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Work Productivity and Hacks

The 7 Skills You Need To Become A Leader

By Joseph Cueto on April 4, 2015

There are more than a few instances where it helps to aspire big. One big area where a person can do so is by aspiring to become the best leader one can possibly become. “Be All You Can Be”, a former recruiting slogan used by the US Army, can be a rallying cry for this noble goal.

Setting aside the question of whether leaders are born or made, the key question to ask can be, “What do I need to focus on to propel me forward in my leadership track?” The journey to leadership excellence can be boiled down not entirely on accomplishing a ‘to-do list’, but balancing it with a ‘to-be list’.

Speaker and author Hannah Morgan apparently agrees, citing a study by talent management organization Korn Ferry on the signs of leadership that each old or new employee needs to develop:

1. A track record of formative experiences – Exhibiting the consistent ability to effectively carry out duties and responsibilities required in a leadership capacity.

2. Learning agility – We all pick up valuable lessons through each stop in our colorful employment history. Have these been put to use or tapped during a similar or unique scenario?

3. Self-awareness – Being receptive to feedback, acknowledging your strong and weak points, and taking the measures to better yourself are part of this skill.

4. Leadership traits – Take stock of essential traits needed when you become a leader. Has there been an opportunity before to demonstrate these qualities? How did you fare?

5. The drive to be a leader – A would-be leader jumps right into the learning process and displays willingness to go through challenges to develop oneself.

6. Aptitude for logic and reasoning – Do you attack problems and situations with an analytical, innovative, and continuous improvement mindset?

7. Management of derailment risks – What are the steps you are taking to develop yourself as a leader? If failure or adversity rears itself on the path, can and how will you handle it?

How do you stack up against these seven traits? Which one do you see a need to improve on? Let us hear from you. These qualities should not just be treated as nice-to-know concepts but as a guidepost to guage how far you have gone and have to go in one’s informal leadership training. With the utmost commitment and push and having these in mind, we can awaken the leader that lives within each of us.


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