How to Develop Good Leadership Skills

As your business grows it becomes more important to develop good leadership skills. Nobody is born a perfect leader, it is something that you learn and develop 'on the job', but the key thing is to be aware of what it takes to be a good leader and make the effort to develop your skills.

Business Coaching Insight:

As a leader you don't need to know all the answers but you do need to be okay with harnessing solutions from your team

These four key leadership skills are the ones to focus on developing first if you're a business owner.

Key Leadership Skills List

1. Strategic Thinking Skills

This involves working 'on' the business rather than 'in' it.

It's really important that business leaders avoid getting bogged down in the details of running a business because your number one priority is being focused on the business vision.

While your employees are busy down in the engine room, you should be up on deck keeping your eye on the horizon and steering your team on the path to get there.

And, as you take in the wider view, part of your role also involves anticipating changes or new opportunities and determining whether the business needs to change direction. 

2. Decision Making Skills

Unfortunately we are not taught decision making skills and for many business leaders this is a complex and uncomfortable part of their role, especially when the stakes are high.

As a business owner it is critical to be able to determine what's important, what it means for the business, what the consequences could be and what direction you need to take because of it.

It ultimately comes down to having sound judgement so how do you make sure you're making the right decisions? These tips may help:

  • Make a list of the pro's and con's of a decision to empty your brain of the all the different factors to consider
  • Listen to your team and harness their thoughts and ideas
  • Analyze your options but don't over do it otherwise you'll end up with 'analysis paralysis'
  • Listen to your gut instinct

3. People Skills

Surrounding yourself with the right people and aligning them around the businesses vision and goals is so critical that it is unlikely that your business will achieve it's goals until this piece of the puzzle is in place.

The first step is being able to spot and employ those people who are as motivated to build a business as you are. The second is treating them as partners and allowing them to fully contribute.

A business owner with good leadership skills should focus equally on results and people. 

Trying to get a business to succeed just with your own sheer will and effort is very ineffective, not to mention exhausting.

4. Communication Skills

Good communication isn't just about the amount of meetings you have in your business. The 'quality' of the conversations you have in your business are just as important, if not more so.

If you don't invite employees to contribute or they feel fearful about speaking up, then it doesn't matter how many meetings you have because the communication you'll be having will be too one-way and therefore, not very effective.

When you share information and invite participation from your team it generates more trust and they are more likely to buy into your decisions and take ownership for putting them into action.

Business Coaching Questions:

  • Which of these good leadership skills do you need to focus on developing?
  • What is your plan for developing your leadership skills? What support will you need?
  • Who do you know that could be a leadership mentor?

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