11 Tips for Developing Effective Leadership Skills

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Like any other skill, developing effective leadership is something done through planning, practice and repetition.

Leadership may seem like a trait that some of us are simply born with.

It’s not!

Like any other skill, leadership is something developed through planning, practice, and repetition.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 11 tips for developing effective leaders that will lead you down the right path, helping you separate yourself from the pack as a natural-born leader.

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Remember, developing effective leadership skills takes time. It involves trial-and-error and a great deal of patience. But the qualities you develop will lead to elevated productivity and peace-of-mind in your own life, along with much appreciation from your employees and team members.

Now, here is our official 11 Tips for Developing Effective Leaders:

Tip #1: Make Your Own Development a Priority

Simply put: YOU. HAVE. TO. WANT. IT. It is impossible to lead others if you don’t possess the willpower to lead yourself. Look in the mirror, identify your areas of weakness and move forward with becoming a better you. There is help readily available as well, with a range of certified executive coaching programs ready to assist in your leadership skills development or you can find our article on How to Make Your Leadership Development a Priority for more tips.

Tip #2: Set Aside Time for Thinking and Planning

Preparation is vital.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Ben Franklin

We are all busy, it’s tough to make time to think strategically and plan, but we need to in order for it to happen.  The best leaders know that it’s required for long-term success.  Know what you intend to accomplish, layout your plan and make time to think creative.

Tip #3: Find a Way to Decompress and Re-energize

All employees, including leaders, experience stress at work. Because leaders set the temperature for the team, we have to lead by example in managing our own stress.  Find ways to blow off steam and refresh.  Check out these tips for ways leaders can manage stress.

Tip #4: Build Relationships

Make time to connect with colleagues. It can help you build a team of advocates and allies.  Create opportunities to connect with colleagues on a more personal level, build crucial rapport and get important “off the record” insight on important issues and situations.

Tip #5: Leading People Takes Practice

Leading is vastly different from managing  Leading means that you actually have followers.  It means that a team of people believe in your vision for success and how you’ll get them there. Simon Sinek has shared his insight on what it means to be a leader.

Tip #6: Explore Ways to Enhance Your Performance Through Others

When you are the leader, your success is the reflection of others’ success. It isn’t about you individually anymore, it’s about your team. Successful leaders make others around them better.  It’s about setting the vision and priorities, enabling the team to execute and removing barriers along the way.

Tip #7: Go Home

Know when to turn the lights off; no one will tell you to and you set the tone for your team. If you stay late, your team will stay late.  Without work/life balance, employees end up less productive because they’re stressed and resentful.

Tip #8: Invite Feedback

Don’t be afraid to ask, “What’s the one thing I could improve?” Leaders need to be specific in asking for feedback and listen without being defensive.  Make it clear that you want honest feedback and that it’s crucial to your own development. Here are some additional tips about asking for feedback. Developing effective leadership skills requires you to have your finger on the pulse of your team. You need to know how they feel about your leadership style, so you know when and how to adjust it accordingly.

Tip #9: Discover LinkedIn

Because you’re a leader now; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram simply won’t cut it. It is essential for your career development both internally and externally. It is also the most professional-oriented, social media platform, and here’s 25 reasons why.

Tip #10: Manage Your Team Like a Baseball Lineup

Put your team in positions to succeed. As leaders, we should know what strengths and opportunities each of our team members have.  Some employees have specialty skills but consistently deliver, while others hit it out of the park no matter what responsibility they have.  Ultimately, the failure or success of the work being done reflects your ability to lead.

Tip #11: Address Low Performance Head-on

It’s easy to let employees go or to ignore low performance.  It’s much harder to work with employees to turn performance around.  Strong leaders address the concern head-on, digging through to the root issue of low performance and what’s influencing the behavior.   

That’s it. Simple, right?

The only thing standing in the way of developing your leadership skills is you. With these tips and the positive attitude there’s no reason you can’t develop into an effective leader for your company.

But if you do need a little extra push, or just don’t know where to begin, you can reach out to us for a FREE CONSULTATION and we can begin developing you into a leader of tomorrow!