Over the last two decades, there’s been a lot of people writing about leadership skills. Some of it has been amazing. John Maxwell is a leadership guru who’s probably taught millions of people how to lead. There’s also been a lot of bad advice written about it.
Leadership Is Influence. Nothing More And Nothing Less
In some of his books, he also states that it’s neither positive nor negative. I tend to fall into his line of thinking on that. Having people follow you is a skill and it’s one you can develop.
However, a good question to ask yourself is, “When do people finally start following you? Where exactly are you going to lead them?”
In our society, we tend to only look at the positive side of leadership. We see the sparkly person leading a company, or an army officer leading his troops to victory in battle. But the other side, the one that lost, they had officers, and they’re leaders too.
Leadership skills are the ability of a person to direct and guide a group of people towards a common goal.
Keep in mind the goal is neither positive nor negative. It’s just a common one.
Hitler was a leader, and so was Churchill but look at the difference these two leaders had on the world. One (Hitler) made an extremely negative impact, while the other was positive.
Leadership skills can be utilized by all people. However, as leaders and followers, we should be careful who we are following, and where we’re going.
It’s extremely important.
5 Effective Leadership Skills You Can Develop:
This isn’t an exhaustive list. In fact, I’ll probably update it from time to time, as I think of more great leadership traits and skills.
Leaders Need To Communicate Properly
They Need To Respect The Group
Able To Handle Stress
I stopped after these 5, mostly because they cover a lot of the good leadership skills I’d like to cover.
Leaders Need To Communicate Properly:
As a leader, you won’t get far if you can’t tell the team your goals for the future. How will they know where to go, and what to do, if they don’t know your expectations?
They Need To Respect The Group:
Leadership skills are important, and when a leader doesn’t respect the group. They become a tyrant. That invites rebellion, members of the group slowing you down, and people leave.
When a leader doesn’t respect others. That person becomes a leader in name only, and the rest of the group loses morale and focus.
I’m not an organized person by nature. However, I will bring people into my group that has that skill. Usually, I’ll let them come up with plans/solutions to help work through my disorganization.
If these aren’t your skills, add someone to the group who has those skills. It’ll help you immensely.
It should go without saying, that a lazy leader loses respect and the ability to control a team. They won’t make it long, and the team will usually disband.
Good leaders can handle stress. This includes the stress they have to deal with daily and the stress from their team.
The Most Important Leadership Skills To Have
Over the last decade, I’ve read/skimmed a lot of people’s opinions on leadership, and one thing I never wanna do is tell you to lead others as I do. I’m a great leader, people love it when I’m in charge and we all have a good time, however, not everyone can lead like me.
And I don’t have the skills to lead like others.
Inside each and every one of us, there are inherent skills that God has given us. They’re natural biases, strengths, and weaknesses. It’s nature vs. nurture but also where we have the best options for improvement.
Leadership Skill #1 Learn Who You Are
Until you know who you are, you’ll never be able to lead with total confidence. If you have no idea who you are or what you’re general makeup is, you’ll just wind up copying the leaders around you, and copying isn’t a leadership skill. It’s faking, and you can’t fake forever.
That can lead to detrimental problems.
In my early 20s, I had this problem, and I’d been in leadership roles for years prior to this. I was involved with an organization and dealing with a lot of family issues, and wound up mimicking a leader above me. He could get away with some of the things he was doing because of his personality, and I could not.
Because of my behavior, I had to quell a mutiny with my team. It seems I didn’t have the leadership skills I thought I had. (If you’re quelling mutinies, you leadership skills are lacking)
However, it was quelled because I’d learned point #2.
Leadership Skill 2 – Respect Those Around You
My leadership failure and ultimately my victory came from this 2nd skill. I had failed to respect my team, and so my team disrespected me. To fix my failure, I humbled myself and went back to apologize.
The rift was fixed, but it took a while for trust to be rebuilt. When you don’t respect people. They will not respect you, and then you’ve lost influence. Once that happens, you might as well be a manager who doesn’t care about his/her people.
How To Improve Leadership Skills?
The two skills I wrote above are universal. Whether you are an extrovert who grows a family like me or an introvert that does the whole laze fair style of leadership. You have to know yourself, and you have to respect the people around you.
Leadership Skills Need To Be Practiced
To improve how you lead, you’re going to need some practice. For me, it took a few years of being in leadership positions and I’ve done it for a decade or two afterward. Now I tend to be looked at as a leader even when I’m not trying. Most of the time I’m not, and I don’t want it.
It’s a skill that eventually just happens. Because when you find out who you are, and respect people. You develop influence, and inevitably you start to change the people around you.
I should’ve made this my top paragraph, but a lot of people view leadership as the person in the front leading the troops. That’s not entirely true. A leader is someone who can change the flow. If we only view the people in the front as leaders, then how can the quiet and shy people lead?
They can lead using their own skills and abilities. They can lead in small groups and individually. Eventually, if they like, they can overcome their shyness and lead lots of people.
However, if leadership is influenced. If a shy introvert influences the loud extrovert, that leader leads his/her people to greatness. Who’s the real leader here? What are your favorite leadership skills? Let me know in the comments below.
Find Yourself – Learn Your Skill Set.
Respect Those Around You
Gain Influence, And Direct Toward Common Goals That Are Good.
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Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport.
While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.