Is leadership a skill? The answer to that is straightforward. Yes, it is a skill, and like any skill, it can be taught, it can be learnt, and it must be practiced in order to be effective.
This is none more so than in a business setting. Whilst businesses have the added advantage of bringing together people from different backgrounds and different skill-sets, this does throw up the obvious problem that not everyone is going to get along easily. Therefore, it’s up to a good leadership team to ensure that these minor differences don’t become major problems.
Practicing Leadership Skills
Developing into a great leader means learning and practicing leadership skills. Every leader must develop their own way of working, but there are some common characteristics that you’ll find across the board. Here are four examples of skills that leaders in business should develop to become amazing leaders.
Saying what you mean (and meaning what you say)
The great Canadian thinker and clinical psychologist Professor Jordan B Peterson wrote in his book, 12 Rules For Life, to ‘Be Precise in Your Speech’ (Rule 10). He argues that things aren’t real until they have a name, the same as naming Voldemort in Harry Potter. Things are rarely as terrible as your imagination, speaking about them makes them easier to bear. Being truthful as far as you can be and not wilfully lying (also, Rule 8: Tell The Truth, or at Least Don’t Lie) builds trust from both your peers and also from within yourself.
Having courage in your words and sticking by what you say will transform the way you approach leadership. If you make a commitment to yourself, to tell the truth (or at least not lie) as far as possible and be precise in everything you say, you will quickly realise that you need to align yourself with things that you truly believe or risk feeling weak and being a weak leader.
Believing in yourself
The great motivational speaker and leadership guru Simon Sinek said,
“If you say and do things the things you actually believe, then you’ll attract people who believe in what you believe.”
That profound statement shows, in a nutshell, exactly how the law of attraction works. By saying and doing the things we believe in and sticking with it, we will attract people who share the same core values — followers, not subordinates.
Learning to delegate
Great leaders cannot work alone. One of the reasons that Sir Winston Churchill is considered a great leader is not because he rode at the front of the battle lines, but because he surrounded himself with an excellent team who each understood their own responsibilities and their own strengths to ensure that they could get the job done to the best of their abilities. Delegation makes a leadership team stronger.
Listening to others
When we’re thrust into a leadership role, it can be so easy to turn unto the tyrant. Marking out orders and casually threatening jobs if the work isn’t done your way. This doesn’t foster creativity, though, and creativity is what ensures your team will thrive. You can either be innovative or efficient, but not both. Innovative teams thrive.