Great leaders aren’t born—they’re cultivated. And great teams don’t lead themselves. The challenge is to avoid becoming stagnant and to continue growing so you can motivate your staff and bring success to your organization – basically what we would call a ‘High Octane’ Leader.
You must continually strive to be at the top of your game. The approach is not to turn you into someone else’s idea of a strong leader but to show you how to build on your own leadership skills in a way that fits your personality.
Why Develop Leadership Skills
You might think you’re too busy to delve into leadership training. After all, you were hired into a leadership role, so you obviously possess the necessary traits. That might be true, but there are numerous benefits to furthering your management skills—not just for yourself but for your team and your organization as a whole. According to Pulse Learning, leadership training will help you to:
- Increase productivity
- Retain your people
- Nurture future leadership
- Increase employee engagement
- Implement an effective leadership style
- Make better decisions
Embrace These 5 Powerful Leadership Techniques
Leading and coaching employees requires a great many character traits and skills. Here are five strategies to put into practice that will help you become a more powerful leader:
- Commit to others. Be available to your employees and commit yourself to your their success. “The most inspiring leaders set a clear direction and fully commit to making their teams successful,” states Peter Diamond in an Entrepreneur article. Remain engaged with your team’s issues, but steer clear of micromanaging. Let your employees know you are there for them to provide coaching and support in any way that you can. “It’s subtle, but team members are keenly aware when a leader puts the team’s best interests ahead of her or his own,” further states Diamond.
- Practice adaptability. Today’s rapidly changing business climate—fueled by technology innovation, a global economy, and a diverse workforce—means you must be nimble and flexible. “Leaders who are able to adapt their leadership style to the culture and characteristics of their workplaces are likely to be more effective and have better longevity,” states Sherrie Bourg Carter in Psychology Today.
- Communicate well—and be approachable. Communication is the cornerstone of leadership because your communication style follows you everywhere. “You need to be able to communicate on all levels: one on one, to the department and to the entire staff, as well as via phone, email and social media,” says Deep Patel in a Forbes article. “Communication is built on a steady flow of verbal and nonverbal exchanges of ideas and information, so work on being approachable and involving people from different levels.”
- Finish what you start. Keep your goals in mind and don’t let disruptions discourage you from finishing what you started. “Great leaders see things through to completion,” states Peter Economy in an article on leadership. Keep the big picture in mind, and don’t give up when things don’t go your way. “See your projects through to completion unless you have a compelling reason not to,” further states Economy.
- In the midst of striving for excellence, don’t forget to find your sense of humor. “Effective leaders have the ability to laugh at themselves and understand that they are only human and can make mistakes like everyone else,” says Brian Downard in a leadership skills blog post. Leaders who take themselves too seriously risk alienating people, suggests Downard.
Put Your Own Stamp On It
The challenge—and opportunity—of powerful leadership is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, says Biagio W. Sciacca in a webinar he conducted. With the right tools, you can cultivate your own brand of “high octane” leadership.
You’ll become a more energized leader when you focus on developing your personal style. And, in turn, you’ll motivate your staff to reach for new heights.
(This post first appeared in a ProfEd blog)