Making the Most of Leadership Qualities and Skills

Business.com / Education / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Leadership skill means more than just steering your own career effectively. You should also be able to recognize, inspire and develop ...

Leadership skill means more than just steering your own career effectively. You should also be able to recognize, inspire and develop the best in others. For a CEO or business owner, that means setting high standards in leadership excellence for employees and contractors, then making sure they have the tools to meet those standards.

Making the most of leadership qualities and skills means putting the right people with the right leadership qualities in the right place at the right time. This, in turn, demands that you:

1. Understand the difference between management and leadership.

2. Find ways to evaluate whether a given employee has the skills needed for leadership.

3. Recognize that leaders are made and give your employees a chance to focus on improving leadership skills.

Recognize that all managers may not have leadership skill

Managers handle things as they come and make sure the company and its employees can "manage" or get by. Leaders, on the other hand, actively visualize, seek to improve and find ways of getting others involved in and invested in a shared vision of excellence. Make sure that you know the difference between what it means to cope or to excel, then pass that knowledge on to your employees.

Learn how to measure the qualities and skills for effective leadership

"Leadership ability" may seem like an ephemeral quality that's hard to pin down, but using professional evaluation tools can help you to quantify what you're looking for and, over time, evaluate employee progress in areas like staying focused, honesty and reliability.
Kent State University Center for Student Involvement lists the qualities an exemplary leader must possess or you could have your employees take the Janssen Peak Performance team leadership self-evaluation.

Encourage employees to develop latent leadership talents into effective leadership qualities

Leaders must be given the opportunities and support they need to bloom. Look for potential business leadership qualities, like the ability to visualize and to measure progress, in your prospective employees. Then make sure to give them the chance to develop into effective team leaders.
Harvard University Center for Public Leadership Executive Program.
  • Don't forget the very best way of inspiring leadership qualities in others is to model them yourself. Lead by example and you'll find that employees in all ranks of the company will be inspired to, not just follow you, but take an active interest in their own performance and the company's well being.

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