We all lead ourselves every day. Some of us even lead groups or teams of other people. The best type of leader is a transformational one. They inspire their team and remain positive in the face of adversity. We need to sharpen our skills to become such leaders. Here are 20+ powerful ways to develop your leadership skills.
1. Clarify your vision for your team
For people to follow a leader, they need to fully understand where he or she is taking them. Therefore, ensure that you share your vision, mission and goals with your team. Explain why the goals that you set are important to them. Indicate how your vision will improve your organization and how they will benefit as well. Whenever you are making strategic plans, ensure that you involve your team and always ask for feedback. In this way, they will clearly see your leadership path.
2. Identify, embrace and use your gifts
We all have unique gifts and strengths. You may have some leadership skills that you were born with and others that you have developed over your lifetime. Discover your skill set, accept it and practice it. In this way, you become comfortable in your own skin and become a better leader.
3. Have passion for your vision
Passion is a fire that can ignite enthusiasm. If you are a passionate leader, your team will be enthusiastic to follow you. It is important to develop passion for your work so as to be a great leader. Find ways through which you can express this passion for your team to see. Also, be concerned about their progress and appreciate their efforts.
4. Establish a set of principles and live by them
Your actions as a leader are guided by your personal values and principles. These guidelines determine your performance. Establish some and live by them. Your team will see you as a living, breathing symbol of your principles. Therefore, be honest with yourself as you set these rules. By doing this, you will succeed effortlessly in your career as a leader.
5. Be a role model for your team
Walk your talk. Preach water and drink it. Model the behavior that you want your team to adopt. Inspire them using your own actions. When you embrace the actions and tendencies that you want in your team, they will follow suit.
6. Define clear goals and follow solid plans of action
Every journey begins with a clear understanding of the destination. Once you know where you want to go, you can then map out a plan of how to get there. Establish a personal plan of life goals and then work towards them. Ensure that each goal has a timeline and corresponding actions to achieve it.
7. Have a positive attitude
Grumpy, negative people do not inspire confidence. No one respects them. On the other hand, a positive attitude is attractive and people will gravitate towards a leader who has one. Moreover, positivity leads to a happy life. It attracts opportunities for you and your team.
8. Increase your communication skills
Part of being a great leader is the ability to communicate clearly. You should be able to clearly explain your goals, intentions, vision and skills to your team and other stakeholders. Communication is not only about speaking, it involves listening. Therefore, develop the skill to listen patiently and pay attention to body language. Overall, take steps to develop spoken and non-verbal communication.
9. Recognize the value in your team
Every leader has a sphere of influence. The great ones share it with their team. They do this by recognizing the value in each individual member. To be a great leader, utilize your insight so as to see what is not obviously visible in your team members. Majority of the greatest leaders of the past rose to the top because another leader recognized their abilities and gave them a chance. Give someone else a chance too and you will be recognized in their legacy.
10. Admit your weaknesses or failures and learn from them
We all know that nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes every once in a while. As a leader, seek to understand that success is fostered by learning from your mistakes. Be brave enough to indicate your weaknesses to your team. This will allow them to appoint people who are strong to cover for you.
11. Educate yourself and learn more every day
Great leaders seek to learn more every day. Pick up a topic that is related to your discipline and study it. Interact with professionals from other disciplines and learn from them. There is always something new to learn by interacting with the world around you. This wealth of knowledge and willingness to interact makes you more respectable and approachable by the members of your team.
12. Handle yourself with your head and handle others with your heart
It is easy for a leader to assert themselves in the presence of other people in a way that hurts their feelings. This does more harm than good. As a leader, interact with your team by considering their emotions. However, govern yourself by relying on intelligent judgment.
13. Keep your fears private and your courage public
Courageous leaders inspire confidence. Nobody wants to follow a coward. Be brave in your capacity as a leader. This will inspire faith and positivity in your team. If you have any fears, keep them deep in your heart and use your courage to overcome them.