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.

Summary

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,

Aaron@Biebert

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