We’ve all heard about the long-standing debate around whether a leader is born or made but alas! We have not reached a proper consensus as of now. However, there is one thing we know for sure – leadership skills can definitely be acquired and enhanced. Now the burning question is – how do you acquire those skills?
Leadership cannot be defined but it can be explained by its various branches. Ask yourself – what makes a person a good leader? How do you differentiate a good leader from a great leader? You can think of various answers for this but there is no definite truth. Everyone has their own version of who a good or great leader is. But let us talk in a more generic sense – what are those qualities or skills that make all the great leaders stand out? Why is it that only a few people can acquire those exceptional leadership skills?
There are many ways in which a leader can acquire some extraordinary skills. Even playing online strategy games can sometimes be really helpful in developing strong leadership strategies. Before learning about the ways to acquire leadership skills, let us first understand what are those skills that make a great leader. While there are so many skills that shape a leader, let us discuss a few most important ones.
Patience – We all know the importance of this skill in every aspect of our lives – whether it is at home, workplace, or any other environment. You cannot be a leader if you do not master the art of patience. If you are a leader, you know that people are going to follow in your footsteps. Thus, the responsibility of so many people lies in your hands, isn’t it? And what will happen if you display acts of impatience in this position?
Perseverance – They say that we must never give up, even when we fail – well, that’s perseverance. People fail, they give up but real leaders are those who get back up even after failing a thousand times. This shows the true courage and endurance of a leader.
Fearlessness – If you are a great leader, you cannot be fearful – you cannot let little things affect you. Imagine what will happen if a company is facing a major crisis and its CEO takes a leave out of fear that time in an attempt to hide behind the screen till everything gets resolved on its own? If you are a leader, people are dependent on you to eliminate their fears and not the other way around. A leader is the one who shows fearlessness when others are most scared.
Crisis management – When there is a crisis, who do you look up to? Your manager if the crisis is at work, a teacher if the crisis is when you are a student, or a senior family member if the crisis is at home? You look up to those people because you know they will manage it… more than know, you want to believe that they will. That’s because you consider them your leader in some way or the other. We can identify a true leader only in times of crisis. If your team is in a stressful position, is your manager standing with you at all times? Here is food for thought for you – what do you think is the difference between a manager and a leader?
Empathy – In simple words, empathy means being in another person’s shoes. This is the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is when you feel for the person but empathy is when you feel just how the person is feeling. While many can sympathize, empathy is a skill developed only by a few. If a person wants to lead, he or she must first know how to empathize with his or her people.
Now that we have learned about the most important skills of a leader, you must be thinking – how can we acquire these skills or enhance them if we already have them? While acquire leadership skills is not rocket science, it is also not a cakewalk. It comes with days, months, and years of practice and hard work (perseverance, remember?). Here are a few ways you can enhance or acquire some leadership skills.
Read to lead – They say that the one who reads knows how to lead. Reading is a way to experience something out of the world for it brings emotions which you never thought you could have. Only when you feel such emotions can you empathize with different types of people. Moreover, the more you read, the more you learn and gain new information and knowledge. Knowledge is an indispensable requirement in order to be a great leader.
Games and other activities – When you play games or sports or indulge in any other activity that involves the usage of your body and mind, you are in a way challenging yourself to become a better version of yourself. Apart from this, there are many websites that offer discounts or great deals for new players so this will also benefit you while signing up for a new sport or game. For example, there are so many free sign up bonuses in poker and needless to say, poker is anyway a game of mind and skills. Playing such games will undoubtedly make you a better leader.
Listen whenever you can – In order to develop leadership skills, knowing how and when to listen is a must. People think that leadership is all about being a good speaker but it is a false notion. Leadership is also equally about being a good listener. The more you listen, the more you understand people’s needs and the better you act. When you listen to people, they believe that you care about them.
Find your balance – If you want to stay balanced in your life, it is crucial to find your inner balance. Most great leaders have a spiritual bend because that is the only way to maintain your inner peace or balance. Now spirituality is not always about sitting in a cross-legged position and praying. It is also about finding whatever feels good or peaceful to you. Many people like to meditate or do yoga to find their balance. Some people even meditate on music! (Yes, it is absolutely true).
Develop a routine – Whether it is waking up early or reading till late at night, it is important to have a routine. Refrain from doing things or activities at random timings. Develop a routine for everything, whether it is eating, taking a bath, working, etc. While routine is important, also know that it is okay to be flexible sometimes.
Meet people and talk around – Do not just meet people for the sake of it, rather try and get to know them. Know and understand their needs, likes, dislikes, etc. Understand what they truly feel, go the extra mile to feel their pain, and form a bond with them. One of the most important skills that you will acquire by this is empathy. The more and better you know someone, the more you can empathize with them. Nowadays, you can interact with people online, even when you are reading or playing a game. For example, many poker apps have a feature in which you can chat with your fellow players.
Try new and different things – When you try the things you have not tried before, you gain confidence like never before. This is because you expand your own horizons and learn things you did not know about earlier. Look for new ways to motivate others, do not be afraid to stand out, do something unique because that is the only way you will create something of your own.
Follow-ups and feedbacks – When you are a leader, you need constant feedback so you can improve. You do not just need a person who keeps appreciating you, rather you also need critical remarks so you can perceive them as constructive criticism and work on your growth. Thus, never hesitate to ask for feedback regarding your leadership techniques.
So many people want to be great leaders but most of them get stuck in the spiral of defining a leader. However, leadership cannot be defined, it can only be experienced. But here is the catch – You can experience it only when you have certain skills. Ask yourself – do you have what it takes to be a great leader? You do not have the answer right now? Well, fret not! The skills mentioned here can serve as a good leadership checklist for you and you will know in which direction to work. Not only this, but this article also describes ways in which you can acquire some important leadership skills. Even though this advice and suggestions are simple, they are not easy to follow because if you do not persevere, these skills are futile. Thus, the important part is not to just blindly follow this advice or tips but to follow and imbibe them persistently and by heart.