“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” —Lao Tzu

There is an old saying that Leaders are born, but are they? Can leadership skills be learned? Yes, most definitely!

Although leadership skills include a multitude of tools and habits, the most desirable factor in a leader is humility. Many managers and directors in various organizations fail terribly in their roles because of poor leadership skills, even when they are good at technical skills. According to The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) employee turnover due to bad company culture is estimated to be around $223 billion.

Organizations are jam-packed with leaders, some of whom may be doubtful about their leadership skills. This is a fear I have seen in many people since I started coaching. The most common question I am asked as a career and leadership coach is ‘How to be a good leader?’

Although a short and sweet question, the answer may not be so simple. What I have learned through coaching is that leadership is developed over time through self-awareness and social awareness, in other words, by increasing your Emotional Intelligence. Intensive individual coaching that ties the personality traits to the skills required in the particular can help in developing one’s leadership skills. We all know that managing people is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Learning more about your behavior makes leading people easier. The books that we read, the courses that we enroll in are all good tools that add value to this self-awareness.

Here are a few other attributes a leader would possess:

1. The greater good:
A leader will not seek immediate pleasure but foresee communal excellence and results in any situation.

2. The go-to person:
If you have been the go-to person professionally and even in your personal life, there is a chance that you are a good listener and provide empathy to the person seeking your advice.

3. Inspiration and a role model:
If you notice that people are in awe of your achievements and a source of guidance, then these are signs that you have strong leadership skills.

4. Standing your ground:
You stand your ground even in trying times. People around you notice your values and principles even if they may not address them. Repeated behavior pattern makes you be seen as a person of standards.

5. Fair and square:
A leader makes fair decisions on any matter. Your goal is achieved ethically and your decisions are morally right.

6. Show gratitude and respect:
As a leader, you show gratitude to your employees. For example, you may give them focused appraisal or appreciation for their efforts on a certain project instead of a vague ‘good job’.

7. Expert in the field:
A good leader in the organization is an expert in his field and shows a lot of passion in his work and proficiency in managing people.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development. Email: ha***********@go********.llc. |https://hamnasiddique.com| ©2021 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

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7 Responses

  1. Humility and EQ! Such important qualities in leaders. Thank you for writing further about these important traits of leadership.

  2. Great read. Especially enjoyed the piece about Emotional Intelligence. I work with a leadership team where the majority are analytical and have a fairly low emotional intelligence. Myself and 1 other leader always add the “human” factor.

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