Good leadership often seems a little intangible. We all know it when we see it, and we all certainly know when we’ve worked with poor or ineffective leaders. Identifying what makes a good leader can seem harder to place.
Great leaders are often very different from each other. Different personalities lead in different ways and different organisational cultures produce different leadership styles and approaches. Underlying good leadership, however, are some key principles and approaches.
Great leaders don’t just emerge on their own. While some people may have more inherent attributes that help make a great leader, it’s certainly possible to develop the qualities and skills needed to become a better leader.
Leadership training is one of the best ways to develop your skills as a leader and in this article, we’ll look at some of the important roles and skills great leaders need, as well as how these can be developed.
What are the most important roles of a leader?
Leadership and management are often mixed up. While there may be some overlap, leaders and managers are not always the same. While the latter may have more of an administrative role, leaders tend to be more strategic. Both managers and leaders can inspire, but with leaders, it’s a key part of the role.
A company’s success will significantly depend on its leaders. Some of the critical roles that leaders need to drive success are:
A leader should be innovative and able to create a shared vision for their team. This will be achieved through clear communication, using ideas generated from their team and then forming them into a clear vision and direction of travel.
Leaders need to be able to think strategically, developing clear proces Developing your leadership skills with leadership training ses through which they’ll achieve consistent results. By remaining focused on the most important priorities, they can create systems within which people can flourish. Strategy is the concrete means through which overarching visions will ultimately be achieved.
Leaders need to be able to communicate effectively using different means, be that written or digital, through speaking formally to groups and more reflectively to individuals. As well as having robust communication skills themselves, leaders need to create a culture that fosters good communication. Leaders empower their teams to communicate freely.
The Role Model
Good leaders are also role models. They exhibit the behaviour that is expected from the team and earn the respect of their team members. Leaders who procrastinate or exhibit anger or uncaring attitudes build barriers between themselves and their teams. This can inhibit the ability of the team to reach business goals.
Great leaders are able to recognise and foster talent within their teams. They enable everyone to achieve their potential, improve performance, solve problems and advance their careers. Leaders take a holistic view of their team members, helping them to develop their skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. By doing so, leaders are able to generate loyalty among their team members.
What is the most important skill for leadership?
Identifying the single most important skill for leadership is difficult. People need a variety of skills to be effective leaders, and each individual leader will be stronger in some areas than others.
Core competencies for any effective leader will be good communication, empathy and problem-solving. While these are important skills, perhaps underlining everything that a good leader does in their organisation is their ability to build, foster and maintain relationships.
Success is never the product of a single individual but arises out of networks of mutual support and shared goals. The ability to foster relationships that are working towards those shared goals is a key aspect of any successful leadership strategy.
Another skill that many people would regard as the most important for leadership is trustworthiness. You need to establish that you can be relied upon to deliver. Trustworthiness builds confidence in your teams and creates a supportive environment which allows people to prosper and develop.
Trustworthiness and relationship skills tend to go hand in hand and are mutually supportive, so working on these skills is a critical requirement for leaders.
When should I look to improve my leadership skills?
There is no right or wrong time to when it’s beneficial to improve your leadership skills. In fact, improving your skills should be a continuous process as you develop in your role and career. Good leaders are self-reflective, they’re able to take a step back and look at how they’re performing. They’re able to assess their current skills and identify areas that need particular attention.
If you’ve just taken up a role with more responsibility, then it can be an opportunity to develop your core leadership skills. Whether it’s taking the initiative, learning how to empower, inspire and motivate your team members, or further enhancing your critical thinking skills, leadership skills need to be nurtured. Stepping up to a new role is a time of new challenges, giving you the perfect opportunity to enhance your leadership capabilities.
If you’re hoping to make significant progress in your career then developing your leadership skills is a good strategy. Not only does it give you the skills it takes to step up into leadership roles effectively, but it also indicates to employers that you are serious about your development. This can help you fast-track your career, helping you get where you want to go. By developing leadership skills, you’re also more likely to perform better in your current role making it easier to progress in your career.
There are many different types of leaders, but natural-born leaders are rare. Many of the best leaders have worked hard over many years to learn, develop and improve their leadership skills. Leadership development training involves mastering the essential skills, characteristics and qualities that are needed to be a successful leader.
If you’re serious about being an effective leader then it’s the right time to improve your leadership skills.
How to future proof my leadership skills
Working practices are continually changing. Leadership styles that were once commonplace are now seen as outdated. The old top-down approach to leadership has been replaced by a more collaborative model, and expectations of how a good leader will work have changed significantly over recent decades. This evolution is continuing, meaning that anyone in a leadership role needs to consider how they can improve their skills.
Developing your leadership skills is not a one-off event but is rather a continual process. Leadership training needs to be ongoing as you move through your career, ensuring that you are always up to date with the latest thinking and practices. Developing leadership skills also requires a degree of self-reflection. Effective leaders take a critical look at their strengths and weaknesses and then work out strategies to improve them.
Future proofing your leadership skills requires sincere reflection and paying particular attention to key skills and competencies that leaders need in order to be effective.
If you’re looking to future proof your leadership skills, ensuring that they remain relevant in an evolving workplace, then a leadership course should be a priority. If you’ve never undertaken leadership training or if it’s some time since you completed your course, then this is especially important.
Good leaders are aware of and open to developments in the workplace, best practices and within their sector. They then look to adapt their skills accordingly to take these into account.
Why do people take a leadership course?
People take leadership courses for all kinds of reasons and this reflects the range of benefits that a leadership course can deliver both to individuals and their organisations. Leadership training can transform the way you work. It can help you develop your career while becoming more effective. By completing a leadership course, you can open up new opportunities for growth and development.
A leadership course can help you make the transition in your career into a leadership role. It can equip you with the core skills you need to develop in your role and give you a framework from which you can then develop further. If you’ve identified specific areas that you’d like to develop, then a leadership course can help you improve them, overcoming any problems you might be having on the way.
Leadership training can support you in your current leadership role, helping you to implement the most appropriate leadership style. Successful leaders have a clear vision of where they want to go, and training gives them the opportunity to step back from their daily responsibilities to work out strategies to achieve their goals. Leadership training also helps people communicate their vision in a way that motivates and inspires the people around them.
What does a leadership course teach you?
Leadership courses equip you with the skills you need to become an effective leader in your workplace. Leadership training begins by looking at your current skills and competencies, helping to identify your strengths as well as those areas where you need to make improvements.
By developing your skills you will also improve your confidence. You’ll feel better equipped to handle many of the challenges that leadership can bring. Leadership training will help you develop your critical thinking and communication skills, as well as other practical skills you need in your role. Problem solving is a key aspect of leadership and you can expect to focus on this part of your role during your leadership training.
It also gives you time to think reflectively about your own career, your capabilities and personal goals. This can, in turn, assist in developing your vision and goals for the leadership of your organisation.
By completing leadership training you will be given a range of tools to help you in your future career development. You will become a more reflective, responsible and focused leader better able to deliver results and meet your own goals.
Effective leadership training for individuals and organisations
At Leadership Success, we provide tailored and effective leadership training for individuals and organisations. Our programmes have been shown to improve performance by 40% on average. We have delivered over 300,000 training hours to over 25,000 participants.
Our focused leadership coaching programmes can equip you with the skills you need to develop, grow and become more effective in the workplace.
Contact us today to start your leadership journey.