Colleges offer leadership classes and working professionals can take continuing education courses, but most leaders develop their skills on the job. They learn to lead and engage their teams through experience.
Whether you aspire to take on more responsibility as a leader, or you want to help your sales reps grow into sales leaders, it helps to know some of the most important leadership skills that are often not taught in school.
Angela Civitella, a business leadership coach and founder of Intinde, says that if you want to lead an organization well, you should know nine things. We share her perspective in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
1. Act swiftly. One of the most important leadership lessons is to seize opportunities. Rather than being indecisive or waiting around, act with purpose. Civitella notes that you can often fix a mistake later, but once an opportunity passes, it’s usually gone.
2. Quit micro-worrying. When you try to control all the little details to the point of feeling physically ill, you are probably micro-worrying. Unless you are trying to save someone’s life, there’s no need to get stuck in analysis paralysis, says Civitella.
3. Find satisfaction. Even if you are not particularly excited about something—a long call or meeting, for example—you should still look for the good in it. When you add contentment and satisfaction to what you do, you will often end up with a more engaged and happier team, says Civitella.
4. Establish genuine connections. Until you can safely meet face to face with prospects and clients, look for ways to connect with people digitally. Leaders know there is an art to establishing meaningful relationships, and they continually work at it.
5. Remember the value of hard work. There is no overnight success story, notes Civitella. No one will likely teach you that career success requires hard work and time. You get out what you put in.
6. Don’t neglect connections. Unless you nurture your connections, they are not really connections. It’s important to regularly stay in touch with your LinkedIn connections, Facebook followers and database members. Stay on people’s radar, says Civitella. Otherwise, you end up being just a faceless connection, and that’s not useful to you or anyone else.
7. Accept that mistakes happen. Another fact about leadership that no one will teach you is that failure doesn’t last. Even when you make mistakes, you can reset and reflect on what you learned. When you realize this, it makes things less scary and allows you to have a better mindset about all the moving pieces in your life, says Civitella.
8. Keep an open mind. The best leaders are happy to learn new things and always want to develop their skills. They rarely find something boring because they know they can always find something useful in it.
9. Embrace teamwork. Civitella loves the saying “teamwork makes the dream work.” She says leaders should always look for people who are solid team members. Otherwise, you risk conflict that can drain employee morale and productivity.
You won’t learn everything you need to know about leadership until you actually lead a team. However, you can give yourself an advantage by remembering the nine leadership lessons above.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Angela Civitella is an executive, business leadership coach and founder of Intinde.
Used with permission from PPAI