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10 Leadership Skills That Makes A Great Leader

Expert Panelists are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within the areas of Business, Mindset, Leadership, Innovation, Technology and Lifestyle. In Brainz Expert Panel, 10 members of The Brainz Magazine community of experts will share their best tips, advice, ideas, hacks within different topics.


1. Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement is an important skill in reaching your next level of influence in your leadership. The ability to acknowledge the pain, struggles, challenges and, triumphs of what your people are experiencing will have those in your communities feeling seen and heard by you. Be present to the fact that some people are doing fine while others may be struggling during these transformational times. You may not have the answers, but acknowledging the fact that some may need extra support will go a long way. Being present to the fear, the stress and the challenges that the world and your community is facing creates a level of trust and safety in you as a leader.

2. Active Listening

Active Listening skills are an instrumental tool for leaders of today and tomorrow. When we improve our listening skills, we are able to help guide, direct, support, empower and lead others in ways that serve a purpose with the whole picture in mind while building inclusivity. Active listening skills can increase the communication quality, the physiological safety of others, the ability to work cohesively as a team while helping others feel seen, heard, and more of value to themselves and others. This skill set also can open us up to learn more about ourselves, others, different perspectives, as well as increases our critical thinking. Active listening skills are a gateway, a foundation to many other essential Leadership Skills, that help evolve you as a leader.

3. Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking is the ability to think creatively and find solutions out of the ordinary. A leader who can think laterally has great creativity and problem-solving skills. Lateral thinking comes into action to generate direction. Precisely what a leader defines and shares with his team, managing to stimulate and integrate group work with individual work. In this way, people become more tolerant and take a more constructive attitude towards the positions of others, stimulating everyone to think and express their ideas.

4. Walk The Path First

A great leader walks the path first and then shows the path to others, walking alongside them. Many people try to lead from the top of the proverbial mountain, attempting to shout orders to people at the base while they sit at the peak, but this doesn't work well. A great leader scales to the top of the mountain, then comes back down to the base of the mountain and guides others up from there.

5. Self-Awareness

One of the leadership skills that makes a great leader in my opinion is self-awareness. When I first officially became a leader years ago on my climb up the career ladder, being self-aware was a skill that I found to be necessary in being a good leader and it wasn’t an easy skill to learn or master.

Being self-aware is understanding your beliefs, habits and abilities which affects how you interact with others and lead others. It can be difficult because typically we don’t take much time for internalization and internal perception. We typically react to what’s happening around us with little to no understanding as to our reactions. Being self-aware is key to great leadership in understanding how you show up as a leader and how you interact with others around you.

6. Adaptability

"Adaptability" is a skill that not only makes a Great Leader, it ensures that they continue to be Great Leaders. Any leader that stops learning will eventually fail. As times change, circumstances will change, and even the team structure and dynamics will evolve. Effective leaders are learning, and always trying to improve themselves as well as their teams.

An Adaptable Leader turns a Team into a Great Team, and thus becomes a Great Leader as an inevitable consequence.

7. Ability To Ask The Right Questions Under Crisis

One of the least talked about, but most important skills that truly make a great leader is the ability to ask the right questions under crisis. We know from personal development gurus that the quality of the questions we ask ourselves literally changes our brain's ability to find better answers. So instead of just asking yourself, "How can we get through this obstacle?", reframe that to something more like, "What would this area of my team, company or product look like if it were functioning at its highest level?". The first question can help find a solution to an area in need. But the second question frames the solution outside of the problem and opens the creative door to expanding the possibilities. Doing so will likely not only find a way through that closed door, but also result in a higher functioning outcome.

8. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

EQ is comprised of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. This power house team allows you to communicate more effectively, overcome challenges, and reduce the likelihood of conflict. Leaders who understand and use their emotions in positive ways show up more authentically which inspires others to do the same. Tune into your emotional Intelligence and achieve higher levels of success as a leader, while creating stronger connections and building relationships.

Arliss Dudley-Cash, Business and Self Love Coach

9. Trust Is The Key

As a leader, you have to trust those under your care. Trust that they have the answers. Trust that they can come up with the solution. Trust that they are capable of achieving the unimaginable with your guidance.

General George Patton says it best, "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

10. Excellence

Excellence is the desire to become the best version of yourself, to strive for the better, and become a high achiever while delivering quality results and focusing on the process rather than merely on the outcome.

5 Tips to Achieve Excellence

  • Develop a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace challenges, learn from mistakes, and develop new skills. Take time to reflect, acknowledge and accept all your failures. You will be more likely to admire others, learn from them, and be inspired by others’ success to persistently pursue your goals and solutions.

  • Be passionate. Do things that make you happy!

  • Know your talents and strengths. Align your smart goals with your inner values.

  • Work smart, not hard. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Create clear and realistic goals based on your passions and purpose.

  • Ask for constructive feedback. Tracking your progress regularly will allow you to check where you are, celebrate small wins, or understand if you need to adjust before being too late.

Excellence is a process, a self-discovery journey, rather than a destination or an endpoint.

By focusing on excellence, your results will constantly be improving, and you will always be striving for the better!



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