10 Important Skills Every Leader Should Develop

Regardless of the industry, there are many different hard and soft skills that a leader must develop to be an effective and inspiring presence on their team. While some required skills are field-specific, skills such as managing your time, public speaking, motivating and listening apply to all leadership positions.

To help their fellow leaders hone the right capabilities, a panel of members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) addressed the following question:

“Which skill do you think more leaders should work on, and why? How does this help them?”

These are the skills they recommend for all leaders to hone.

1. Listen

“Many ‘leaders’ expect to be the captain of the ship and feel that everyone should listen to them about the direction they need to go. Effective leaders are the best listeners and are able to distill the insights of the experts in their team into sound strategy that they could never create individually. This also makes for a better team buy-in for the mission, as the team was involved.” ~ Jared Shaner, Trellis.co

2. Being self-aware

“You cannot lead anyone until you learn to lead yourself. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you to better manage yourself and your emotions, which in turn teaches your team to do the same. Emotional intelligence is invaluable – and it starts with us as leaders.” ~ Ryann Dowdy, Uncensored Consulting, LLC

3. Public Speaking

“If your goal is to improve your hard skills, I recommend working on public speaking. Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs spend a lot of time pitching their ideas to investors, building rapport with customers, and engaging with their employees. If you’re not good at public speaking or communication in general, you may see slower growth compared to other brand leaders.” ~John Turner, SeedProd LLC

4. Making the right hire

“The people you hire for your business play a huge role in making your business successful. So as a leader, you need to learn how to hire the right talent for your company, train them efficiently and make them strong assets for your company.” ~ Thomas Griffin, Optin Monster

5. Customize

“As a leader you have to be able to adapt to different situations in the workplace. That means you have to be able to work with people from different backgrounds and experiences. Adaptability is what separates leaders from followers. It can also help you improve your personal development and leadership skills.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

6. Manage time

“I believe that all leaders can improve their time management skills. We all spend way more time on daily tasks than we should. If you’re anything like me, you could use that extra time on your side projects or spend time with friends and family. I use a process called time blocking to manage my schedule and reduce distractions, and it has helped immensely. ~John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

7. Manage Projects

“Most leaders could benefit from sharpening their hard skills, but there is one thing I think is important and that is project management. Being proficient in effectively managing a team and their projects can make a huge difference to the success of any organization. Effective project managers keep the team organized and on track while quickly adapting to changes and setbacks.” ~ Richard Fong, Assured Standard

8. Sell

“One of the best skills for any leader is the ability to sell. A leader of any organization is the face and must be ready for the limelight. While many leaders are great at getting their product or service excited, they rarely have the sales knowledge and expertise to sell well – show value, respond to objections, and successfully close that next prospect or investor. ~ Alex Linebrink, Passage

9. Motivate

“I think this skill gets lost when you think about other skills like communication and responsibility. Being motivating will help you become a better leader because if people know they can count on you for inspiration, they will feel more confident in their work and therefore more productive.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

10. Financial Forecasts

“Many leaders are more emotional than rational, and they tend to make impulsive decisions based on their current balance sheet. Instead, the best leaders are able to plan ahead and budget accordingly, giving them more runway when conditions change.” ~ Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep mattress

Image: Depositphotos

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