling. Team building requires the leader to feel the pulse of the team and react to non-verbal cues. He needs to further be able to resolve a crisis should it develop.
#24 of Important Leadership Skills – Networking Skills
What – Networking is the skill of meeting new people with the intent to build key human connections that helps facilitate one’s career, organizational or personal goals.
Why – Having access to the right person at the right time could give you unparalleled advantage as you pursue your goals. There is always that one person out there that can take you a step closer to your goal.
How – The main goal is to build a human connection or relationship. Meagerly building a connection as a tool to further your goals will not get you very far. The other person will know immediately when he or she is being made use of. You need to ensure that you are well groomed. More than any other instances, you will be judged by others from how you look. Being well groomed already puts you in an advantageous position as you go into conversation with someone. As in any conversation with another, ask about the persons interests and pay attention to the conversation. The more you have the other person talking about himself, the more he will like you for allowing him to do it.
#25 of Important Leadership Skills – Influencing Skills
What – This relates to the skill or ability to change another person’s opinion, belief or outlook of a situation. Such an endeavour to change a person’s mindset will always be easier if approached from a win-win outcome. It should also be differentiated from deceit where it is a win-lose outcome. It should be differentiated from trying to wear the person down.
Why – Influencing is essential as you work your way up in a leadership position. You will find yourself repeatedly in situations where you will need to influence the opinion of another.
How – Always place yourself in the shoes of the other person to discover his point of view. You should only try and influence a person if the outcome is win-win for all parties. Manipulative techniques and strategies should be avoided.
#26 of Important Leadership Skills – Relationship Management
What – This relates to identifying key relationships and nurturing them. Key relationships in your personal life could be your spouse and children. Similarly, there could be key relationships in your organization or elsewhere that need to be nurtured. These people could be your sponsors as you move towards you goals. These relationships need nurturing and cannot be left unattended. In another context, relationships with customers need to be methodically and systematically managed.
Why – There is no need to go into details as to why relationships with you spouse and children need to be nurtured. You could mutually benefit by nurturing relationships with possible sponsors. The sponsor benefits by seeing you succeed, while you benefit from the sponsors endorsement. A lot of time and effort goes into building up a customer relationship. When a customer relationship is not kept warm, in time the threshold will be crossed where the same or more effort is required to rebuild. Lesser energy and effort is required to keep a customer relationship warm than it is to rebuild from start.
How – Your important personal relationships should be at the forefront of your focus. You should set goals on how you want these relationships to develop and what you would do to achieve that. Building key relationships with persons in your organization will require that you have increasing face-time with them. When face-time is not increasing or at a high level, its very likely that the relationship is not going anywhere. As for your customers, there needs to by a systematic tracking of who is visiting and when. Strategically ensure that customer visits do not lapse beyond 6 months.
#27 of Important Leadership Skills – Hiring Skills
What – These are the skills you need to ensure you are hiring people who will add to your team in a synergistic manner and not burden it.
Why – Hiring is key to ensuring optimum utilization of your human resources. The right hire can tremendously accelerate the team’s path towards its goals. Good and sound hiring practices will also save lots of unwanted issues when dealing with a team member who is not carrying his weight.
How – Shortlist potential hires according to a pre-defined criteria. Apart from the necessary competences and experiences, its also important look for above average communication skills. Poor communication skills will cause endless problems down the road. The potential hire must have passion. You should be able to feel if he or she will fit into the team. You should also test out your potential hires with assignments that simulate what they would be doing in their job. Another possibility is to have a potential hire sit in your office for say a week or two. You can then judge their performance and assess how they fit in. What would be even better is to try out the potential hire in a contract position for say 3 months before giving them a permanent position thereafter.
#28 of Important Leadership Skills – Social Intelligence
What – Social intelligence is the ability to work effectively with others. According to Karl Abrecht, Social Intelligence is the awareness of the combination of the feelings, needs and interests of others.
Why – As astutely pointed out by Albrecht, the effects of social intelligence can be toxic or nourishing. Toxic behaviours cause others to feel devalued, inadequate, angry, intimidated, frustrated or guilty. Nourishing behaviours cause others to feel valued, capable, respected and appreciated. People with high Social Intelligence attract people and those with low Social Intelligence repel people.
How – Read Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and by Karl Abrecht. Do the assessments and find out where you stand. Depending on the outcomes, you will be able to find online resources from these two authors on what more you can do to improve your Social Intelligence.
Leadership Skills-set # 5 – – Learning Skills
#29 of Important Leadership Skills – Continuous Self Development
What – This is the push to continuously upgrade your skills and knowledge. It should not be confined to only professional competence but also the development of the soft skills mentioned in this article.
Why – Personal and professional self development enables you to increase your ability to reach your goals. It helps increase your performance and correspondingly, your achievements.
How – Gaps in your professional development are more easily identified. This become evidently visible to your organization or yourself as you carry out your daily duties. A good organization will try to close those gaps. Personal development gaps are more difficult to identify and only appear to those who are keenly looking out for them. These gaps can be identified by taking the countless self-assessments available on-line. Based on the deficiencies, you will be able to find solutions by learning more online or offline. The challenge with personal development is that it happens most of the time at your own cost. Very few people actually invest money on themselves. The performance gap widens positively for those who invest into lifelong personal development.
#30 of Important Leadership Skills – Being Coach-able / Seeking Feedback
What – This relates to looking for feedback to improve performance. Feedback can come from a coach, mentor or an online assessment.
Why – Feedback is the easiest and most cost effective means to improve. Someone or something tells you where you stand currently and what you need to do to improve.
How – Seek a mentor who will give you honest feedback. Alternatively, hire a personal coach who will work with you. Lastly, you can consider online assessments that assess your current conditions and point you towards what you need to do to change your condition.
#31 of Important Leadership Skills – Effective and Fast Reading
What – This relates to reading material that moves you towards your goals. It also involves reading and understanding at the fastest possible pace.
Why – Reading is something you would be doing so long as you are in the pursuit of leadership excellence. You may have heard that every leader is a reader. Reading will be essential in your development to an accomplished leader. Considering the importance of reading, it would make a lot of sense that the effectiveness and the speed at which you read be increased.
How – You need to plan what you want to read in a typical week. You need to be judicious in what you read. Time is limited and you should read material that adds value to your life. Read with a purpose. Know why you are reading what you are reading. Use latest technology to increase the effectiveness and the speed at which you read. For more detailed information on how to boost your reading effectiveness, look at Effective Reading Tips for Busy Executives.
#32 of Important Leadership Skills – Ability to Learn
What – This is the skill to learn anything one wishes on his own effort and with the resources available to him.
Why – The ability to learn a new skill or competence is becoming more important in this current time of constant change. The person who can quickly learn a new skill or competence will always be ahead of others.
How – The want or the resistance to learn something new probably comes from lifelong programming. If you have depended your entire life for someone to teach you or show you the way, its very likely that you will resist learning something new. You could learn anything by turning to the web. There is a “how to” article on almost anything. Try learning a new language. Try picking up a new hobby. Look for something that will force you to learn a new skill or competence. The learning muscle gets stronger the more you use it.
Leadership Skills-set # 6 – Management Skills
#33 of Important Leadership Skills – Managing People
What – From an organizational standpoint, people management involves the handling of human resources in a way that maximizes the output from that group. The relationship between the manager and the people being managed must always be win-win. The people being managed must want to do their best. This must come from their own motivation and not from being compelled to do so.
Why – Effective management of people ensures that a leader builds loyalty and gets his the team to achieve its goals. There will be people challenges and effective management of those challenges is what sound people management is all about.
How – From a leadership perspective, people management must be a win-win initiative. The leader is able to extract the maximum productivity from a highly motivated team without coercion. The team members benefit from the relationship by being highly productive while growing themselves. They want to contribute and work with the leader. Effective management of people requires you to master a number of skills mentioned above such as Social Intelligence and Emotional Management. The key to effective management of people is to always be present in discussions and have your awareness antennae on high alert for emotions and non-verbal cues.
#34 of Important Leadership Skills – Conflict Resolution
What – This relates to the resolution of a contentious situation with at best a win-win outcome for all parties involved.
Why – Badly managed conflict is a health hazard and a resource drain. It exponentially increases stress levels. It also exponentially consumes your mental and physical energy. An un-managed conflict can quickly spiral out of control. Conflict management requires a host of other skills such as emphatic listening and emotional awareness skills as well.
How – The key is to always look for win-win outcomes for all parties involves. The following books are recommended that can give you the necessary insights and training to increase your conflict resolution competence;
#35 of Important Leadership Skills – Delegating
What – This relates to handing over a job that does not have to be done by you
Why – Delegating frees up your time to do work where yours and only your skill, creativity and talent is required.
How – You need to assess the abilities and competences of your team. You need to be able to judge which team member will need guidance, supervision or closer management. Certain members can be given absolute freedom while others will need close monitoring. Set the expectation of team members when you delegate. All you need to do is to define the boundary conditions and encourage team members to find solutions.