This is another question from Mara’s list. The short answer is that skill is indispensable to a leader’s success. The great thing about skills is that you can become better at them through study and practice. In other words, you can always become a better leader by improving your skills!
For the rest of this post, let’s look at four essential, yet underappreciated skills.
If the job of a leader is to help the people around them grow and get better, then this is an indispensable skill. Coaching is a very technical skill, and anyone can do it if they are willing to study and practice.
Innovation and improvement happen best in organizations where risk-taking is encouraged. Leaders can create such an environment, but it takes intention and skill. A subset of risk-taking is dreaming, as in developing a grand vision. A leader should not be developing that vision. Rather, it should be a collaborative effort, and that requires a safe space to take risks (sounds a bit oxymoronic, doesn’t it?).
Building others’ leadership capacity
Strong leaders know that being able to distribute leadership makes for a stronger and more stable organization.
Developing collaborative teams
High functioning teams yield better results and happier people. Team development may be one of the most complex and challenging set of skills.
These aren’t the traditional set of leadership skills, but they are all focused on maximizing others’ performance. Remember that developing people is the fourth pillar of strategic leadership, so if you are committed to being a strategic leader, the four skill sets we just looked at are essential.
Do good and be well,
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