Take your career to new heights by developing the leadership skills essential to every business. Whether you aspire to be an entrepreneur or a CEO at a top-ranked company, you need to set your goals high and actively work on becoming a better leader. Following are 10 steps that will get you started on the path to success:
Leadership Skills Include Taking the Bad with the Good
- Learn From Your Failures. Leaders don't repeat their mistakes; they learn from them. Analyzing what went wrong in any failed operation is the best way to prevent it from happening again.
- Accept Responsibility. Excuses are for kids who stay home from school - not for organizational leaders. Leaders give others due credit for successes - and take responsibility for their own shortcomings and failures.
Leaders Help Others Grow
- Groom Your Successors. Developing a new generation of leaders is essential to your success. You can't climb higher if there is no one to take your place - so don't be afraid to delegate responsibilities and groom your successors. Giving up control is a sign of a confident leader.
- Provide Direction. Achieving business goals requires hard work and collaboration. As a leader, it's your job to motivate your people to work toward the company's goals. Inspiring teams means painting a clear picture of what success means for the company - and for each employee. It takes time and energy to learn what motivates each person, but that's what true leaders do.
Earning Respect Is a Leadership Skill
- Be Trustworthy. People don't give their trust easily; to earn it, you'll need to be completely honest. Luckily, it's very simple. Don't talk behind others' backs. Do what you say you're going to do. Never lie.
- Be Authentic. Leaders are in touch with their inner, real selves. Recognizing both your talents and your shortcomings is an important path to authenticity. When you're aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you are more powerful. And when you acknowledge what you don't know, people are more likely to offer their help.
Leaders Are Effective Communicators and Collaborators
- Embrace Self-Expression. Don't be afraid to ask questions, speak openly and honestly, and give praise when it's deserved (and sometimes, even when it's not deserved - but sorely needed). When you give up a little control over your words, you'll find people opening up and connecting with you.
- Collaborate. Most companies rely on teams of individuals collaborating toward a common goal. Good leaders not only provide guidance and support, but are willing to pitch in and help. They also know how to draw out team members' talents and make them feel valued - which, in turn, makes them feel more invested in the company's success.
- Exude Confidence. Great leaders have an air of confidence, make decisions quickly and are unafraid of risk. None of that can happen if you're hindered by doubt or feelings of inadequacy. Take the steps to build your confidence, which will give you greater control over your career.
- Join in Extracurricular Activities. Even if you're no good at softball, bowling or dodge ball, don't pass up the chance to join a company team. Outside activities enhance work relationships, make you look like a real human (as opposed to an intimidating authority figure) and enable you to really know your coworkers. So even if it means wearing rental bowling shoes or revealing your lack of athletic abilities, join the team-just for the fun of it!
Pave Your Way to the Top With Leadership Skills Training
When you're ready to hone your leadership skills, it makes sense to learn from a proven leader. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 university in the Master's category/North region, Villanova University offers a highly respected Master Certificate in Organizational Leadership program. With Villanova's 100% online courses and flexible, video-based e-learning platform, you can expand your skills and earn new credentials as your busy schedule allows.