How to Be a True Leader and a Better Manager


By University Alliance
Be a better leader

Hard-working managers aspiring to get to the next level in their career can benefit from learning to transform management skills into leadership skills. Read on for tips to help you become a leader who inspires teams and impresses executives.

Skills to Set a Leader Apart

In a difficult economy, companies may begin to retain and promote only their most skilled managers – those who possess excellent management skills and exemplify qualities of leadership. The good news is that leadership skills can be developed, if you know where to focus your efforts.

What Skills Make a Leader Stand Out From the Crowd?

  1. Great leaders learn every day – from everyone
  2. A leader is an effective listener
  3. Leaders embrace the past when planning for the future
  4. Leaders help everyone feel like part of the solution
  5. Leaders are optimistic and model positive behavior

The secret to being a great leader is understanding this: Leadership is a way of bringing people together to accomplish a goal. 

How to Turn Leadership Skills Into Actions

Outstanding management skills are important to any manager’s career. If you’re aiming for a higher target, such as a director-level or senior executive role, you may benefit from developing outstanding leadership skills, as well.

Learn from staff and customers every day: Frequent check-ins can foster clearer communication. This can be accomplished through short staff meetings on a regular basis and an open-door management policy. In addition, soliciting feedback from customers or clients is a good way to improve processes or take care of problems.

Listen, then speak: Effective listening takes practice, but the difference it makes to the people you lead, your customers and your supervisors, can be impressive. For employees, knowing their leader is listening can serve as an instant morale booster, customers who feel heard can spread the news about your company’s great service, and upper management will be able to see a difference in your team’s productivity.

Learn from the past: Learn what your predecessors did well, and find out what worked and what didn’t. Embrace the past as you look toward the future.

Invite staff to be part of the solution: Ask your team for ideas. Encourage their creativity. Reward them for successes. Being part of the solution can be inspiring and make people feel valued.

Be optimistic: Leadership means focusing on the positive, and helping others to do the same. Inspiring others starts with optimism.

Advantages of Being a Leader in Your Workplace

Combining outstanding management skills with leadership qualities can generate improvements in these areas:

  • Morale: A workplace where team members are listened to and feel valued can generate high employee morale.
  • Productivity: Higher morale can boost productivity. Workers who trust their leadership typically feel better about their company and achieve more.
  • Quality: Leaders can help people feel proud of their contributions and inspire them to continually improve.
  • Efficiency: Leaders who ask for feedback learn how to make processes more efficient.
  • Revenue: When morale, productivity, quality and efficiency improve, higher sales numbers are likely to follow.

Advance Your Career by Developing Leadership, Management and Organizational Skills

Rising to the top of the corporate ladder is a dream for many, but it can be a reality for professionals who enhance their management skills, develop leadership qualities and hone their organizational abilities. Mastering these three areas can tip the scales for managers who want to advance in their careers.

Five Quick Ways to Develop Leadership Skills

  1. Evaluate your values, beliefs and ethics
  2. Demonstrate your values every day
  3. Show people you believe in them
  4. Ask people how you can help them succeed
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4

Leadership Skills Can Be Learned

Becoming a great leader is within your reach. Actively working to develop your leadership and management skills can make a big difference, so consider enrolling in a leadership skills training program. For example, Villanova University offers a Master Certificate in Organizational Leadership, which consists of three 100% online courses. Villanova features a unique, video-based e-learning platform that makes it possible to gain new skills and credentials on your schedule.

Category: Leadership