22 Examples Of Leadership Skills That Make A Better Leader

Last updated: Jan 22, 2023

Leadership is an essential skill for any successful professional. It involves inspiring others, setting goals and objectives, making decisions and problem solving. Developing strong leadership skills can help you create a positive environment in which your team can thrive.  

Woman at leadership position, demonstrating leadership skills

However, one often doesn't know where to start, when it comes to leadership development. Being a successful leader is no easy task. It takes hard work, dedication and using the right strategies to be an effective leader. Here are 22 examples of leadership skills that may help you on your journey:  

1. Identifying Your Strengths & Weaknesses

The first step in developing your leadership skills is to identify what your strengths and weaknesses are as a leader. Consider what you do well when leading a team or project, as well as areas where you need improvement. This will give you direction on how to focus best your efforts so that you can grow as a leader.  

2. Taking Responsibility

Leaders take responsibility for themselves and their actions. They don’t pass blame or make excuses; instead they accept full accountability for any mistakes made along the way. Taking responsibility shows that you are an example for others and that they can trust and rely on you in times of difficulty or uncertainty—a key component of successful leadership skills!  

3. Listening & Communicating Effectively 

Good communication is essential for effective leadership — the right type of communication strengthens the bond between leaders and followers while also ensures everyone is on the same page and understands instructions clearly.

Listening carefully helps you to receive messages accurately while also demonstrates respect towards colleagues’ opinions. The exchange of messages the right way encourages collaboration within teams or departments.

If you want to communicate well you shouldn't forget - communicating effectively also involves being open-minded about different perspectives which often leads to creative solutions!   

4. Engaging With Others 

This comes with effective communication hand in hand. Good leaders know how to engage with their team members on a personal level as well as professionally in order to foster teamwork and understanding among coworkers or peers.

Besides active communication skills, this involves recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses, providing feedback, being supportive, respecting different opinions, encouraging collaboration between individuals while also providing clear guidance when necessary. 

5. Setting Goals & Measuring Progress

"If it cannot be measured, it cannot be managed”, said Peter Drucker. Or was it Edwards Deming? Either way, setting clear goals gives teams something tangible to work towards together whilst measuring progress allows leaders track whether tasks/objectives have been met successfully or not (and if not identify areas needing improvement).

Achieving goals also fosters pride amongst staff members whilst encouraging further commitment from them too – especially if there’s a recognition given by management afterwards!   

6. Fostering Creativity & Innovation 

Being able to think creatively opens up new possibilities within business operations, but it takes courage from the top down – meaning leaders must foster creativity amongst employees by giving them autonomy (within reason!).

Without innovative ideas it would be hard for any business to stay competitive and move ahead of competitors.   

7. Taking Initiative 

As a leader you need to take the initiative when it comes to problem-solving or coming up with solutions for issues that arise in the workplace. Taking the initiative will show your team members that you’re capable of leading them effectively and confidently and managing difficult tasks or making decisions without hesitation. 

8. Being Resilient 

Resilience is an essential trait of successful leaders because it allows them to remain calm under pressure while still maintaining focus on the desired outcome. Leaders must be able to handle criticism gracefully while continuing towards their goal despite obstacles they may face along the way. Leaders are required to move on even during times of adversity. 

9. Practicing Self-Awareness 

Self-aware leaders are better at recognizing their own strengths as well as areas where they need improvement so they can make adjustments accordingly. Being aware of your emotions helps maintain healthy relationships both inside and outside work life which ultimately strengthens one's ability to lead productively through example rather than forcefulness.  

10. Knowing Yourself

With self-awareness, you are on a better way to discover who you really are. Before diving headfirst into the world of leading others, it’s important to take some time and reflect on who you are as a person.

What strengths do you possess? What values drive your decisions? How you handle your emotions? Knowing yourself will help shape how you lead others and will serve as a foundation for successful leadership development.  

11. Taking Time To Reflect

Taking time each day or week to reflect on what’s going on around you will help you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings, which is key when developing strong leadership abilities. You need an understanding of the environment around you before being able to lead it effectively.  

12. Leading By Example 

A great way to demonstrate leadership qualities is to set good example by your own actions. By completing your jobs on time, displaying professional behavior, respecting the dress code, keeping promises or remaining punctual with deadlines, you set the standard in your team and also demonstrate what is expected from others.

Keeping promises or going the extra mile are also good examples you can set for your coworkers by keeping yourself up to high expectations. But remember, everyone is a human and as any other, you may come short of your expectations or make mistakes from time to time. This is normal and nothing to be discouraged about; just make sure you learn from every situation and improve next time! 

13. Learning From Others 

Leading by example doesn't mean you are an ultimate human being without any shortcomings. No one knows everything!

Learning from those who have experience is crucial if you want to develop your own abilities further down the line. Listen to your team members; talk with mentors or other successful leaders; read books on various styles of management; attend workshops or seminars related to topics that interest you — all these actions can provide valuable insight into how people think and operate, which you can then apply to your own style of leading people. 

14. Being Open To Feedback & Criticism 

As you learn from others, be also open-minded when receiving feedback both positive or negative —this openness gives you room for growth within your team. Having an open dialogue about criticism and negatives helps build relationships between individuals as well - allowing everyone involved feel heard without judgment attached either way. 

15. Being Assertive

Being assertive means being confident without being aggressive or intimidating - something essential when dealing with employees or team members (even your family members!). A great leader will understand how far they can push someone without crossing the line and causing harm or discomfort, yet still assert themselves enough so that their message gets through clearly and concisely. 

16. Balancing Between Understanding & Firmness

As a leader, you should strive towards achieving an appropriate balance between understanding each individual while maintaining firmness when disciplining them. This requires excellent communication skills.

As a leader, you will come across many difficult conversations where expressing yourself effectively might mean a diffference between failing or moving forward.

You need to be open-minded but also stand your ground when necessary – this duality sets strong leaders apart from weak ones who can’t handle both sides of the equation simultaneously.  

17. Being Respectful At All Times 

Remember that respect goes both ways - just like how you expect respect from those below; likewise they too deserve yours even during tough conversations. This kind of mutual respect serves as a reminder that despite differences regarding roles within organisation, when it comes to delivering results, you're all on the same boat. 

18. Working On Your Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to one's ability to recognize emotions in oneself and others and use this information appropriately. Being able to regulate your emotions accordingly, make positive connections between people while managing conflicts constructively - these are all important aspects of successful leadership.

To develop your EI, besides traditional ways like reading books or attending seminars, analyze situations you were involved in and asses your emotional state - what you felt, how you behaved and try to find patterns that will help you identify why you acted a certain way. 

19. Delegating Responsibilities Wisely 

Effective delegation of tasks helps foster trust within teams because everyone understands their role better – but only if done correctly (i.e., delegating appropriate workloads). When done right, delegating responsibilities wisely shows respect towards team members while still allowing leaders enough control over projects or goals. 

20. Motivating your team 

Every good leader has an arsenal of motivational tools that can bring out the best from people under their charge. These may include incentives like rewards for meeting certain targets or deadlines; positive reinforcement such as praise for doing something well; or simply making time for dialogue about an individual. All these tactics contribute greatly towards creating a culture wherein employees look forward to coming into work every day!  

21. Expanding Your Knowledge

A leader is never a finished product. With all the challenges and ever-changing world, when it comes to knowledge, you have to stay on your best.

Learning more about topics related to leadership will deepen your understanding of the world around you and give you ideas for how to improve upon existing systems at work or develop new ones entirely. Take courses, read books, case studies, magazines — anything that could potentially help enhance your performance at work.  

22. Being Ready For Any Challenge That May Arise

This is much easier said than done. No one knows what life may throw at us, but at least being aware that anything can happen may help you stay grounded when hard times hit. Leaders must be prepared to face difficult challenges head-on without shying away from taking risks or making unpopular decisions if necessary. Resilience is what keeps you going, but it won't grow without putting yourself through hard things regularly.  

Never Stop Working On Yourself As A Leader

So, after reading this artice, which of these examples of leadership skills you already practice?

As everyone is born or "grown" with some level of leadership skills, no leader will make it far without further work on his leadership abilities. Therefore, you should have a solid plan, how to move forward with your leadership skills to stay on your best. Check often on your leadership development, practice skills and be creative with your own strategies that will make you a better leader!