4 Leadership Skills Every Organization Should Teach

Everyone is a leader of something.

With skeleton crews and new leaders everywhere I look, leadership has never been more important for your organization.   To make an organization successful, we all must lead and it’s not as simple as giving orders, training, or asking for daily TPS reports.

Here are four skills that every leadership-centered organization should teach to their valuable staff members:

1) Self Leadership

It starts with you. If you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead others.

This one is easy to understand, yet so hard to execute sometimes.  I still can’t get myself to do things I need to do sometimes (shhhh, don’t tell anyone).  Self leadership is the base for every great organization and should be widely understood.

Anyone looking to advance their career must lead themself first.

2) Delegation

Classic leadership.  You pick tasks that need to be done and ask one of your direct report team members to do it.  Simple, right?  The three big challenges are knowing what to delegate, how to communicate, and letting go after you delegate.

(Disclosure: This one requires people to report to you.  Don’t delegate to peers or higher level leaders.  It doesn’t work well.)

3) Empowerment

This is simple.  You hire/keep good people and get out of their way.  You don’t tell them what to do (delegate), but instead set a vision for what goals need to be met. The hardest part?  Hiring the right person.

Higher level leaders must learn to empower their best team members and delegate everything that isn’t a core function.  Then they can focus on the leadership activities that make an organization soar: vision setting, relationship building, collaboration with others, and self leadership.

Yes, self leadership.

The funny thing about empowerment is that in order for it to be successful, the person being empowered needs to keep working on self leadership. The higher you go, the fewer people telling you what to do.

Self leadership isn’t just for the entry-level.

4) Collaboration

This one isn’t usually included as a leadership function, but I think it should be.  

It’s a hybrid of self leadership and empowerment between two or more leaders.  On one hand, you empower the other party, help set a vision, and then get out of the way.  On the other, you lead yourself to complete your side of the collaboration.

It’s a sort of shared leadership that requires a lot of skill to keep a collaboration moving forward without hurting egos or losing vision.  We’ll see even more demand for this leadership skill as more and more small business leaders look for inter-organizational synergies.


I truly believe “leadership” is not just for the top people in an organization.

Every member of your team should become proficient at one of more of these leadership skills.  Entry level team members with an eye on promotion need to be self leaders.  When those same entry level leaders work with other self leaders, they need to become skilled at collaborating.

An organization of leaders will be a leading organization.

Be a leader tonight,


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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

8 comments on “4 Leadership Skills Every Organization Should Teach”

  1. Aaron,
    I thought this was a funny story and try to remember it whenever I’m in a leadership position. (Rare these days with a lot of children)

    A man had a donkey and was working really hard trying to get the beast from point A to point B. First he tried pulling the donkey by the bridle. The animal resisted. Then he got behind him and pushed. On and on he went for about ten minutes until the donkey sat down. Right there. He sat down unwilling to budge.
    The man had taught him to sit!
    After a short rest he coaxed the donkey up and slowly, taking a step at a time, walked beside him, encouraging him along the way.

    I agree. A leader has to have the vision and be willing to “walk the walk”. It’s a process to develop a functioning, growing team.
    I love reading about leadership! Loved this one.
    Thanks, Aaron.

  2. Self Leadership is SUPER important. ALL business owners know that this skill is invaluable!! To run MY business I HAVE to be a SELF STARTER . There’s no one there to make me get to it. I tell MYSELF every single day, “If I don’t get started~~I will never get finished and get to go home. I accept NO less from ANY employee. NEVER ask anyone to do anything that you are NOT willing to do yourself. COLLABORATION is TEAMWORK pure and simple, and completely NECESSARY for any successful business.

    I DO NOT let my business “consume me” anymore. I do my job to the very BEST of my ability, NEVER intentionally mislead my customers, and ALWAYS be reliable…BUT at 5:00pm it’s my time, and I refuse to work weekends~~ That’s FAMILY time. BALLANCE IN ALL THINGS.

    I have learned however, in nearly 25 yrs of being in business, that if you TRUELY do your best EVERY DAY and treat people (customers) the way you would like to be treated the money part of the business takes care of itself. The more you focus on profit–the LESS of it you have.

    1. I like the phrase “There’s no one there to make me get to it.” So true!

      Glad you liked the post and I appreciated the comment. I always love your feedback.

  3. Another excellent post. Why do you think it’s so difficult for some people to let others lead? It seems to me that maybe this is about putting people in the right jobs and then giving them the autonomy to do what needs to be done. I think people may sometimes micromanage others because they are afraid of their own loss of control or insecure in their own ability to do a certain job well. I wonder if I’ve been guilty of this. Real leaders let other people lead too, right?

    1. I think many people don’t want others to lead because they are afraid.

      They are afraid of losing their own power, they are afraid of change, they are afraid of letting go.

      Real leaders definitely let others lead.

      Thanks for the comment Kenna. You are adding a lot to the discussions!

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