Report: Leadership Can Be Learned

Report: Leadership Can Be Learned

Do you often hear co-workers refer to an employee as a natural leader?

While the debate as to whether someone is a born leader or learns the skills continues, there are certain commonalities that successful leaders share, and learning these can strengthen one's leadership skills. 

Below are a list of successful leadership characteristics, as noted in "The Manager's Intelligence Report," published by Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc.

  • Effective leaders make others feel important. If your goals and decisions are self-centered, followers will lose their enthusiasm quickly. Emphasize their strengths and contributions, not your own.
  • Promote a vision. Followers need a clear idea of where you're leading them, and they need to understand why that goal is valuable to them. Your job as a leader is to provide that vision.
  • Follow the "Golden Rule." Treat your followers the way you enjoy being treated.
  • Admit mistakes. If people suspect that you're covering up your own errors, they'll hide their mistakes too, and you'll lack valuable information for making decisions.
  • Criticize others only in private. Public praise pushes others to excel, but public criticism alienates everyone involved.
  • Stay close to the action. You need to be visible to the members of your organization and staff. Talk to people, visit other offices and work sites, ask questions and observe how business is being handled. Often you will gain new insights in your work and find new opportunities for motivating your followers.
  • Make a game of competition. Competitive drive can be a valuable tool if you use it correctly. 
    Learn to set team goals, and reward members who meet or exceed them. Examine your failures, and celebrate your entire group's successes.