06 Aug

It's all about skills in the modern world. It's never been more challenging to be a leader than it is right now.  Markets, industries, communities, and families  are experiencing and adapting to change at a rapid pace.  For any leader to be successful, it's important to have the proper knowledge, skills, and capabilities  

Many of these skills are evergreen.  For example, leaders will always need to be able to communicate well, demonstrate emotional intelligence, and be able to influence others to take action and achieve specific goals and tasks.  Take heart that your leadership skills will be valuable for a long time!

Shore up these leadership skills to protect and create a compelling future for you and your team:

1. The ability to inspire and motivate others.  Great leaders are great motivators.  Think about how you motivate yourself.  It's not that much different to motivate someone else.

2. Communication skills.  Leaders must be excellent communicators.  This includes public speaking, addressing small groups, and one-on-one.  Remember to practice good listening skills.  Fortunately, educational materials abound and there are plenty of willing victims to practice your skills upon.

3. Delegation skills.  You can't do it all alone.  Many high-achievers have trouble letting go and giving up control.  You must be able to trust others and use them in the most effective way possible.  It's not enough to just delegate, you must delegate assignments to the those who will excel in that particular task or will grow from the experience. 

4. Foster the proper culture.  Leaders must establish a culture that matches the industry and the employees.  A Wall Street investment bank has a different culture than an elementary school or a pharmaceutical company.  Even departments may have their own unique culture.

5. Adapt and overcome.  The challenges facing leaders change regularly.  Industries change.  Customers change.  Economic conditions change.  Technology is rapidly changing the way organizations do business.  Leaders have to be able to evolve to meet the changing landscape.

6. Time management.  Leaders are busy.  There's always more to do than there are hours in the day.  Choosing the most important tasks and making the time to complete them is paramount. It is just as important to create a not-to-do list as it is to create a to-do list. Time management skills are easily learned, but don't come naturally to many people.

7. Relationship management.  Great leaders have strong relationships with their direct reports, the hourly employees, executives, and customers.  The stronger your relationships, the more you can accomplish.  During great challenges, your relationships can make or break you.

8. Change management. Leading an organization or department through change is a valuable skill to develop.  As companies shift to add technology, work from home, to be more mobile and agile, reduce workforces, change comes more rapidly.

9. Be a good follower and an example for others Leaders have to follow, too.  Leaders that don't follow are considered dictators.  Once you inspire a team, they become largely self-sufficient.  It is then your job to follow and provide occasional guidance.

10. Tact, Bearing, and Poise.  Leaders face challenges.  Tact and poise are necessary traits for a leader to possess.  Without tact and poise, small challenges become bigger, and employees lose faith.  When you're stressed and panicked, and lose your bearing your employees are uncomfortable and lack trust.  Build your poise if you want to excel as a leader.

How do your skills measure up? You can try to predict your success as a manager from this list of skills.

Build your skills and your results will be enhanced.  Even with all the big changes in modern businesses, leadership skills continue to be highly valued in the workplace. Great leaders are always in high demand.

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