Improving Your Leadership Skills

Google “leadership” and you’ll get over 9.5 billion results, illustrating just how oversaturated the discussion of this topic is. If the subject is so overanalyzed, it’s only because effective leadership is so fundamental to organizational success.

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    Improving Your Leadership Skills

    Improving Your Leadership Skills

    Google “leadership” and you’ll get over 9.5 billion results, illustrating just how oversaturated the discussion of this topic is. If the subject is so overanalyzed it’s only because using it effectively is so fundamental to organizational success.

    Leadership can take on several different forms, the most common of which are:

    • Visionary (think Nelson Mandela and Elon Musk)
    • Autocratic (Napoleon and Putin)
    • Coach (Phil Jackson, Tony Robbins)
    • Transactional (Gen. Schwarzkopf, Bill Gates)
    • Pacesetter (Jack Welch)
    • Transformational (Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs)
    • Bureaucratic (Colin Powell, Winston Churchill)
    • Servant (Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr.)
    • Democratic (Abraham Lincoln, Indra Nooyi)
    • Laissez-Faire (Queen Victoria, Warren Buffet)

    Honing Your Leadership

    As individuals work to become better leaders, it’s important that they develop a leadership style that fits their personality and values. Not everyone can be a Steve Jobs or Winston Churchill. And, hopefully no one aspires to be a Vladimir Putin—the autocratic approach has a short shelf life in American business.

    Whatever personality represents the best fit, there are a number of shared behaviors that mark a successful leader.

    • Pursue training. Leadership, like most skills, can be learned or improved upon. Consider enrolling in leadership development courses at a local college or via an online alternative to build your leadership capacity.
    • Perform an honest self-assessment. “Know thyself” is essential to understanding one’s character and limitations. It’s the beginning point for any journey of self-improvement. Start by evaluating your leadership.
    • All good leaders must be willing to listen. It will lead to better decision-making and make followers feel more valued.
    • Great communication is critical for ensuring employees understand what needs to be done, by when and why they are doing it.
    • Express gratitude. Few things spark more loyalty and effort than a simple expression of appreciation … and it costs nothing!
    • Raise people up. Show workers they will accomplish more and grow professionally under your leadership and they will follow.
    • Admit failure. People appreciate leaders who recognize their own mistakes—more so, if they are not blaming others.
    • Create a vision and set goals. For people to follow, there must be a vision, marked by goals they can strive for. Without those, where are you leading them?
    • Have a sense of humor. Humor reduces stress, brings people together and creates a more positive environment.

    Leadership occurs at all levels, not just from the top. So, as you look to become a better leader, be sure to foster and reward leadership throughout your practice.

    Please reference disclosures: https://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures

     

    About The Author

     

    Vice President of Human Resources 
    631.439.4600, ext. 280 

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