Leadership is about applying knowledge and communication skills; not merely who and what you know. Leaders set examples, have integrity and set clear expectations to allow others to succeed. You can be great at what you do, but unless you have the ability to motivate, encourage and manage a team of others around you, scaling a business or cause is ultimately going to fail.
Here are ten tips to help you develop your leadership skills from Inc.:
1. Resilience is critical to success in leadership. Author of Power Jeffrey Pfeffer and author of Good to Great Jim Collins conducted a study among MBA students to determine factors that determined which students would make it, according to the article. This was measured based on the achievement of goals rather than income. Based on the data, they came to the conclusion that resilience was the determining factor.
2. You must bridge the communication gap created by leadership. Many successful people do not appreciate people who have little value to add to a conversation, or insert themselves just to hear themselves speak. It is important to address the what and how when communicating so the message is complete and its substance is recognized.
3. Leadership is, at its core, about the mobilization of ideas. A leader must set a direction. Once the vision is created, people will be inspired to help achieve it.
4. Good leaders are highly aware of their own vulnerabilities. Blind spots fall between areas of self-confidence and self-doubt. Too many blind spots can lead to an arrogant leader, leading to many risks.
5. Leaders equip people for success beyond their own purview. Entrepreneurial leaders can get people to believe in their personal success. This ability can be considered the hallmark of good leadership.
6. The role of a leader is primarily to care for others. A leader has to recognize the responsibility to care for people - this should come before caring about the numbers. This encourages people to follow and help to solve problems. They become committed to the leader’s vision and work to see it happen in a sustainable and timely fashion.
7. Take time to reflect and lead in the moment. When busy working on projects and problem solving, it takes extra effort for leaders to step back and put focus on opportunities. Successes are often overlooked as people focus on the areas for improvement. A good leader is able to see the best of what is happening.
8. Trust in leadership can be distilled down to four basic elements: reliability, congruence, acceptance and openness.
9. Body language trumps spoken instruction. The two parts of communication - body language and spoken content - must always be considered and kept in alignment.
10. Analyzing success and feedback. Leaders must be able to challenge negative thoughts. It is important to remember accomplishments and think critically about missed goals. Leaders need to know how to process feedback and use it to increase successes and make positive changes in weaker areas.
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