Good Leadership Skills

 Do you have good leadership skills?

Melissa Poe Hood, a young leader that made a difference in the environment said, "Everything you need to be a successful leader you already have:  your intelligence to see an issue and a way to fix it, your heart to stay motivated, and your courage not to give up.  You can't look for the man behind the curtain to solve your concerns.  Everything you need  you already have."

If you plan on becoming the best leader, then you must become the best learner.  Leadership is not reserved for the few that make it to the top.  You won't find it in any gene that has been handed down through the generations either.

Learning to lead is a skill just like learning another language, playing an instrument or becoming a chef are learned skills.  You're not just born with these talents.  You have to have an interest in order to learn the skills.

Good leadership skills is like that.  It's not handed to you on a silver platter.  You must have the desire to work for it.  That's why not everyone becomes an effective leader.  It's an area that you constantly need to learn and strive to better yourself.

Good Leadership Skills

If you became a doctor and practiced everything you learned without educating yourself to the new advances in medicine, you would eventually become outdated.  People wouldn't consider you a good doctor any longer.

It's the same for leadership.  New methods are always being introduced and you need to stay on top of all the new information.  Even if you are good, you can always be better.

Having good leadership skills doesn't always come with the turf.  But, it is one of those things that you can learn with practice.  Some will learn quickly and others will learn over time.

To learn to be a better leader, you must practice and take part in activities that teach you how to improve your leadership characteristics and skills.

Can You Do It?

Not everyone can learn how to be a better leader.  Of those that do, there are fewer that excel at it.  You must want to learn these skills and continuously seek out information to improve your leadership characteristics and abilities. 

Open your mind up to new possibilities.  You might fail at times, but that's part of the learning process.  As long as you learn from your mistakes and your successes, you will continue to improve as a leader. 

To be the best leader, you need to have a desire to learn, reflect on past experiences and apply that to new experiences.  For you to be a true leader, you will need to learn from your mistakes and not be afraid to take a chance on new opportunities.

Learn to Lead

As you know, technology is always changing. You must adapt by learning new ways to do things differently.  Everything is changing faster and faster.  What was new today is obsolete tomorrow.  For you to be an effective leader with good leadership skills, you must change with the times.

This was simply stated by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times: "In such a world, it is not only what you know but how uyou learn that will set you aprt.  Because what you know today will be out-of-date sooner than you think."

There are two types of mindsets when it comes to good leadership skills.  The first mindset is those that believe leaders are naturally born.  In this case, you may end up waiting all your life for the right skillset to magically appear.  You become frustrated because you think your talents will get you everywhere, when they don't.

The second mindset is those that believe leaders are made, not born.  With this belief you are more likely to teach yourself the skills to become a successful leader.  You won't let failures stop you.  Instead you'll learn from your mistakes and constantly push yourself to be the best you can.

If you have a growth mindset, then you can learn to lead.  Once you believe you can learn, then you will.

Perfect Practice

In order to become a good leader, you can never stop learning and you must always spend time practicing your good leadership skills.  It doesn't matter how smart you are, if you don't practice you won't be the best.

If you have natural talents, that still doesn't make you the best at what you do.  If you don't practice, those with lesser talents and more desire to learn, will surpass you on your way to success. 

To be the best, even if you have talents, you will need to put many hours of practice time in.  This doesn't just apply to leaders.  It applies all across the board.  To singers, artists, doctors, athletes and so on.

You won't find a quick way to success.  There are no shortcuts to get good leadership skills.  It takes time learning and practicing.  That doesn't mean spending time researching the subject on the Internet. 

It means going out and practicing first hand.  If you're going to sing, then practice singing, not just listening to music.  If you're going to lead, then practice leading others rather than just observing. 

We've always heard the phrase "Practice makes perfect."  It really should say "Perfect practice makes perfect."


But What Kind of Practice?

You need to practice exactly what you want to improve. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, then you need to practice speaking in front of groups.  If you want to improve your time in a track meet, then practice running at different speeds.  Set a goal for yourself and practice, practice, practice.

You must do it over and over again.  This is where perfect practice comes in to play.  If you repeat something over and over again, but the wrong way, then you're not developing the skillset that you need. 

When you practice, make sure you're doing it the right way.  After awhile, your efforts will become automatic.  If you practice it wrong, then your bad habits will become automatic.  This happens quite a lot. 

Downhill skiing is a prime example.  You can be a good skier, but you might lean back a little.  You should be leaning forward a bit, facing down the hill.   If you practiced the wrong method, it becomes automatic and you're comfortable with it, even if you're doing it wrong.  That's why perfect practice makes perfect.

It's also important to measure your goals against something so you can see the results.  But, also you need to ask for feedback every step of the way to make sure you're doing it right. 

If you're not, then you can make changes along the way.  Don't just rely on your own feedback.  Make sure you get the viewpoint from others that aren't afraid to tell you what needs improvement and what doesn't.

As you're going through this process, you will receive negative and positive feedback.  Take the constructive criticism and work with it.  Accept it and learn from it.  You might be embarrassed by some of the things you hear, but it's a necessary part of growth.

Learning to be a successful leader is very demanding.  You  need to focus mentally.  Most of the time this isn't fun.  It's a lot of work, but in the end you will be able to learn good leadership skills and reach your goals. Therefore you won't mind spending the time practicing and learning.

Support Group

In order for you to become a great leader, you need to have people around you that will support you. 

You need to have people around you that encourage you when you are learning something new and provide the support you need when things don't always go right.  Some might make suggestions so you will continue learning and practicing.  You can't lead alone nor can you learn alone.

Its important to work on your strengths and weaknesses.  Learn how to do the things you cannot do rather than relying on someone else to do them.  You're only as strong as your weakest skill. 

Really great leaders will focus on educating themselves.  So they can take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves and improve their good leadership skills.


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