Improving your leadership skills may seem like an uphill climb. You might be telling yourself, “I’m not a leader. Some people have leadership abilities, but I simply don’t have any.” That couldn’t be further from the truth! Anyone can lead when the necessity arises, so we all have some type of leadership abilities inside of us. Of course leadership styles vary greatly from person to person, and sometimes these skills do need some development before they can come out. It is also possible to be in what some may see as a leadership role without actually leading anyone! Here are four steps to help you work on your leadership skills.
- Learn what it really means to be a leader. There are many definitions of what a leader is, and not all of them are correct. Some people find themselves in management roles but don’t actually provide any kind of leadership to their employees. Just think of a leader as both a driver and a navigator. He or she is someone who not only directs the driver to steer in a particular direction, but also influences the car in some way to make it go that way, either directly with hands on the steering wheel or a little more indirectly in the form of what some people might call “a backseat driver.”
- Figure out what your personal leadership style is. Some people are very direct and tell people what to do. They don’t go in for discussions with others about the best course of action. They simply make decisions and expect to follow through. On the other hand, some leaders take more of a collaborative approach, allowing their team to work together to determine the best course of action with very little interference. Your personal leadership style is important when discovering the type of team you need to be successful at leadership.
- Inspire others to be great. Leaders should always understand that they aren’t the only member of the team. Being a good leader only goes as far as the strength of your team. Without them, you wouldn’t be a leader, so you need to be able to inspire greatness in others. If they are great, then you will be great as well.
- Learn to identify the style of leadership that is needed in a given situation. Great leaders can easily size up a given situation to determine which type of leadership is needed at that moment. These leaders have the ability to practice more than one style of leadership, depending on what the situation calls for. Of course this does require that you understand a variety of leadership styles and what they should be used for. This level of leadership is very advanced because it means you’re able to lead in more than one way.
It may seem like there is some kind of secret formula to being a successful leader, but these are skills that virtually anyone can learn. Working with a coach is a great way to learn them.