Successful leaders share many characteristics, but they also possess their own unique qualities. It is not in spite of these differences that leaders become successful—rather, it is because they recognize and retain these individual traits that they excel. By leveraging their unique talents and skill sets, they become great assets to their companies.
Here, we’ll take a look at different types of leadership skills and how they can be leveraged.
Types of Leadership Skills
The leadership skills described below are highly beneficial for leaders. This is far from a comprehensive list, but it gives a basic classification for how an individual leader may contribute to a business.
Leaders work with people. As such, interpersonal skills are frequently highlighted in lists of what skills emerging leaders should develop, generally using terms such as “effective communicator” and “good listener.” A leader with strong interpersonal skills understand people, and they build strong relationships.
Leaders often bring several benefits to a business, including:
- Large networks that can be used to grow the company
- Ability to persuade others may be helpful for business relationships
- Deep understanding of their peers allows them to bring out the best in people
As such, they work best in environments in which they are in frequent contact with others.
Similar to interpersonal prowess are negotiation skills.
Some leaders are natural-born negotiators—no matter the context, they seem to know how and where to push in order to get what they desire.
In a corporate setting, their ability to negotiate has obvious applications when it comes to hammering out the details of business deals and contracts, and they can be highly effective at resolving disputes.
This leadership skill allows an individual to work with others in order to find solutions that are mutually beneficial.
In some cases, leaders are chosen because of their technical savvy rather than what would typically be considered as “leadership skill.”
However, there are many leaders who have used their technical skills to effect change in their organizations. Whatever the industry, familiarity with the specifics thereof can play a key role in leading a business forward.
Leaders with strong technical skills excel at leading out the development of products and services, and they can bring new ideas into a company that helps them innovate and improve their offerings.
When it comes to problem-solving, conceiving new initiatives, and developing the company’s resources, a creative mind can shine where others often do not.
Leaders with high levels of creativity are capable of thinking in unique ways that can lead to effective solutions within the business.
A creative leader will be useful in scenarios where they’re solving complex problems, either within the company’s processes or in interactions with others (both inside and outside the company).
Creative leaders help move the business forward in an economy that is continually more innovation-driven.
How to Leverage Leadership Skills
There are, of course, many other skills that leaders bring to the table, and these can all be applied in productive ways within an organization.
In order to make such leadership skills useful, however, it’s important to discover them and determine how they might best be utilized for the good of the company.
Begin with Self-Knowledge
Leveraging leadership skills ultimately begins with self-knowledge.
A leader should be well aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, and honest with themselves about what they can do. A leader’s own interests can help them be informed of potential soft skills, and that knowledge can be fleshed out through feedback from others.
Develop Skills into Assets
Once hard and soft skills are discovered, they’ll need to be developed into something that will be useful to others.
For instance, a general interest in creative endeavors can be developed for communications-related applications, such as developing multimedia presentations for trainings or written communications.
The idea is the skills a leader possesses can be built upon in order to achieve powerful results. Specialized training can help leaders learn how to use their assets to contribute to an organization.
Play to Strengths
Once leadership skills are developed into assets, they must be used wisely.
Every member of an organization has a specific role, and it’s important to find the role a leader’s specific skill set would best play. Not all leaders are destined for the same position, after all, and each individual will thrive best within a context that utilizes their special skill set to the fullest.
When leaders seek to leverage their unique skills, they should find a role that will utilize their strengths while minimizing the exposure of their weaknesses. The right position will magnify their skills and reduce the odds that their weaker points will come into play.
Leadership Skills That Develop Strong Leaders
Leaders exhibit different types of leadership skills, making them prime candidates for helping a company grow into the future.
While leadership skills vary from person to person, the skills discussed here are the primary objectives of leadership development for many organizations.
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