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Leadership Skills That Can Be Learned


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Nature vs. Nurture

leadership skills
There is a debate whether leadership can be learned or not. The answer to that question is not as easy at it may seem. While there are certain personality qualities that make some people more fit than others to lead, it’s not impossible for a person to grow into a leadership role if they are not born with these qualities.

Certain aspects of leadership can be learned. If you are not a natural leader that does not mean you can’t learn to become an effective leader. Certain qualities such as skill, vision, networking, communication, discipline, and courage can all be acquired overtime. For instance, Warren Buffet was not always a great public speaker. Knowing this weakness would seriously hamper his abilities to become a successful leader he went on to take public speaking classes to practice speaking in front of crowds. This ability was gained through practice and a willingness to do things that made him uncomfortable.

Often times leaders have to make decisions that affect the lives of many people working under them. This takes courage, a clear mind, and discipline to make the right decisions. All of these qualities are skills that leaders can learn through experience, dedication, and practice.

Leadership Skills

leadership qualities
A person aspiring to become a leader needs to take the next step after acquiring their skills. While the skills we talked about above can be learned they still need to be implemented. A leader has the ability to take themselves outside of their comfort zone and take risks based upon calculated decisions. The following skills will help an aspiring leader use their knowledge and resources to thrust themselves into a leadership role and gain the respect and attention of their team.

1. Thinking
2. Vision
3. Listening
4. Speaking
5. Patients
6. Courage
7. Knowledge

Leadership Skills That Can Be Learned

1. Thinking

While we cannot learn to be smarter we can learn to become better thinkers. Thinking helps leaders make the right decisions. Thinking helps leaders bring their team in the right direction. Thinking also helps leaders solve problems. We cannot learn to think better than our natural abilities afford us, but we can learn to think about the right things. Through experiences, patients and a willingness to get out of our comfort zone we can become better thinkers.

2. Vision

vision
Leadership requires vision. A vision helps organize a team to reach a common goal. Vision can be acquired through past experiences and thinking. A great leader will always have a clear vision for his/her team. Vision requires looking backward to and clearly see what has happened this will lead you to see what direction you are headed.

3. Listening

The ability to listen can be learned overtime. Really listening to peoples problems and understanding their feelings and goals can help leaders. A great listener automatically gains the respect of their peers because people will return the respect they are given. A great listener builds respect and trust with their team.

4. Speaking

speaking
The ability to speak is important for any leader. Public speaking is one of the biggest traits needed to become a great leader. In the Warren Buffet example above speaking can be an acquired skill. Some people are born with a natural ability to be great public speakers while others need to overcome their fears of an audience. A great way to become a good public speaker is to practice. You can go to groups and classes where other people want to practice public speaking. To become a better speaker try joining a group and practice speaking through presentations. Become comfortable and learn tricks to help overcome your fears of speaking in front of large audiences.

5. Patients

Patients is another skill that can be acquired. I more than anyone know that when things aren’t going well it’s easy to pass blame to new team members. A patient leader knows there will be many obstacles to reaching their goals and especially with new employees patients is needed while they grow into their new roles. A great leader also understands and takes responsibility for failures. They know that if someone does not finish their job that it falls back on them as leaders by either not giving that person the right resources, knowledge or instructions to complete the task. This understanding and patients will help inspire the rest of the team members to respect and trust their leaders.

6. Courage

courage
Courage is another leadership skill that can be acquired. We are all not born courageous. And courage is the ability to take chances and do things that make you uncomfortable. Courage often times comes down to a leap of faith that the right outcome will be reached. While we all may not be the most courageous people we are all capable of making courageous decisions. Put yourself in uncomfortable scenarios to practice courage. The more you make yourself uncomfortable the better and clearer you will think when you need to make courageous decisions.

7. Knowledge

Knowledge is acquired overtime. Any person who spends enough time on a certain subject will become a knowledgeable resources on the subject matter. This knowledge accumulated overtime is an important ability that will help you cast yourself as a leader. People will always be looking for solutions and answers. If you can provide people with the right advice and the right knowledge to complete their tasks they will begin to see you as a leader. This leadership skill can take a lifetime to acquire, but it is possibly the most important aspect of leadership. Many people look up to knowledgeable resources for help. Being able to provide the right answers will cast you into a leadership role.

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