Qualities and skills of Leadership
If you are a team leader at work, then it is evident that you will need some leadership qualities and skills.
But you may never have thought to study leadership. You may not have ever read a single book on leadership. You may have never read up on the lives of any of the great leaders. You have never really given any serious thought to the question, "What is it that makes a great leader?"
Luckily, you don't have to: because we have done the "donkey work" for you. We have read hundreds of books and articles on leadership for you. (We have even written a few ourselves). We have studied the lives of the great leaders for you. We have given 14 years of research and serious thought in order to answer the question, "What is it that makes a good leader?"
And we have condensed the fruits of those years of labour into a terrific two day programme that covers the "must-have" skills and knowledge relating to the leadership of a team.
What are the must-have skills and knowledge relating to the leadership of the team?
There are six major qualities of leadership. Each major theme contains numerous subsets and each demand the development of many skills. But in essence, the fact is that, all leadership skills can be subsumed under six major headings.
They are as follows.
1. The quality of goal focus
Goal focus is the act of selecting a valuable and worthwhile long range goal and sticking to it, through thick and thin, for years, if necessary, until it is achieved.
2. The quality of accurate language
The ability to use words. The ability to use words to affect the minds of others. The ability to use words in such a way that others understand what you mean, agree with what you say, and are motivated to act on your recommendations.
This is the power of accurate language. You need to be:
The above is a good list of skills and they all depend upon your ability to use language.
3. The quality of intelligent planning
The goal that you communicated needs an intelligent plan to go with it. If your goal is to make a trip to Mars, then you will need an intelligent and detailed plan of action. You can dream of going to Mars, but unless you have a practical plan of action, then your dream is just, "pie in the sky".
Many people have dreams. But a far smaller number have detailed, written, intelligent and practical plans of action.
You need the ability to plan, prioritise, organise, prepare, and practice.
4. The quality of action
Now you need to put the plan into action. You need the personal initiative to actually follow the plan. You need the quality of being an action orientated individual.
Not lazy. Not a procrastinator. Not an evader. But a person of action and energy.
Energy is defined by scientists as "the capacity to do work".
Some people want the good things in life but they don't want to do any work.
In fact, many people think that the good, the best lifestyle, is a lifestyle where they would not have to do any work! They have set up "money in exchange for doing no work" as their lifetime ambition.
You hear people say, "I wish I could win the lottery, so then I could lie back on a beach and never have to work again!"
This is a common ideal. But it is not the ideal of the leader.
The leader is always trying to figure out what his next mission should be. What is the next goal to aim for? For the true leader, action is the name of the game. Not "doing nothing".
The fourth Leadership quality is action.
5. The quality of self-control
The fifth quality of leadership is Self-control. Self-mastery.
"The greatest victory is the victory over yourself". (Plato).
If you will to achieve mastery over circumstances, you must first gain mastery over yourself.
If you cannot or will not, master your internal impulses, then you will never master your external circumstances.
This means you must develop Self-confidence. Self motivation. Self discipline. Self awareness. Self-study. Self-improvement. You must become, what we call, an evolving being. Better this year than last year. Better again the year later.
You must be able to stop yourself from doing the things you know to be wrong, but are desirable. (e.g. Eating three cream cakes.)
And you must be able to make yourself do the things you know to be right, but not desirable; (e.g. doing your homework.)
6. The quality of managing change
Since change is inevitable, it is clear that the leader must learn to manage change.
This is important because the average person does not like change. Most people are unsettled by change because we tend to be creatures of habit, and change upsets our routines and puts us out of our "comfort zones".
Leaders are only happy when they are pressing on, stretching the boundaries of their comfort zone to encircle ever greater dimensions.
Each year, their circle of influence is ever greater because they accept the challenge of change and they embrace it. They make change work for them. They make change management a tool to implement continuous improvement.
Whereas, the non-leader, bewails the need for change and rails against it; the non-leader says "Why do we have to change again? If it ain't broke don't fix it. That is my motto".
This is not the motto of the leader.
The motto of the leader is:
"Even though it ain't broke, it can be improved. And we will improve it. We will continue to improve on the current situation, forever."
This is the sixth quality of leadership: the ability to utilise change to your own advantage.
If you'd like to attend the course that goes into these themes in more detail, please follow the link Team Leader Training Course