Agility is one of the most important skills to have as a leader because no matter how much you plan, you’ll have to shift, pivot and take action.
Don’t be afraid to lead a change of direction if a project or initiative isn’t achieving the results you expected or if a change in the market or industry makes a previously good idea less effective. By being quick and nimble, you’ll help your team stay on top and keep your customers happy!
Leaders with agility-related skills should be able to:
- Be flexible
- Know how to prioritize
- Embrace and manage change
- Solve problems
- Make decisions
- Take responsibility for their actions and decisions
- Think positively
3. Trust and Respect
An effective leader must have the respect of the individuals they manage, as well as their upper management, to operate effectively in a work environment. To get that respect, you’ve got to start with trust — your team won’t respect you as their leader if they can’t trust you as an individual.
One way you can earn your team's trust and respect is by being fair and honest with everyone, including yourself! That means celebrating successes and owning up to mistakes — they make great learning opportunities for you and your team! And when colleagues provide honest, constructive feedback on your work, accept it with gratitude and use it to improve your future endeavors.
Also, be sure to recognize everyone who helped complete a project. The next time you give a presentation or deliver a project to upper management, take a moment to give credit to your team members who contributed to the work. This will show that you respect and appreciate their work and will go a long way in earning their trust and respect in turn.
So, what skills does a leader need to earn respect and trust?
- Collaborative approach
- Willingness to make time for the team
- Accepts responsibility
- Strong work ethic
- Respects others
- Leads by example
- Asks for feedback
Having the ability to get a lot of work done and handle things by yourself is great, but being a true leader means you can delegate tasks and projects effectively and fairly across your team.
Without allotting tasks properly, your team could feel burned out or accuse you of playing favorites, which could cause projects to take longer than necessary to complete.
Instead, try to delegate work so it play's to people's strengths, including your own. Contrary to what you may think, delegation is not a sign of weakness in a leader — it’s a sign of strength! A true leader helps their team get the work done as a unit. Just remember to give credit where credit is due.
One way to implement this skill as a leader is to ask your team members what they enjoy doing in their roles. If you have someone on your team who excels at data analysis, make sure to include them when data work is needed. You’ll play to your team member’s strength and show you listen. Here are some key skills related to delegation:
- Allocating resources
- Setting clear expectations
- Knowing the strengths/weaknesses of team members
- Open communication
- Facilitating team meetings
- Time management
5. Motivation and Passion
Let’s face it — sometimes, work just isn’t that exciting. A project may not fit your team’s personal interests, seem tedious or feel flat-out boring. As a leader, you must have the ability to create excitement and passion, motivate your team and keep them inspired!
The ability to motivate others is one of the professional leadership skills that can turn a good leader into a great one. Once mastered, you’ll be able to tackle any and every project with the same passion as the last, and your team will move more efficiently and enjoy the process much more because of it.