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What Are Leadership Skills?

So if you’re relatively new to leadership then you’re probably asking the question what are leadership skills? Well leadership skills are the capabilities and behaviors that a person needs in order to be able to effectively lead.

And if you’re wondering what leadership itself is then its mainly about influencing one of more individuals to achieve a common goal. Click here for other definitions of leadership.

what are leadership skills

(Photo Credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina} – Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This sounds simple, but in reality it can be quite complex as it includes motivating, coaching, mentoring and directing others. It’s also about building strong relationships with the individuals who you are leading. Try and think of a time where you’ve been led by someone. Were they a good leader? How did they make you feel?

People will do super human things for other people, but only if they respect, trust and agree with the individual that is leading them and if they agree that what is being done is the right thing to do. Doing things for others is rarely about the money. It’s about people who see others for who they are.

Leadership is about seeing people as individuals and being respectful to those individuals. Respect brings out the best in people.

It is often thought that the best leaders are the ones that enable others to be successful.

Are You Born A Leader?

While it’s true that many people seem to be born with natural leadership skills. Take for example Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher. All who were great leaders. It is not true that you have to be born a leader. Leadership skills can be learned.

What Are Leadership Skills?

If you now take those leaders listed in the section above or alternatively if you think of someone you know and respect as a leader use them instead and start thinking about what skills and qualities they have that makes them such a great leader.

You will probably come up with skills and qualities such as:

  • They’re have a great vision
  • They set an example for others
  • They’re great communicators
  • They know how to motivate others
  • They’re very knowledgeable
  • They act with integrity in everything they do
  • They take calculated risks
  • They’re highly organized
  • They’re great at solving problems

All the above are of course leadership skills. And obviously this is not an exhaustive list. On another page on this site I have attempted to list as many leadership skills as I possibly can. Click here to view the list. As you read through them if you think of any others that I may have missed then please add them to the comments section at the bottom of the page an I will do my best to get them added.

How To Acquire Leadership Skills

You can acquire leadership skills yourself. There are two ways to acquire leadership skills either by one taking a course or reading a book and actively learning about them or by two learning them by experience from undertaking a leadership role.

To gain experience in a leadership role you don’t necessarily have to be a leader for a large organisation. You can lead a project for your local church or voluntary group. Or you could gain experience by volunteering to lead something for your local school or community center.


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