The local newspaper does not run birth announcements that read, “A 7-lb 4-oz effective leader was born today to Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” Leaders are not born, they are developed.
If you are already a leader someone helped shape and develop you as you learned your leadership skills. If you are a leader who wants to be a better leader, there are some skills you must hone. If you are not a leader but aspire to leadership, there are some skills you must learn.
Here are five of the most important must-have skills for every effective leader:
1) Make decisions
Effective leaders need to be able to make decisions, often under great pressure. They do not procrastinate in making decisions. Further, the effective leader trains the organization to make decisions and empowers them to make decisions within the scope of their roles.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV).
2) Communicate expectations
Effective leaders must be strong communicators who establish the vision and mission of the organization, and performance expectations for teams and individuals. Every strong leader I’ve known knew how to communicate expectations clearly, and they did it consistently.
“The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips” Proverbs 16:23 (NASB).
3) Lead by example
Effective leaders know that employees, like children, will follow what you do more than what you say. The “walk” of the best leaders matches their “talk.” Leading by example can be an arduous task. Leaders know that their every move is being watched and evaluated. They strive to be as consistent as possible.
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” 1 Timothy 4:12 (NASB).
4) Ask questions and seek counsel
Effective leaders know what they don’t know, and humbly accept that they don’t know everything. They are confident in their own abilities but ask questions and seek the counsel of others in order to make the best decisions possible.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” Proverbs 11:14.
5) Invest in relationships
Effective leaders not only build relationships up, down, and across the organization, but they are willing to invest in these relationships. Great leaders know that strong relationships will weather many storms. They invest in others because building others up is important to them.
“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity” Proverbs 17:17 (NASB).
Like it or not, every leader has a target on his or her back. The greater your level of responsibility, the larger the target. If you want to be the best leader you can be, the kind of leader God intends you to be, you need to make decisions, communicate expectations, lead by example, ask questions and seek counsel, and invest in relationships.
How are you doing as a leader? If you were to score yourself on each of these must-have skills of the effective leader how would you do? If you’re not great at one or more of them, pick one and work on it until you feel that you’ve mastered it, and then move on to the next one!
Join the conversation
Which of these leadership skills is your strongest? Which one is the one you need to work on?
Category: Skills | Leadership Development