When you’re focused on making progress in a specific career, you’re mostly concerned about the hard skills needed for the job you have in mind. You’ve been trained to adopt such an attitude ever since you attended college. Curriculums put an emphasis on hard skills, and that’s what the teachers grade you on. They don’t teach you how to be more emotionally intelligent, how to motivate other people, or how to be a better person.
In leadership training, soft skills are essential. The leader is not a person who’s simply mastered the technical skills that the particular industry imposes. Take Richard Branson as an example. One of his bestsellers is named Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School. According to him, some of the main things a leader needs include: innovative attitude, leading by listening, and showing up for the workers. These are all soft skills that are important for any leader in any industry.
If you have impressive IT skills, can’t you start your own IT company and become an impressive leader? Not necessarily.
Is Mark Zuckerberg nothing but a successful computer scientist? He is much more than that! He is also an effective communicator with above-average critical thinking and problem solving skills. Most of all, he is a visionary. That’s something you don’t learn at college. In fact, Zuckerberg dropped out of college, so he must have obtained his leadership skills elsewhere.
Without soft skills, you’re just a technician in your profession. You don’t have what it takes to inspire other people to work towards the achievement of your goals. In fact, you’re not progressive enough to set good goals for your team. You’re nothing but a worker. To become more, you have to work on your soft skills.
The good news is that you already have some important soft skills. Everyone does! Here’s more good news: you can work on the ones you don’t have, so you’ll develop them on your way to becoming a good leader.
Everyone knows how important communication skills are for a leader. But most people identify communication skills the wrong way. We all assume it’s about sharing an idea. In simpler words, we think it’s about speaking.
Yes; speaking is an important aspect of your communication skills, but it’s not the only one. Listening is where it all starts. Communication has to be a two-way street. That’s something that every successful leader understands.
So start listening!
Almost all great leaders publish their own books not because the books identify them as great leaders, but because they have something important to share. Even if you don’t plan to write a book someday, writing skills are still important.
You’ll be writing emails to potential business partners, team members, and influencers. If your content lacks basic literacy, formality, and readability, you’ll be labeled as the self-acclaimed leader who can’t even write a simple sentence. You don’t want that to happen.
You’re impressed by those great speakers on TED talks and you wonder how they do it? They step on stage and lighten up the room. Everyone laughs to their jokes and responds to their calls to action. If you think you’re not good enough to give such great presentations, you’re wrong.
No one was born as a great speaker. This is a skill that people develop through practice.
Why are presentation skills important for a leader? Well whenever you’re about to introduce a new project, you’ll present it in front of the team. You’ll also give motivational speeches, so you’ll encourage everyone to do their best for the sake of driving the whole company forward.
If you want to become a great leader, you better be prepared to face failure. Failure, in fact, is the foundation for success. Remember how Virgin Cola failed? Did that force Richard Branson to give up? Absolutely not! This great leader has had many setbacks, but remained resilient on his journey to success. One of his greatest virtues is the ability to recognize failure and learn from it. If a project can be saved, he’ll keep improving it. If it’s absolutely hopeless, he’ll give up on it and focus his energy on ideas that work.
Resilience is your ability to recover from failure. If you’re resilient enough, you’ll be a good leader even when things don’t go as planned. You’ll be able to bounce back on top and act like nothing happened.
Great leaders motivate their employees to go the extra mile for their organization. If you pay a fair salary, you’ll probably expect all workers to do their best. It’s like to buy essay on best essay service – you look for the best result. But that won’t happen if you solely focus on money and fail to provide other types of encouragement.
There are plenty of ways to inspire your workers:
You dream about becoming a great leader? Well stop dreaming and start doing something about it. You have several soft skills to start working on. Even if you’re great at some of them, you still have space for improvement.