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7 essential skills of a leader

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Whether you’re a CEO or a Supervisor - if you’re responsible for another person at your place of work, these are the 7 essential skills you’ll need to cultivate, in order to be a good leader.

Skill #1: Organization & Decision Making Be organized with your filing, follow-ups, time management, personal efficiency and recording & monitoring your work as well as others. When you make a decision stick by it, because otherwise you’re wasting every ones time and company money.

Better yet, if you’re in a considerably higher position get a secretary who’ll keep note for you.

Skill #2—Multitasking On a typical day, as a professional you will have to deal with several staff issues. What you have to keep in mind is that you’re dealing with people’s lives and careers, and when a staff member requests assistance it’s up to you to provide them with a solution - this is a democracy, not an autocracy.

Keep in mind no matter how trivial a problem may seem to you, to each employee this may be weighing them down. Be sensitive to this scenario.

Skill #3—Democracy & diplomacy over autocracy A surprisingly large percentage of the issues you may face are having to deal with issue in a very diplomatic way. The way you handle a situation can be the difference between your staff respecting you or fearing you. Working in fear never plays out well and you can be sure that your staff will work less efficiently, due to a drastic change in attitude and loyalty toward your company and their job.

Skill #4—Cultivating a good attitude Keep in mind that the attitude you have when at work is the same your staff will have because they are a direct reflection of yourself in one way or another. As a good and effective leader, aim for humility - be ready to say sorry when you’re in the wrong and be ready to take responsibility for your subordinates when they are.

Skill #5—Communication Effective communication is the difference between clearly and succinctly approaching a sensitive topic to find a suitable and just outcome and a bullish delivery that’ll both break the trust of your employees and tarnish a company’s reputation. When communication is done right, you can elevate the level of a company’s reputation, your own standing in the eyes of management and your staff, as well as learn for the future.

Skill #6—Ethical not hypocritical Consider yourself the conscience of the company, as well as the keepers of confidential information. As you serve the needs of top management and your staff, you should be able to lead by example. After all how can you expect your employees to act ethically if they believe they're working for someone who is a hypocrite.

Skill #7—Knowing when to let go A crucial skill is to understand when it is time to let go of an employee - this employee may be kind, considerate and the life of the office, but a true leader is able to ascertain that in a professional situation nothing is personal if handled correctly and legally. So if you’ve got an employee who isn’t quite cutting it no matter how often you’ve tried to reason with them, cut your loses. Let them go.

There are times you must make decisions to protect the individual and other times when you protect the organization, its culture, and values. These decisions may be misunderstood by some, and you may not be the most popular person in your organization but as long as you've acted fairly by both company and employee, you will soon become a pillar of strength within your organization.

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