If you want to land a leadership role in your career, then you need to have the necessary leadership skills first. Fortunately, you can improve those skills if you don’t already have them.
The best way to get started is by identifying leaders you admire. What do they do that impresses you and makes you want to work with them or follow them? Also, think about leaders you’ve worked with in the past whom you didn’t like. What did they do that made you wish you didn’t have to work with them? Using the information you gather, identify the leadership traits you want to emulate.
To help you get started, here are 20 leadership skills shared by the most successful leaders:
1. Seemingly Endless Energy
The best leaders are always ready to dive in and tackle any problem or seize any opportunity with a sense of urgency.
Successful leaders must be able to motivate themselves before they can motivate their team members.
3. Creative Thinker
Leadership is filled with challenges, and the ability to think creatively to navigate through those challenges is imperative.
Leadership can be a dichotomy. You need to be able to think creatively, but you also need to do so in a realistic manner. The best leaders can rein in ideas that defy the realities of the business.
The best leaders aren’t satisfied with the status quo. Instead, they’re always looking toward the future and what’s next for the business.
It’s rare that everything goes completely smoothly with any project. The best leaders adapt as needed to get the job done in the best possible way for all stakeholders.
7. Calm and Collected
Great leaders are capable of staying calm and collected at all times. Even during times of crisis, they’re calmly and confidently moving things in the right direction. Even if they’re stressed on the inside, they’re the picture of confidence and control on the outside.
8. Continuous Learners
True leaders are always trying to learn new things. They don’t claim to know everything and welcome new information, techniques, ideas, and so on.
9. Team Builders
A strong team can move mountains, and great leaders know how to build strong teams, manage team members, and keep those teams running like well-oiled machines.
10. Clear and Decisive
You can’t be a good leader if you’re indecisive or unable to express yourself clearly. If you want to get a leadership role, learn how to communicate goals, expectations, and everything else clearly.
11. Take Responsibility
Great leaders don’t place blame or use scapegoats. If something goes wrong, they take responsibility for it.
If team members can’t trust you, then your efforts to lead that team will fail.
13. Lead by Example
The best leaders practice what they preach. They believe in the team’s mission, and they don’t ask team members to do anything that they wouldn’t do themselves.
A good leader understands strategy. Leaders should be focused on “why” as much as they’re concerned about “how.”
15. Prioritize Customers
Without customers, businesses have no reason to exist. Business leaders who always put the customer first will win in the long-term.
16. Learn from Mistakes
No one is perfect, and that includes leaders. When mistakes happen, great leaders acknowledge them, learn from them, and improve from the experience.
17. Risk Taker
Sometimes being a good leader means you have to take big risks. If you’re not willing to take a calculated risk when necessary, you’re not ready to be a leader.
18. Understand More Than the Big Picture
The best leaders understand all of the parts and pieces that go into the tasks and projects his team works on. Each piece is important and treated as such.
19. Welcome Push-back
Great leaders realize they’re not always right, and they want team members to push back when they don’t agree. They understand that different opinions and debates can lead to improved ideas and better results.
20. Little or No Ego
To be a great leader, you need to leave your ego at the door. Of course, there are many examples of successful leaders who have reputations of being arrogant or difficult to work with, but employees are more likely to deliver their best effort and work if they respect you rather than fear you or resent how you treat them.