Focus inward and hone these traits to find ways to inspire and empower your team. By Priya Prakasan
Some people are natural leaders exuding a passion that is difficult to find. But leadership is complex state of being and features skills that can be learned and honed into an art. Here are six qualities to work on to develop your leadership skills and become a good leader.
1. Master self-discipline
One of the crucial steps to set yourself up for success is to develop discipline in both your professional and personal life. A good leader needs the discipline to inspire others to be disciplined. So find certainty, be clear about your objectives and intentions and demonstrate discipline at work by meeting deadlines, being organised and keeping appointments. Prime your proactive mindset to master self-discipline.
2. Admit your mistakes
Not all employees expect perfection from you, so be accountable and responsible for your mistakes. Even the most successful leaders make mistakes, but they acknowledge them, take measures to correct them and move on. Be open about your failures, they should not define you, instead failures and pitfalls improve leadership skills and help you grow as a person. It will always work in your favour when you humbly admit your mistakes to yourself as well as with your team.
3. Surround yourself with smarter people
Another smart way to up your game is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. We often need such people around us who will spark off ideas, introduce us to new concepts, support us, and push us to go beyond our boundaries. We need other people to help us on the road to success. So keep an eye out for such people. Start networking and seek out people who are not only smart but also willing to challenge and push you.
4. Be an effective communicator
The ability to communicate effectively with your employees, whether it’s about the company’s intention and vision, or their individual goals, is a crucial leadership skill. It promotes better understanding and relationships, and helps in generating optimum performance. Your communication skills have the potential to leave a lasting impact on others. However effective communication isn’t all about talking. It’s also about listening intently and with purpose. Be open to new ideas, opinions, suggestions and feedback. Pay attention to your non-verbal cues to ensure you are signalling that your interest.
5. Cultivate a strategic mindset
As a leader you need to demonstrate your strategic prowess when it comes to assessing your business environment and tackling unexpected challenges. You need to think, act and influence others to ensure the organisation’s lasting success and to do so you need to be flexible in your mindset, focus on the future and maintain a positive outlook.
6. Refine your situational awareness
Situational awareness is a key skill leaders need to develop. Knowing the context, circumstances and consequences during a given situation is key towards recognising opportunities as well potential problems. This skill also comes in handy when problem solving, dealing with tricky projects and those with tight deadlines. It is vital for a leader to know what to do, how to do it and also the consequences of it. The ability to foresee and anticipate problems and finding ways to deal with them is a sign of a efficient leader. A sound sense of situational awareness leads to better decision making, otherwise blindly pursuing goals might lead to disastrous consequences.
7. Practice selflessness
Good leaders often selfless leaders because they work hard to empower their people and guide them away from negativity and towards growth. It starts with simple steps such as sharing the credit with others, inviting open and honest conversations, creating an environment to foster learning, investing in another person’s career and recognising failure as a calling towards growth.
Photograph: Katemangostar – Freepik.com