The Making of a Leader

Hello leaders! Last week we touched based on what leadership is and we listed down some attributes of what leaders should inculcate. While those touch more on the core values and principles, today we are going discuss briefly about certain skills a leader could develop or hone to lead well. What was it they say, practice makes perfect? Remember, a good leader continuously builds up on their talents and strengths. It can be debated as to which skills are the most important, but I have listed some which I have found helpful to me.

The first skill is to walk the talk. It is very important that as leaders we do what we say and we say what we do. If we ask others to keep their phones on silent during a team meeting, then it is very important we ourselves keep our phones on silent. Not walking the talk can diminish your credibility as a person of integrity thus narrowing your circle of influence. If you demand a lot from your team, then you should also be willing to set high standards for yourself. Thus, it is pertinent to lead by example.

Leaders are also effective. This means that one has a vision of where they want to go, how they want to get there. They think strategically. They articulate and communicate clearly to the team. Communication is a two-way street. It’s not just what you have said, but has the person understood what you wished to say? Aside from this, effective leaders also empower others. They take ownership of the work they do. Once they communicate the work to the team, they give them the freedom to get the work done. Thus, driving the team with motivation and passion.

Leaders prioritize team building. They understand that a leader guides the team by influencing. Team building does not happen in a day’s time, or in an hour during the office off-site meetings where the company/organization organize activities to do the same. Sure, those are the methods, but that is not the only way. Team building happens every day through daily interactions as well. It is the process of enabling your team members of different backgrounds and personalities to collaborate in the best effective way possible. For instance, in a team, maybe one member is good at delegating, maybe another team member works best under detailed directions, and another could be good at presentations. Leaders can identify their team member’s strength and optimize their role for high performance.

Finally, the last skill that will be discussed today is the skill of influencing. Leadership is about leading vertically and horizontally, thus it is very important that leaders have high persuasion and influencing skills. They are able to assess the needs of their team members, build a rapport with them and they listen to what their team members are saying. It’s easy to hear things, but leaders listen. They have a positive attitude. They constantly increase their circle of influence.

There are a lot more skills that leaders can develop. We will run out of time if we were to discuss every skill. Remember, the operational word here is develop. Leaders continuously build themselves up. They learn every single day. They provide guidance. If there are skills that you want to work on, create a plan to accomplish this. This could look like taking an online course, or finding a mentor or friends to talk to or reading books. Whatever you do, make sure you act!

Author: Zothanpuii Varte