Leadership positions can be drastically different but there are a few basic elements that they all have in common. The following 5 key skills for leadership are some of those that all good leaders require, regardless of their field or position.
The nature of leadership means that you are working with others. Working with others means that you will need to communicate.
Knowing how your team is coming along, what obstacles that they are facing is important both so that you can help them deal with their problems and enjoy their successes with them, but also because chances are you will need to report their progress to your superior.
After all, leadership positions are often still somewhere along the chain of command. You are leading a team, but you are probably also one of a number of team leaders forming another team that answers to another leader. Communicating with your team and fellow team leaders as well as superiors will all be important.
Being a leader doesn’t just mean telling other people what to do, it also means working with the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team members. This requires communication, but also creativity.
As a group leader, you will be in charge of directing your team towards the completion of your goal, but also in charge of overcoming problems that your team faces both externally and internally.
In addition to orchestrating your team members, a leader needs to keep an eye on all of the due-dates and deadlines for projects being managed by your team.
Of course, the more that your team has to do the more difficult this can become. This can also be true if there is something that you need to do with your team’s work or reports before passing it along. Consider the case of an editor at a newspaper, for example. Each writer has their own deadlines to get things into the editor so that the editor can edit them before the editor’s deadline.
Matching up your deadlines with your team’s deadlines can mean a busy calendar.
Leaders also need to have patience and tenacity.
As a leader, you should have been tasked with some kind of explicit objective. While it is natural to want your team to have achieved this objective as soon as possible, it is important that you do not become discouraged if the objective is not achieved overnight.
Chances are, this objective – whatever it may be – is only the first of many that you will be tasked with completing during your time in a leadership position. As such, it is important that you demonstrate that you are able and willing to put in prolonged time and effort to achieve a goal.
Finally, leaders require restraint. It is very seldom that the most direct or the riskiest path will be the one that leads to the greatest results. People love to see a leader put everything on the line, but only when it pays off. Calculated risks can impress the crowd, but it’s usually better to take a route that you know will work than a route that might work if everything else works out okay.
There are many things that make a good leader, and no article can prepare you for leadership. It is important that you gradually settle into a leadership position by making decisions that protect those around you and those beneath you.
Sometimes it can seem like this means taking the slow road, or the road without fame and glory, but being a leader isn’t about glory as much as it is about success. That means taking things slow and taking the action that is best for your team rather than best for your appearance.