Leadership – 3 Skills needed to be a Better Leader

Being a great leader takes a lot of practice, the more you practice the better you become.  There are many different types of leadership styles, history has shown is this time and time again.  I personally have over 20 years of management and leadership experience.  Some of my leadership skills are natural, but there a few that have developed over time and experience.  I am continually challenging myself to grow as a leader.  I am not afraid to make mistakes.  There are many skills that a great leader needs to have.  These are just three examples from my own personal experience.

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A great leader leads by example.  For many years I have watched others lead and I have seen some really great leaders.  I have even had the opportunity to work for some of these people.  By working for great leaders, I have developed some awesome leadership skills.  Leading by example is one of the toughest skills to do every day.  I strive to always do my best in every aspect of my job.  I show up early, because I expect others to be on-time.  I never ask anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.  This is a paramount detail in building rapport with a team.  If it’s 100 degrees outside and my team is unloading a container, I will roll up my sleeves and lend a hand.  I want them to know that they are not alone.  As I mentioned before, I have learned a lot from other leaders.  If I am leading by example, I have the opportunity to pass along the skills I have been given.  Great leaders mentor and cultivate future leaders.

A great leader is approachable, accessible and open.  Many times in my life I have had people tell me that they are intimidated by managers and leaders, they have even told me that they were intimidated by me at first.  I used to chuckle when people would say this, as my career grew and I got into more advanced leadership positions, I realized that this actually was happening.  I am a very direct person by nature and this particular trait does intimidate others, sometimes.  As I have matured as a business and community leader I have become a better communicator.  Today I am open, accessible and approachable.  The team I work with knows that they can tell me what is on their mind.  The reason for this is that even though I am direct, I am kind and compassionate too.  My team knows that I am there to help them succeed.    I work hard to build a rapport with my team and encourage them to share their point of view, safely.  This is what makes a leader a great leader, willingness to listen and lead.

A great leader is accountable.  Accountability is a valuable trait.  In my last blog, Be a Man of Your Word.  I mentioned the fact that sometimes your word is all you have.  When leading a team, you have to build trust with your fellow members.  As a leader it’s not about someone else trying to lead me.  It’s about getting things done as a team.  When my boss or one of my team members asks me to do something for them, I try to do it right away.  This shows them that I am attentive and accountable.  It also validates their effort and lets them know they are valuable. I need support my colleagues so they will support me.   Bottom line, if I say I am going to do something, I do it to the best of my ability.  Great leaders support and help those around them succeed.

These are just a few examples of great leadership skills that I use and continually work on to a better leader.  Do you have skills or experiences that you would like to add? Please feel free to comment in this conversation.

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