Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

What are the Six Most Important Skills of Leadership and Management?

What are the six most important skills of leadership and management?

What are the six most important skills of leadership and management?

Assuming we are in business, then here is the question with which we are concerning ourselves:

"How can you get the best from yourself and others?"

The same question stated more personally reads:

"How can I get the best performance from myself, so that I can then get the best performance from the others around me?"

The answer to that question is: "Develop your skills".

  1. If you develop your skills, then you have a good chance.
  2. If you don't, or won't, develop your skills, then you don't have a prayer.

So, say this to yourself every morning:

"I will continually develop my personal skills: I will continually develop my positive attitude towards my work and towards other people. I will perfect my personal philosophy and live by it, every day: even on the days that I don't feel like it!"

But what skills should you focus on developing?

There is an infinite number of skills that you could develop, but you don't have time to develop every possible skill.

So which skills should you focus upon?

There are three categories of skill upon which you need to focus. They are:

  1. Skills of clarity
  2. Skills of reason
  3. Skills of positive emotion

I call this short list: "Rational optimism".

I would like to suggest the following: In order to be more effective:

  1. Be clear
  2. Be rational
  3. Be positive

Leadership and Management : What are the six most important skills of leadership and management?

That is it in a nutshell. Be clear. Be rational. Be positive.
Sounds good, but it is too abstract.

So, we need to define our terms a little. Let us add some more detail.

In order to be more effective:

  1. Be clear, in terms of your goals, and your verbal and written communication.
  2. Treat all people and every problem according to the principles of Reason.
    Meaning: build rational plans of action. And it means treat all conflicts according to the principles of reason. Treat problems and conflict situations logically; not emotionally.
  3. Develop all the positive emotions: self-confidence, enthusiasm and a high degree of motivation. I.e. develop a positive mental attitude; and inspire others to do the same.

Now we have six key areas of focus:

  1. Clear purpose
  2. Clear communication
  3. Rational planning
  4. Rational conflict management
  5. Inspire yourself
  6. Inspire others

Leadership and Management : What are the six most important skills of leadership and management?

Six primary virtues of leadership and management

All effective people display these six primary virtues.
All professional organisations need to develop effective skills in their people: especially in their customer-facing staff and in the leadership and management teams.

As an exercise: would you please check yourself off on these six skills:

1. Clear Purpose

To what degree would you say that you are a goal focused individual? Or do you sometimes feel that you are being bounced around by circumstances and other people?

2. Clear Communication

To what degree would you say you were a good communicator; or do you have some trouble expressing your exact meaning?

3. Rational Planner

To what degree are you a meticulous planner, or are you more of a Wing it merchant?

4. Rational Conflict

To what degree are you good at handling conflict and difficult people in a RATIONAL manner, or do you have previous convictions for getting angry and saying too much, or for avoiding conflicts for too long.

5. Inspire self with Positive emotions

To what degree are you able to create and sustain a positive attitude; or are you sometimes a bit bad tempered; or do you often feel fed up?

6. Inspire others with Positive emotions

To what degree do you inspire the people around you to be more motivated to give you their best efforts; or are you having trouble getting people around you motivated?

Reflecting on the above questions;

  1. What are your relative strengths?
  2. What are your relative weaknesses?

To improve your performance, what do you most need to focus on?

Brief outline of your training needs:

  • How do you get the best from yourself and others?
  • How can you develop the six key leadership management skills?
  • How do you develop goal focus?
  • How can you increase the accuracy of your language?
  • How can you distinguish the critic from the cynic?
  • How can you find the right words to define your most important ideas?
  • How can you learn to handle difficult people?
  • How can you be more Objective in your language?
  • How could you better prepare your message in advance?
  • How do you distinguish Reasons from excuses?
  • How can you know when to compromise and when not to?
  • How can you be a better planner?
  • What is the difference between urgent and important?
  • What is the difference between being "busy" and being "productive?"
  • How could you prioritise work according to its value and deadline pressure?
  • How could you better handle interruptions and distractions?
  • How could you better delegate the right job to the right person?
  • What is the The 80/20 principle and what is its application to time management?
  • Positive mental attitude. How does it affect tangible results?
  • What is the success formula: Purpose, plan, action, feedback, change?
  • What is the failure formula? Drift, wing it, procrastinate, and argue, stubbornness.
  • What is the positive value of "negative feedback"?
  • How can you transform negative situations into a more positive situation?

This is a powerful set of questions. If you don't know how to answer them, then please take a look at our two day Leadership and Management training course.

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager Leadership and Management Training Course Logo

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager

As the team leader or manager, you know that, on the technical level, you are very good. In your role as an effective and inspirational leader-manager, you recognise that there may be some gaps. Now you are searching for a method to help you to improve your skills as a team-leader and manager - click here to find out more!

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Further Reading in Leadership and Management

  • How to Best Communicate Your Message
    During these unprecedented times, it is more vital than ever that Leaders communicate their message effectively. Organisations and their leaders have been known to fail because statements have been misconstrued. Make your communication effective.
    Read Article >
  • What are the most important leadership skills?
    There are ten important skills that you need to perfect if you want to be a good leader. Check out these skills and see where you can perform better.
    Read Article >
  • How to be Respected at Work
    Respect is something you have to earn. Consciously set about creating the right emotional conditions for you to earn people's respect.
    Read Article >
  • Women in Leadership
    Women have made great strides in their search for equality, but there is still much to be done. In the world of work, women need to be empowered to feel stronger, more confident and to never hold back.
    Read Article >
  • Solutions to Common Management Issues
    Experienced management trainer Chris Farmer discusses solutions to common management issues in this short article. Read on for his insights.
    Read Article >