5 Skills Everyone Needs to Be a Better LeaderBy Homaira Kabir
Why do many competent people stay stuck in jobs that have become too small for them? What keeps them from advancing to more senior levels despite having the ambition, the drive, and the expertise?
The answer lies in an elusive concept called leadership presence. Many high-achieving individuals are held back because they're told they lack what it takes to be a leader. But without being given elaboration or practical strategies to try, they're often left believing that we all either have this executive “It” factor or don't.
The good news is that leadership presence is entirely buildable once we break it down into tangible concepts. As a leadership coach, I've identified five key leadership concepts that are essential, whether you're leading a team of a few or a few hundred individuals. See which one(s) you may need to work on and what you can start doing today to move forward in becoming the leader you want to be.
Perfectionism is one of the most common impediments to effective leadership. It limits your ability to delegate and to prioritize what needs to be perfect over what doesn't. This slows down decision-making, creates needless backlog, and adds a whole lot of stress for you and your team. Sally Helgesen, author of How Women Rise, says that being a perfectionist can also make you indispensable in your job, which means your boss will want to hang onto you even when you're ready to move on. Letting go of perfection can be hard because, more often than not, it’s rewarded early on in your career. You can start by recognizing where in your life perfectionism is limiting you, put plans in place that help you do "good-enough" work, and create mantras that help you stick to your new way of being.
Show You Genuinely Care
At its core, leadership is about bringing out the best in other people, individually and together as a team. An analogy that I particularly like is that of an orchestra conductor who highlights the brilliance of their musicians individually and collectively, all the while staying hidden from the limelight. This takes humility, a strong sense of self-worth, and a genuine appreciation of your people. It also requires empathy and a deep desire to help others find personal and professional success while advancing the vision of your organization. What you get in return is