Being a leader can mean many things to many people. For some people, leadership is involved with giving out orders or assigning tasks. For others, taking on a leadership role involves setting direction and inspiring positive action. Or, you may associate leadership with power, being in control, or having all the answers.
In this article, you will learn what exactly what leadership is and how you can improve your skills at being an effective leader.
According to the dictionary, leadership is the ability to lead a group of people or an organisation. This action is connected with giving guidance, having a measure of authority, and providing direction.
It is good to remember that, although leaders are generally in positions of responsibility, their seniority doesn’t make them automatically a leader.
Another aspect that helps define true leadership is that it has nothing to do with having a title. For example, anyone can become a leader in a team, their family, or neighbourhood without having a title.
So, being a true leader involves influencing others to maximise their efforts to achieve a specific goal.
Here are some life skills that you can learn, not just to help organise your team or give commands to others, but to truly inspire them.
One of the best ways to positively influence others is to be enthusiastic and passionate about your work. These qualities are contagious and will affect how your team or subordinates view their work.
It is also important to be passionate about inspiring others to do their best. If someone on your team needs some encouragement or guidance, then try to motivate them to continue.
Good leaders also know their own strengths and use them to the advantage of themselves and others. This means that when it comes to challenging tasks, you know the set of skills you have to use to your advantage.
However, a true leader will also identify his/her own weaknesses and work on them. Learning new skills keeps your skills set fresh, sharp, and effective. This means that you will become better able to perform tasks and then train others to become more productive.
Any good leader needs to practice discipline to lead themselves and be an inspiring example to others. The example you show to others will either inspire them or it will instil in them a sense of apathy. Showing clear leadership skills at work means meeting deadlines, keeping appointments, and being organised.
Of course, an effective leader needs to be empathetic about the abilities and skills of others. So, a good leader won’t be overly demanding but will be willing to help and train others to improve their abilities.
Achieving any kind of success requires having specific goals along your way. These goals become your focus and help drive you and your team forward. So, an effective leader won't just keep pushing himself. He needs to keep his team with him and help them to reach the collective goals. This leads us to the next important way to provide good leadership – communication.
Of course, a leader who inspires and motivates others needs to learn the art of communication. In order to achieve this, it’s essential to communicate regularly and clearly. After all, you can’t lead your team if they don’t know what’s expected of them.
However, successful leaders don’t just focus on their own communication skills. They also make it easy for others to communicate with them. For example, one report on effective leadership skills advised that effective leaders should always elicit confirmation of understanding. Also, even if they receive negative feedback, good leaders view this as a learning opportunity.
In conclusion, it is clear that being a good leader means more than just giving out orders. The best leaders engage with others to motivate them to achieve their greatest success.