If you’re serious about leadership, you should have a comprehensive, frequently updated plan for self-improvement. Because it’s not the skills you already have that will make you a great leader, however strong they may be—it’s the work you put into the areas you need to improve.
Here’s a quick checkup you can give yourself on the skills leaders most often need to improve:
How are your communication skills? The most effective leaders are master communicators, with skills that center around being concise, transparent and clear. They leave people with an understanding of what needs to be done. If the people around you are frequently messing up and getting things wrong, the confusion may start with you.
How are your growth mindset skills? Great leaders consistently challenge themselves to learn and develop—in other words, to have a growth mindset. But if you lead with stubbornness, your rigidity is limiting your leadership. Lose the fixed mindset and get the coaching you need to replace it with a growth mindset.
How are your emotional intelligence skills? Strong leaders have the ability to understand other people’s thoughts and feelings while controlling their own emotions. They have honed the skill of emotional intelligence to develop the self-awareness, the social awareness and the empathy required to lead others effectively. If you’re not leading with emotional intelligence, you’re operating without the level of trust you need to be effective.
How are your influence-building skills? Influence is central to leadership—you can’t lead if no one is following you. You build influence by adding value from top, down, across and throughout your organization. It’s making connections and creating goodwill based on genuine care and interest in others that form the foundation of influence and respect.
How are your appreciation skills? I have worked with far too many leaders who take credit for all the wins in their organization without giving recognition to those who most deserve it—the people who made those wins possible. No matter how much you did yourself, you need to express appreciation and share credit to be effective as a leader.
How are your humility skills? Ineffective leaders often get into the habit of assuming that they know it all or they have all the answers. They’re in desperate need of the skill of humility. A healthy sense of humility helps you realize that you don’t have all the answers, which frees you up to learn a lot more than you thought you knew. Humility keeps your ego grounded and your leadership strong.
Being a great leader isn’t something you are born with but a set of skills that you can develop and sharpen. If you feel that you’re seriously lacking in any of the above areas, find yourself a great mentor or executive coach to help you become the leader you are meant to be.
Lead from within: To excel in leadership requires a daily commitment to developing and learning.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.