Becoming a leader is something that many people aspire to. In my opinion, leaders are made, not born; I have never walked into a hospital nursery and seen tags on the newborn babies cribs identifying any one of them as a leader.
In a book published by the Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman identified the following skills that a leader should possess.
- Self-awareness— knowing one’s strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and impact on others. This is followed by:
- Realistic self-assessment
- Self-depreciating sense of humor
- Thirst for constructive criticism
- Self-regulation— controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses and moods. This is followed by:
- Comfort with ambiguity and change.
- Motivation — relishing achievement for its own sake. This is followed by:
- A passion for the work itself and for new challenges
- Unflagging energy to improve
- Optimism in the face of failure.
- Empathy — considering others’ feelings, especially when making decisions. This is followed by:
- Expertise in attracting and retaining talent
- Ability to develop others
- Sensitivity to cross-cultural differences.
- Social skills— managing relationships to move people in desired directions. This is followed by:
- Effectiveness in leading change
- Extensive networking
- Expertise in building and leading teams
Leadership can be learned but it takes constant practice and self-discipline to maintain it. I truly believe that each business owner can not only survive but grow a sustainable and profitable business by learning and applying these five skills. Review this list and work on one aspect of this skill set every day.
Trust is formed by a leader’s character and credibility.
Nick J. Petra CFP Let us walk with you in the continued development of your own leadership skills.