20 Key Elements for Leadership Skills
I was recently in conversation with a Major from the British Army.
We were discussing the elements that go to make good leaders.
Our purpose was to decide upon the contents of a leadership course.
We brainstormed the 20 key elements that would be needed in a discussion of leadership.
Here they are, for your information:
Goal focus is the most important skill to learn. Identify the target: know what you want to achieve.
If you know what you want to achieve you can begin to communicate that to the team.
If you do not know what you want, you are forced to dither, which is not a sign of leadership.
You may have a clear goal but be unable to communicate it to others.
The goal must be clearly communicated to all who need to know.
The great leaders are also the great communicators.
Churchill, Gandhi, Napoleon, ML King were all master communicators.
They knew how to affect others with the correct use of words, tone and body language.
Accuracy is a subset of communication. A lack of accuracy was the cause of the fatal "charge of the light brigade".
Errors in clarity will cost you.
Accurate use of language will save you time, money and effort.
Learn how to improve the clarity of the spoken and written word.
Influencing is a subset of communication.
Peoples actions are directed by their thoughts.
Is it possible to use language to influence the thoughts of others?
So, if you can influence their thoughts, you can influence their actions.
Learn how to influence the minds of others.
Language of a leader
Inspiration and motivation are the lifeblood of leadership.
Nelson could inspire his soldiers to incredible feats.
So can all great leaders.
They learned to use their communication skills to motivate and inspire others.
Make good decisions quickly.
Make good decisions based on logical evaluations of facts- not guesses.
Indecision will cause a loss of effectiveness.
When you have the facts, make the decision.
Accurate assessment of information
To what degree is your information: Relevant, important and reliable?
If you become bogged down by considering information that is Irrelevant, trivial, or unreliable, you will slow down to the point of failure.
Having a good memory for facts, figures, names and faces is an important attribute to cultivate.
Alexander was said to have known the name of everyone in his army.
Forgetting details can easily cost you credibility and effectiveness.
Did you know that you can learn special techniques to increase recall of new information?
Hitler did not listen to news he did not like.
So he lost his war.
Listen for the things from which you can profit.
Listen with intent to understand.
Having a goal is not enough.
You must learn how to build plans that are likely to work.
The lack of a sound plan is one thing that will ruin your chances.
It will turn your goals into fantasies.
Planning includes prioritisation.
With limited resources; you cannot do everything at the same time.
So you have to put them into order.
Learn how to order items into the correct sequence.
Problems represent the obstacles that stand between you and your goals.
In order to achieve your goals, you must overcome the problems that confront you.
That is done in two ways:
Learn how to analyse the problem and synthesise the best solution.
Handling difficult people
You have to work with people who do not agree with you.
Do you know how to handle the intelligent, articulate nuisance that you have to work with?
If not, internal dissention can ruin team harmony and effectiveness.
You will need to deal with the conflict without losing your cool. Hot-headedness can cause you to lose respect and will cause you to fail.
You must be able to handle conflict with a calm and logical mind.
Fools learn when they must.
Wise people learn when they can. (Duke of Wellington)
Duke of Wellington
Handling performance issues
Some of your people will occasionally perform badly. You will need to correct them and put them back on track; doing that skilfully will increase your effectiveness.
If you make correction sound like an insult, you may cause a backlash that is more difficult than the original problem.
How to put the non performer back on track.
From above, it is obvious that you should learn how to give constructive criticism:
Learn how to criticise another's work without de-motivating nor antagonising him-her.
Learn when too negotiate and when not to: Learn how to "find the middle ground" without giving too much away.
It is important to know in your own mind what is "NON negotiable"
And equally you should be clear about what you are willing to give away in order to get what you want in return.
Leadership demands first that you master yourself.
Fear, indecision and self doubt will stop you being a good leader.
Cultivate the qualities of courage, mental focus and determination.
Especially - learn how to manage your emotions when in a hostile situation.
Positive attitude training
When you have controlled your own mind, set about inspiring others.
Teach them to stay emotionally strong by radiating confidence.
Run through this list and check yourself against it.
What areas do you feel you could improve upon?
In which areas do you perform well , and could capitalise upon?
Corporate Coach Group
We all have to manage others, and ourselves irrespective of our position. Corporate Coach Group provide management training programmes including:
- Leadership Training
- Personal Development Training
- Communication Skills Training
- Conflict Management Training
- Time Management Training
- Goal Setting Training
- Accelerated Learning Training
The emphasis is on helping you increase your confidence and develop your personal effectiveness.