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Effective Leadership Skills for Managers

Effective leadership skills for managers

If you are thinking about developing effective leadership skills, for yourself or your managers, then check yourself against this list of leadership skills and see how you measure up

In order to get the best results from yourself and others, it is important to do the right things and at the same time, avoid doing the wrong things.

Of course the next questions are:

  1. What are the right things?
  2. What are the wrong things?

Often the line that separates the two can be blurred.

Let us clarify the line and state:

  1. What are the virtues to be developed and,
  2. What are the vices to avoid?

Here is a list of pairs: Virtues and vices.

Check yourself against this list and see how you measure up:

Are you:

  1. Mentally Goal focused or a Drifter?
  2. As a communicator are you: Specific or vague?
  3. In your work practice are you: organised or disorganised?
  4. In conflict situations: emotional or rational
  5. In your soul, are you: determined to make progress or too afraid to try?
  6. With respect to your effect on others; Do you inspire positive emotions in others or not?
    a. i.e. are you a net provider or net receiver of emotional strength.

Let's examine the facts:

1. Are you mentally a goal focused individual or a drifter?

Goal focused or drifter?

The most important thing about you is your goals.

What are you trying to achieve?

What are you trying to do?

  • Are you trying to win more work?
  • Or are you trying to avoid work?
  • Are you trying to make more progress?
  • Are you trying to cut your loses?
  • Are you trying to make a profit?

Or are you just drifting?

The drifter is the person who is not consciously working to achieve any specific goal that will add value to himself and his family.
The drifter is therefore wasting his talents by neglecting them.
Be a goal focused individual, not a drifter

2. As a communicator are you: Specific or vague?

If you are goal focused, then in order to achieve your goals you will need to communicate with others.
But can you use language effectively, so that you are able to explain yourself with clarity?

Or do you have difficulties expressing yourself?
Are your messages sometimes misunderstood or confused?

Do you write and speak in ways that are clear and precise?
Or are your messages too vague and generalised?

Strive always for accuracy in language.


  1. Give definitions
  2. Give illustrative examples
  3. Use numbers to express specific details
  4. Use paragraphs
  5. Use logic

Avoid sloppy formulations and incomplete sentences.
Avoid general statements.
Avoid swearing.
Avoid abstract notions and favour the use of specifics instances.

Remember this:
Clarity is a virtue and vagueness is a vice.

3. In your work practice, are you organised or disorganised?

Organisation is at the heart of successful action.
Disorganisation is the prelude to disaster.

Ask any soldier: an organised unit will defeat a larger but disorganised army!
Ask any doctor: a tissue sample that shows signs of disorganisation is suspected to be cancerous.
Ask any business owner: disorganisation will increase costs and decrease productivity. Disorganisation will put him/ her out of business!

Organisation means five things:

Organisation means:

  1. Having the right objects (or people)
  2. in the right place
  3. at the right time
  4. being used in a synchronised way
  5. in order to achieve a predetermined purpose.

Disorganised is the opposite of any one or combination of the above list, thus:

  1. The wrong object (or person)
  2. In the wrong place
  3. At the wrong time
  4. Performing unsynchronised, or
  5. Purposeless action

Think of an arrhythmic heartbeat; it could kill you!

Strive to be ever-more organised.

4. In conflict situations, are you more emotional or rational?

Emotional or rational in conflict situations?

When in a conflict situation; be rational. Not emotional.

Emotional conflict means the following:

Don't do any of the following:

  1. Refer mostly to your feelings (anger, upset, frustration, annoyance etc.)
  2. Focus on revenge. Make him pay the price!
  3. Assassinate his character to everyone who is around you.
  4. Badmouth him and burn all bridges!
  5. Let your anger take control and "get it off your chest".
  6. Say far too much (you can regret it later, at your leisure).
  7. Point your finger in her face
  8. Show them how they "make you feel".
  9. Shout, scream and swear!

Rational conflict means the following:

  1. Verbally, refer to the facts, not your feelings.
  2. Focus on solutions to the conflict, not on revenge.
  3. Avoid character assassination.
  4. Be wary that you don't say too much.
  5. Don't point your finger or your pen at her.
  6. Don't shout, scream or swear!

Be rational not emotional

5. Inspired to make progress or afraid to try?

There are two primary emotions that drive human action:

  1. fear
  2. desire

Most people want to do good things, but are too afraid to try.

  1. For some, their desire for achievement outweighs their fear.
  2. For others their fears outweigh their desire.

Those who win are the members of the first group. Their desire outweighs their fear
Those who lose are the members of the second group. Their fears outweigh their desire.

Join the first group.
Develop your high ambition.
Make the world a better place.
At the same time: shrink your fears.
Think BIG
Don't let you fears overweigh your desires.

6 Are you a net provider or net receiver of emotional strength?

  1. There is a way of thinking that inspires strength and confidence.
  2. There is an opposite way of thinking that saps strength and confidence.

Most people sway back and forth between the two styles.

Some are stuck in the energy sapping zone. Be wary: They can suck the life out of the whole team!

Only 16 % of the total population are in the first zone: providing the confidence for the other 84%.

Join the 16% who consciously and consistently strive to give confidence away to others.

Do that by telling people the following things:

  1. That the future will be better that the present and the past.
  2. That advances in technology and growing populations ensure an ever growing opportunity to do business.
  3. That all reasonable goals are attainable.
  4. That each individual is free to improve his, her performance up to the highest degree possible.
  5. That there is no value to be gained by talking yourself down.
  6. That there is every benefit to be gained by building your own self confidence.
  7. That you can build self-confidence by setting goals and writing detailed plans.

Don't dish out predictions of despair.

Dish out messages of strength and optimism.

Consciously and consistently strive to give confidence to others.

For more information about leadership and management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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