4 Leadership Skills Every Great Leader Needs

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Leadership Skills. Those qualities and characteristics that separate the sheep from the shepherd.

In many organizations today, leadership training and screening are a huge part of the HR agenda. As effective and thoughtful leadership becomes more and more important, inculcating and nurturing the right leadership skills are of the utmost importance.

In light of this, which personality traits are the most crucial for any leader?

In our blog post this week, we take a look at some of the most essential leadership skills for modern leaders. Continue reading our post to find out how many you possess!

The most respected leaders are emotionally intelligent

Emotional intelligence, which is becoming a key focus area in many leadership training programs, refers to the ability to identify your emotions and those of others. Identification, however, isn’t the only thing – you also need to know how to manage and process these emotions in a constructive manner.

This trait can be further broken down into three core features – emotional awareness, the ability to use these emotions for problem-solving, and managing and harnessing emotions in a useful manner.

As a leader, you need to be aware of and empathize with the emotions your employees are experiencing. This not only makes you someone they look up to but also helps you make fairer and well-reasoned decisions. Moreover, emotional intelligence allows you to be more self-aware – an important trait for effective leadership.

Leaders always need to be well-prepared

One of the most crucial leadership skills employees look for is how well-prepared their leaders are. If you don’t have a plan or don’t appear to have one, people often see this as a lack of vision and ambition – a fact, which can cause even the most loyal employees to take a step back.

Being prepared often requires extensive planning for most, if not all, areas of your business. While you don’t have to do everything yourself, it’s crucial that you oversee the planning process and ensure that you have a vision of where you want your business to go and back that up with strategic decision-making.

By being prepared, whether in the face of an unforeseen emergency or in terms of your business’ 5-year growth plan, you circumvent many risks and challenges that could otherwise threaten your position and company.

A good leader is supportive

One quality many leaders inadvertently shy away from is being supportive of their employees. Given the tough image and reputation many leaders feel they need to embody, they often forget to be supportive – a critical element of employee retention.

In 2017, APA’s Job Skills Training and Career Development Survey asked 1,076 US workers to measure the value of supervisor support. Using a five-point scale with options ranging from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’, the statement they were given was: “My supervisor supports and encourages my career development”.

It was found that nearly 80% of those who said they felt supported by their supervisors also indicated that they trusted their employer. Moreover, those who reported that they felt supported were also more than twice as likely to report job satisfaction, feeling valued by their employer, and willing to recommend their company as a good place to work.

An effective leader can adapt to any environment/change

Another one of the most timeless leadership skills is the ability to adapt to changing situations and circumstances. Especially in a moment of crisis, effective leaders know how to take charge and make the best of available conditions and ensure that things stay on track.

Moreover, being adaptive gives employees a sense of confidence that their leaders will always provide effective leadership, even when things aren’t ideal. It also inspires your staff to take charge and make the best of the challenging situations that every business has to face from time to time.

Key takeaways

While there may be an ever-growing list of the ideal leadership skills, some, like those highlighted above, are eternal.

Some leaders may have these skills more innately embedded compared to others. With a little practice and determination, however, these can easily be inculcated over time. The first step in this process is to be totally self-aware and identify your own strengths and challenges. It is only then that you can truly understand what you need to do to become the best leader you can be.

How can I leverage the right leadership skills to become a more effective leader?

Here at Wired2Perform, our goal is to help you achieve your goals and optimize your performance in the workplace through the power of self-awareness.

Author: Raghu Misra