7 Simple Ways To Improve Your Leadership Skills

By Lolly Daskal

When you’re in a leadership position, it’s easy to feel like you’re losing your way. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by a specific situation, maybe you’re in a bit of a slump, or maybe you feel that you’re stuck in the same place without moving forward. Whatever the cause for those moments, the best solution is often found in revisiting the basics.

Here are seven simple things you can to shore up your leadership skills:

Understand your leadership style. If you had to sum up your leadership in one word, what would it be? Democratic, visionary, coaching, affiliative, pacesetting, commanding? Think about how you work most comfortably and effectively. Staying connected to your natural way of working can help you see and make any changes you may need.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of your leadership style can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you’re a visionary leader, you’re great at showing people the big picture and inspiring them to work toward it, but you may need help in creating and carrying out a plan to make it happen.

Leverage your weaknesses. When you know what your weaknesses are, think about how you can address them and leverage them into strengths. That difficulty in planning? In time, it may lead you to become great at delegating details.

Make use of your people’s talents. Great leaders don’t just rely on their people to work—they get to know the range of their talents and abilities, then solicit opinions and find ways for them to channel and develop their strengths. The results? A team working at top performance in a culture of trust and openness.

Maintain transparency. Especially at times when they feel they may be falling short, many leaders try to hide their challenges or their need for help. But one of the greatest forms of leadership is leading through example. Show your people how to ask for help and work through struggles. When you do, you’ll have better collaboration, stronger teamwork, more productivity, and higher levels of engagement.

Seek outside counsel. Often an informed outsider can bring a perspective and ideas that aren’t easy to see up close. Call in a trusted mentor or a good executive leadership coach to help walk you through the issues at hand. A coach or other outside advisor can help you improve your skills while you lead others.

Lead with humility. Being a humble leadership doesn’t mean downplaying your abilities or allowing yourself to become a doormat. It’s about centering your leadership in the idea that it’s not just about you. Focus your leadership on the people you lead and you’ll never stray far from the path.

Lead from within: Developing leadership skills is a lifelong process of transforming and growing the way you approach your work. For yourself and for the sake of the people you lead, don’t put it off.

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