6 Essential Leadership Skills

Leaders need to have a range of skills.  Equally what I’ve noticed over the course of my career is that there really is no magic formula to being good at leading.  In many respects you are always work in progress.

That said I have identified 6 that I regard as essential to leadership success:

  1. Change Management.  Organisations don’t stand still.  Sectors don’t stand still.  Expectations don’t remain static.  Therefore as a leader you have to be alert to the need for change and then make it happen.
  2. Team Building.  You are probably really good at what you do.  At the same time there is only one of you.  If you are going to achieve results you have to build a great team around you.
  3. Innovation.  For me leaders don’t always have to be coming up with something new.  What is vital is to come up with new ideas to common problems or modify what already exists.
  4. Relationship Building.  Whatever area of business you work in, building strong relationships matters. In my experience it’s the quality of relationships that gets you through those challenging times when everyone needs to be heading in the same direction.
  5. Global Awareness.  The world is definitely shrinking.  Historically you might have been able to get by knowing about what’s happening in your own country.  With the internet and ease of trading globally, it’s vital that you have wider awareness than just your home market.
  6. Decisiveness.  If you look at situations where a business has got into trouble or even failed, chances are a lack of decisiveness will have at least played a part.  It really is a tough one.  Conceptually you might understand that you have to make the decision.  Often it’s fear that gets in the way of taking the decision.  One way to overcome this is to recognise that taking a decision always leads to action which leads to a result.  Sometimes it will be the result you want.  Sometimes it won’t be the result you wanted.  What you can be sure is that you will have moved forward and closer to what you had hoped to achieve.

What would you add to list based on your own experiences?  What do you see giving you the edge as leader in Finance or in your professional field.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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