Being a leader is what almost every individual aspires for. Most of the steps that each person takes at work are designed in a way to advance their careers towards a leadership role. However, apart from those steps, one key aspect that enables the advancement of the career for a person is leadership skills. There are specific leadership skills that can pave the way for growth and many online leadership certificate programs share what those are, in detail.
Here we will take a quick look at a few of those and how those can help.
- Strategic Thinking – This is a big skill for leaders and the moment you shift your mind’s focus from tactical to strategic thinking, you are able to rise beyond the smaller challenges to look at the bigger picture. Your entire view changes from looking at the short-term to understanding the long-term and that is what can help your career to grow much faster.
- Communication – Most leaders are known to have great verbal and non-verbal communication skills. This is one set of skills that is always handy. Someone who communicates and articulates well, verbally as well as through written language or behaviour always has an edge above the others. He or she is able to not only voice his / her concerns and views but is also able to scale up and become a mentor and influencer.
- Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness – These are crucial skills in today’s world. The VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) World that we live in requires us to reflect upon our own emotions and how they impact our workplace relationships. There is a keen sense of mindfulness that each leader needs to foster so that he or she can ensure that the decisions they take are relevant, unbiased and valuable for the business. Applying this same skill in one’s current role even if it is not a leader’s role will help you grow in your career.
- Effective Time Management – As a leader, you will always be hard-pressed to deliver business results and hence use your time well. Your job will centre around many aspects and each day will have a different set of priorities to consider. Managing time effectively comes with awareness, thinking through and practice. That is why you need to start on that today and ensure that you prioritize your day’s work in the right manner. Many times an individual spends a lot of effort in dealing with issues that have low or no impact but are urgent. Try to shift your focus from those, reduce time spent there and re-focus onto tasks with higher impact, each day.
- Motivating team members – It is not just the manager or leader’s role to motivate the team members. But it is viewed as a leadership quality. Very few people take the initiative to demonstrate this quality and the skills to motivate their team, which includes their peers. It is certainly an attribute that you must develop and also continue to demonstrate since from a long term career progression point of view it is a very valuable trait.
- Taking decisions – Accountability is a rare trait. Very few individuals, who are not directly accountable for a task or a goal, are proactive enough to take decisions. Organizations have become more empowering and decentralizing with respect to several key decisions. Even so, there is a hesitation to take decisions or accountability for many business-critical tasks. But the few who do show that instinct is extremely valuable people for an organization. They will be the future leaders who can be groomed to take on strategic decisions because they are not scared to decide and stand by their decision. In line with this quality is that of accepting failure. That is also a form of accountability. And great leaders possess that as well. So remember to incorporate this into your overall personal development approach.
- Think out-of-the-box – Creativity and innovation are hallmarks of a leader. A great leader knows how to apply those to his or her daily decision making, and for making people more engaged. He or she is also able to use this trait to contribute to other functional areas like marketing, client management, product development and so on. Similarly, an individual needs to develop and apply this skill to his or her workplace situations. Do not worry if it does not have a large scale impact. Small impact is where one needs to start and that is critical. Companies are looking for those who can show the imagination it takes to remain relevant and competitive in such fiercely competitive markets.
These are some leadership skills that can help you advance your career to the next level. They will not start applying when you actually become a leader. Your focus should be on creating them now so that they are part of your leadership style by the time your career moves ahead.