What makes a good leader? People talk about the need for good leadership skills in government and business, but the concept of what is leadership is rarely discussed. The most effective people in leadership roles hone their skills over time and through experience. These leadership skills come through years of experimentation, effort, learning, and even failure.
Throughout my career I have worked as a leader, and I have worked for many who lead others. In my experience, the best leaders were the ones that understood what the 10 most important leadership skills were and how to utilize those skills on a daily basis. Here is my list of the 10 most important leadership skills;
Honesty – Some people would argue that honesty is a trait. But the truth is that being able to apply honesty to becoming an effective leader is a skill. People do not always want the truth, but it is always best to use the truth when dealing with subordinates and others in your field. This also goes along with integrity, one of my 6 traits of a good leader.
Organization – A good leader always knows where to find important papers, his calendar and the tools he needs to get the job done. He also has a system that others can understand in case people need to access important information in his absence.
Time Management – There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done, but a good leader finds a way to maintain an effective schedule.
Analysis – In order to be effective, you need to be able to read a situation and determine an effective solution. Good leaders are very analytical and able to break a problem down into its component parts and determine an effective resolution very quickly.
Delegation – There is a lot that goes into being able to delegate responsibility effectively. You need to understand all of the resources at your disposal and be able to use those resources to create a dynamic team. That means that a good leader can analyze his staff and understand all of their strengths and weaknesses. He also understands how that staff utilizes the equipment at its disposal to be more productive.
Education – When you are a leader, you are expected to be a resource of information for those that work for you and for those around you. That means that you need to develop the ability to keep yourself informed of any important changes in your industry and know how to apply that information to your daily work.
Attentiveness – Being a leader means being able to listen to your subordinates and use the information you are given to create useful solutions.
Communication – One of the more important leadership skills is the ability to communicate effectively. You need to be able to formulate and present your ideas in a manner that gets people interested in what you have to say and helps others to understand your intent.
Visibility – Leaders need to be seen by their subordinates in order to be inspirational. When a leader works, he makes sure to work among his staff to lead by example.
Energy– People want to follow a leader who is energetic and charismatic. It can take years to develop this skill. But once you understand how to motivate people with passion, then you can become an extremely effective leader. I reccomend every leader read This Book to learn how to manage their energy to achieve great success.
Every organization or group needs a good leader. Leadership skills are acquired through education, experience, and practice. But it takes the right kind of person to utilize those skills effectively.