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5 Essential Leadership Skills for Today's Leaders

Updated on April 6, 2015

Leadership is a big responsibility; a responsibility that, quite frankly, not everyone is cut out for. Since you’re reading this article (it’s likely you sought out other articles of a similar nature) you probably are in a leadership position or aspire to be. If so, you need to understand that a leader is constantly growing and learning. A good leader will always consider himself as a student of the art of leadership. In my book Your Career in a Fish Bowl, I discuss the important qualities of a leader. While there are many qualities that make up a good leader, I want to discuss 5 leadership qualities that I consider to be the most important.

1) Honesty & Bravery.

If you are a dishonest, weak leader, it will show early in your career and it will eventually cost any and all respect you hope to gain from your subordinates, peers, and supervisors. A good leader will always do the right thing even when no one is looking. A good leader will own up to mistakes and take steps to correct those mistakes. You may not make the right decisions every time, but you must be brave an honest enough to make a decision

2) Lead By Example.

As an army officer, I try never to order a soldier to do something that I would not do myself. This philosophy was engrained in me in the Army Officer Candidate School. If you expect your subordinates to do something a certain way or behave a certain way, you must set the example. As we say in the army, lead from the front.

3) Communicate.

Develop good lines of communication with everyone in you organization, especially with your subordinates. Make an effort to let them know what your intent is and how they factor in to that intent. And remember, communication is the sending as well as the receiving of information, so you must also be a good listener.

4) Have A Vision.

As a leader, you should know the direction you want to take your organization. If you don’t have a clear vision of where you want your organization to go, how can you expect anyone else to? Look at it this way; as a leader, you’re an artist that is painting a portrait of what the future of your organization will look like. How well would that portrait turn out if you had no vision?

5) Passion.

Be passionate about your duties as a leader. Remember, as a leader you are in the spotlight and all eyes are on you. If you lack passion in your leadership duties; it will certainly show in your outward behavior and mannerisms. If you no longer have a passion for your current leadership duties, then try initiating a project for your department or perhaps seeking out positions of greater responsibility.

Please enjoy this exciting video on Leadership.


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