I spent 27 years in the greatest Army on the planet with other visionary leaders who wanted to achieve more within the organizations and teams they led while serving in complex environments. Most recently over the last four years I've led myself as a small business owner, engaged with clients and interacted with volunteer teammates focused on serving the community while wanting to show up more authentically. In both environments I observed and experienced the most common issues that challenges people in positions of authority.
Being a leader starts with leading oneself, then others. Leadership is the lever by which every major societal issue is addressed. Whether you're thinking about education, public health, agriculture, any of the major diseases, wars, political challenges of our time, leadership is at the core of a sustainable resolution. Leadership is defined as the process of influencing others to attain specified and unspecified goals. People use skills and styles to become successful in different environments and circumstances.
Sometimes the style we use is based on what we've observed rather than a clear awareness of how we want to show up in the world and the skills we actually possess. So, it's critical that we are aware of our current skills and are able to identify any specific gaps we possess as it pertains to our current job and career field.
The approach one uses to engage with others is labeled as their style. When the person is in a position of authority, we label the manner in which they influence their staff, team, or organization to complete a task as their leadership style.
Whether you’re leading a meeting, a project, a team or an entire department, you might consider identifying with or adopting a defined leadership style.
Most professionals develop their own style of leadership based on factors like experience and personality, as well as the unique needs of their employees, company and its organizational culture.
Leadership styles are not one size fit all. It’s incumbent upon the leader to understand her primary leadership style. Furthermore, it's critical that she understands when it’s necessary and effective to use other approaches and styles to get things done or she may want to adopt another way of 🤔 thinking in order to influence a particular outcome. One style is rarely effective under all circumstances or with different types of people. While every leader is different, there are nine leadership styles commonly used in the workplace.
The nine types of leadership styles are:
Leadership skills are the strengths and abilities individuals demonstrate when they manage processes, guide initiatives and influence their employees toward the achievement of goals.
A skill is an ability to perform an activity in a competent manner. Skills can be classified into three main types:
Sometimes we hear or see skills categorized as soft or hard. The difference between hard vs soft skills
The key differences between hard skills and soft skills are how they are gained and put to use in the workplace.
Hard skills are often gained through education or specific training. They include competencies like how to use a certain machine, software or other tool. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify.
Soft skills are more often seen as personality traits you may have spent your whole life developing. They are called upon when you manage your time, communicate with other people or confront challenging situations.
Put another way, hard skills could be defined as your technical knowledge whereas soft skills are what people see you doing in the workplace. They are called upon when you manage your time, communicate with other people or confront a difficult situation for the first time.
Whether one is an office manager or a project leader, all effective leaders require a number of soft skills to help them positively interact with employees or team members. Effective leaders have the ability to communicate well, motivate their team, handle and delegate responsibilities, listen to feedback, and have the flexibility to solve problems in an ever-changing workplace.
Whether you're starting out in an entry-level position and looking to move up the career ladder or you're seeking a promotion, your leadership skills will be among your most valuable assets.
Here are the top ten leadership skills that make an effective leader in the workplace.
You do not need to supervise or be a manager to cultivate leadership skills. You can develop these skills on the job in the following ways:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angela M. Odom is a leadership coach and an author of BRONCO STRONG: A Memoir of the Last Deployed Personnel Services Battalion and a contributor to Camouflaged Sisters: Leadership Through The Eyes of Senior Military Women Leaders