Perhaps nothing is more necessary to advance in your career than the development of leadership skills. Sure we’ve all worked for bosses and managers who were not effective. They had the title but they were not leaders. No one wanted to follow them in anything and it’s likely their influence was limited, along with their opportunities for further advancement.
So, how does one develop or demonstrate leadership skills? Consider the following four points as basic steps to get started.
Be curious and inquisitive
Leaders are not afraid to show they don’t have all the answers. They are interested in learning as much as they can and so they become good at asking questions and taking advice and suggestions, without becoming defensive as a way to mask insecurity or lack of knowledge.
Become good at listening
To supplement their curiosity, good leaders are good listeners and they hear what others are telling them without the need to interrupt, correct, or express their own opinion. They take a genuine interest in how others view a situation or a problem and integrate these opinions to formulate their solutions or to take action.
Try new things and fail well
Effective leaders are not afraid to take risks, tackle new opportunities, and experience failure. Success in your career, and in all areas of life, requires the ability to understand that failure is simply one of the steps toward success and your ability to respond to failure will greatly influence and lead to future success.
Become clear about your values and take a stand
Great leaders understand the values, priorities, principles, and ethics that guide them and are willing to take a stand, even when it’s unpopular. The strength and courage to do so increases the respect others have for you and makes it more likely they’ll want to come alongside you and join the effort.