Leaders are made, not born! Leadership skills are learned with patience. Even if somebody comes into this world with attributes and leadership skills that make them a great leader, there are still things they need to learn, adapt, and change. Good leaders with apt leadership skills are teachable; they are adaptable because they know the world is evolving. If they aren’t updated, they don’t deserve to be a leader because thousands are competing for the position where they are now. Three qualities are present in every leader and are necessary for mastering leadership skills.
- They are teachable: even though they are great leader, but a good leader knows that there is still much to learn. Being a good leader means you can never be satisfied with the knowledge you have. You should always crave for more.
- They are decisive: Great leaders with great leadership skills are great because of their actions and their decision making abilities. Leaders make decisions for the betterment of society and their team. There is a famous quote, “don’t worry about making the right decision, make the decision, and make the decision right“. Leaders are never afraid of making decisions even though they can be hard to make sometimes. Being decisive as a leader is the key.
- Adaptability: The world is growing very fast. Its algorithm changes every second. Everything is evolving so quickly. As a leader, you have to be adaptable. There are challenges at every step; your key employee can leave, your best competitor can beat you. But, great leaders always adapt according to the situation as they cannot plan all the contingencies. This is the leadership skill that will let you be a better leader each day.
What do leaders do when hard times hit them?
Let me explain with a real-life example. It’s the story of my father’s friend pioneer. He is a pioneer in the Wood factory in Mumbai. He is living a comfortable life now but the situation wasn’t the same in the past. My father’s friend started his business in 2002. It was around six years later when the Great Recession of 2008 took place. The whole nation was in crisis. There was no money to feed workers. My father’s friend was left with no option but to fire half of his employees.
Businesses were left with no business. My father’s friend knew it was his responsibility to do everything in his power to inspire his team to be better, to achieve beyond their wildest imagination. He did everything he could do, motivated them, and keep the minds sane. But none of his techniques worked. Can you imagine how devastating it might be for my father’s friend to fire his friends and colleagues that he cared for deeply? It might have made him sick to the stomach to know that he had failed as a leader and didn’t have the right leadership skills to sail through the crisis.
He realized that even though he trained them to sell, but what they were missing is that they didn’t know that they could make a difference in the lives of others. They lacked leadership skills. Before crisis and change smacking them in their face as it always does, he had not prepared them to lead when the moment requires. My father always told me this with a heavy heart. He had not invested time and resources into making them leaders and teaching them the necessary skills. A failure of that magnitude was an identity shock for my father’s friend. Everything was gone from his hands. The business collapsed. But, this didn’t break him down. Even though he failed to teach leadership skills to his team for hard times, he knew that he was already a LEADER and he can’t give up.
My father told me that those were the days when everything appeared to be imaginary. He told me how his friend tried everything to combine every part again, but now in a different manner. My father’s friend took a break for two years, completed his Ph.D. in leadership, and returned with a boom. He again hired employees, but this time it was different- he also taught them the leadership skills that would let them think and be a leader when the time requires. He made them leaders. And now, he is at the peak of his business. It is a duty of a good leader to light the leadership skills in everyone he is a leader to, so they can be one when the moment needs them to be.
How to become a good leader and develop leadership skills?
Every leader is a follower once. But the way they improve their leadership skills and talent is what makes them capable of being a great leader. Leaders never stop growing and developing their leadership skills. They know how to keep themselves away from falling into the comfort zone and how to thrive more each day. All leadership qualities and leadership skills can be learned, but the hard part is the qualities and the leadership skills you must learn to succeed as an effective leader.
1. You must always learn and improve.
Never being satisfied is the first rule of being a good leader. A key to developing leadership skills is to study and take courses. All leaders are readers. Even though many great leaders are busy with their work, but they never stop reading business guides, magazines and attending conferences. Learning should always go on. Learn from the surroundings, from people or anywhere you can but keep learning and most importantly improving.
2. Identify what leadership skills might be missing in you and strive to improve them.
Do you admire anyone? Do you desire to become a great leader like your ideal? If yes, then observe what all qualities and skills they have, and then evaluate yourself. Try to find out those qualities and leadership skills that are missing in you and develop them. It may be a hard thing to do, but the great thing about doing this is that when you know the leadership skills and qualities you are missing, you can work to improve these things about yourself. People may be born with some leadership skills but they can also develop the ones they are missing. The most outstanding leader becomes great because they identify the leadership skills they are missing, and they deliberately set up to acquire these skills. As you are growing, it’s your responsibility to make yourself better. This is a basic point you should remember while working on your leadership skills.
3. It doesn’t matter where you came from, it is your destination that matters!
Don’t worry about any past opportunities you may have missed. Forget every mistake that you have done in the past. You cannot undo the past. All you can do is to focus on future goals and live in the present. It’s the future that counts. Just because you haven’t been a leader before doesn’t mean that you can’t become one in the future. A necessary leadership skill that is required to be a good leader is, you should know how to let go of the things that you can’t control and work on the things that can actually be improved.
4. If you want your life to get better, you must get better.
if you’re going to be an effective leader, you must develop leadership skills. You have to be a better person each day and keep on growing. A good leader cannot stay still and be the same always. Leadership skills aren’t learnt in one day. You need to keep on practicing and improving to master them, get better and be a good leader.
5. You can learn anything that you want to learn.
An important part of being a good leader and having leadership skills is that, you should always be ready and eager to learn new things. You must have the power to control your life the way you want and do things the way you want to do. You shouldn’t pull back on doing something or learning something new just because od some excuses. If you can;t even control yourself, how can you control a team let alone teach them leadership skills. Always know, having leadership skills means you know that you are the master of yourself and you can learn anything that you want.
6. Do more of certain things.
Do more of those things that are of more excellent value to you and more important to achieve the result as a leader and acquiring leadership skills. You know better than anyone else what are things that are of use to you and benefit you. These are the things that will get you a good place in life and knowing them is required for mastering leadership skills. Be mature and think wisely.
7. Do less of certain things.
As discussed above, mastering leadership skills also include knowing what activities are of no use to you and are merely there to waste your time. Try to reduce the time you spend on these certain activities that can hold the pace of your progress. Leave all such activities that are not allowing you to move faster towards acquiring leadership skills and being a good leader.
8. Start doing those things that you aren’t doing that you need to be doing.
What are the tools, qualities that you need to learn today to become a leader in the future? Identify them, write them down, and then find actions to convert them into your goals. Find ways to be a good leader and be a master of leadership skills.
9. Stop doing certain things altogether.
You might be following many activities that are no longer relevant to your goals as a leader. Step back and evaluate all of your actions. This is a must when you talk about leadership skills. You must know when to cut-off certain things in your life.
10. Practice Discipline.
Leaders are known for their disciplinary actions. They need something unique which will separate them from their followers. Developing discipline in professional life is essential to become an effective leader and mastering leadership skills. You will set an example and inspire others to be disciplined. They will judge you by your disciplinary actions. You set an example when you are a leader and that is why you need to be better if you want to become a good leader.
11. Friendly nature.
This could be a bit awkward, but yes, you should know how to be familiar and friendly with your team members. You are their mentor, so it should your responsibility to guide them forward in a friendly way. Your team mustn’t ever be afraid of you. If they are, they can’t be honest with you and that will wash all your leadership skills in vain.
What I am doing to improve my leadership skills.
Everyone wishes to be a leader, not only a leader but a good leader. I am no different. I do want to be a leader someday with all the necessary leadership skills. At first, I lacked discipline and was very careless with certain things. I had the dream to be a leader, known for his skills, and be a master in it. I am a digital marketing enthusiast and fascinated by how the web is being used in so many different ways. “But there is so much to do and learn if I wanted to be a leader in digital marketing”, this thought made my first step the hardest. Anyway, I started my journey, left my comfort zone and took the first step. When you want to be a leader yourself and master leadership skills you first need to find a mentor and idol that you can look up to.
I am fascinated by how Niel Patel works and want to be a digital marketing expert and a leader like him someday. I learn the skills from everyday. But what makes me look up to him as a leader is how devoted and discplined he is towars his work. Any article he posts, every video he makes has an effort of a hardworking team and you know it when you see the content. I am way behind being something of a leader like him, but I am on my way! I am improving daily, I learn new things everyday, I know where I should spend my time, where I shouldn’t, I am more discilplined and in control of myself.
This is what you need to do as well. Choose your idol, someone you can look up to, who is a pioneer in that field. You have to follow the right person. Learn the good things and values, learn leadership skills that your mentor portrays, and then start working on them. Polish your leadership skills and there is nothing that can you stop you when you do have the skills.
A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.John C. Maxwell