Regardless of your current skills, improvement is always possible. There are many ways to strengthen your leadership skills. The most effective way to take your skills to the next level is through practice.
There are opportunities each day to gain more experience, even outside of work. Plan a weekend trip for the family. Hold a family meeting. Organize and host a party.
Take advantage of every leadership opportunity to hone your skills:
1. Develop a vision and share it with your team. Take the necessary time to determine the goal and the path to that goal. Goals are most effective when they have a deadline and a clear sign of achievement.
- Lay out the path you intend to follow to complete the objective. Include everyone in the strategy session. Listen to the feedback you receive.
- Show team members how they will benefit from the achievement of the goal.
2. Demonstrate your values. Many team members aren’t sure what to expect from an unknown leader. Each person has their own code of conduct. Let everyone see what you stand for. Each decision you make provides an example of your moral code.
- Your behavior sets the boundaries for everyone else. Be confident enough to let everyone know what you expect from others
3. Have a positive attitude. Even if things have taken a turn for the worse, keep your chin up. The attitude of your team will rarely be better than the attitude you’re demonstrating.
- Not only will you feel better, but also your team will perform at a higher level and feel confident about the future.
4. Work on your communication skills. These skills are crucial. Make every effort to strengthen your ability to communicate. Ask yourself these questions on a regular basis:
- Does everyone know what I expect from them?
- Does everyone know what they need to know?
- Can everyone on the team communicate the goal of our project accurately?
- Am I listening effectively to each team member?
5. Find the optimal way to motivate each team member. This can take time to discover. At the very least, take a moment to encourage and compliment each team member on a regular basis.
6. Demonstrate how much you care about being successful. You determine the commitment of your team members by the amount of commitment you demonstrate.
- No one will care more than you do. No one will work harder than you do. Demonstrate how important the project is to you.
- Your commitment provides motivation to others.
7. Be likable, but serious. If you’re likable, others will do their best to help you. Aren’t you more likely to help a friend than an enemy?
- Being likable isn’t the same as being a pushover. Hold people accountable, but be fair. If you want others to take the project seriously, you must be serious, too.
8. Maximize your strengths and allow your team to handle tasks that you’re weaker at. It’s rare that someone has all the skills and talents necessary to complete a significant project alone. Stick to what you do best and allow those with the requisite skills to fill in your blanks.
- Being at your best makes those around you more confident. Admitting your weaknesses demonstrates that you’re smart, humble, and committed to success.
9. Learn and advance your skills. The most effective way to enhance your leadership skills is to find a mentor with skills you admire. If you’re unable to find a suitable mentor, there are other options.
- Books. There are countless books on the subject of leadership. Peruse those with the best reviews and put them to work. Avoid limiting yourself to a quick read. It’s not just about educating yourself. You must apply the information regularly to see improvement.
- Websites. Leadership is a popular topic. There are plenty of free articles and videos to keep you busy for a lifetime.
- Formal education. There are seminars, webinars, and even college courses covering the topic of leadership.
- Anyone committed to becoming a more effective leader can find the necessary information to take their skills to the next level.
Practice makes perfect. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills. It’s not possible to become an expert at anything without intention and prolonged effort. Learn a little each day and apply it vigorously. Gauge your results and seek improvement.
Few people make a concerted effort to grow their leadership skills. You can quickly surpass your peers if you make the effort!