Being in a leadership role is tough. The demands on you to deliver results are significant.
A question that I’m often asked is whether there are skills or attributes that all leaders need to develop, no matter what industry or sector they work in.
In my view there are at least 10 skills and attributes all leaders who want to be successful need to develop.
Read anything about employee engagement, low morale and high turnover of staff and chances are listening or a lack of it will be a contributing factor.
Most of us are taught to write and speak well. On the other hand how many of us are taught to really listen, not just to what is being said but to the non-verbal clues?
You might be the most brilliant strategist. On the other hand if you cannot get others to buy into what you are trying to achieve, you brilliant ideas are never going to get off the ground.
I’ve seen some leaders who are great presenters. I’ve also seen the complete opposite.
A lot of people say you are a born presenter. My view is that it’s a skill that can be developed. More often than not it’s a lack of preparation rather than the lack of ability to deliver that hinders effective presentation.
Things move fast in every industry and sector. If you are not identifying the need for change, anticipating what changes might be on the horizon and then actually making it happen it’s easy to get left behind.
Good leaders understand the numbers and keep a close track on them. They don’t need to be experts in accounting but they do need to know what behaviours drive the key numbers in the profit and loss account and balance sheet.
In many ways you are negotiating all of the time, whether internally or externally. Yet few ever bother to get any formal training or development in this area.
All leaders have the same amount of time available each day. Yet as we all know every leader does not necessarily achieve the same results.
The best leaders learn to work out what matters, what they need to deal with personally and delegate or outsource everything else.
Empathy is quite simply the ability to see things through others perspective and understand why they might be reacting or responding in a particular way.
Being able to understand or appreciate others views does not necessarily mean you change your decision but it may impact on the approach you use, particularly in difficult situations.
As a leader there will times when things are going really well. There will be as many situations where quite the opposite is true and it is a real struggle.
Through these times of setbacks and disappointments you have to have the resilience to pick yourself up and keep going, even when it is tough.
If you have made it to a position where you have to take the lead, then you are clearly talented. The problem is when you want to get involved in things that you know little or nothing about.
Just because you are the leader and perhaps the most senior person, does not mean you have to be the best at everything. Play to strengths if you want to get the best results.