How to Build Your Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are the key to having more success in work. While some people have the advantage of instinctively having good leadership skills, in reality, very few of us have this gift. Most leaders would admit they were made rather than born.

Charles Schwab was paid a salary of a million dollars a year in the steel business, and he told me that he was paid this huge salary largely because of his ability to handle people. Imagine that! A million dollars a year because he was able to handle people! One day at noontime, Schwab was walking through one of his steel mills when he came across a group of men smoking directly under a sign that said “No Smoking.”

Do you suppose that Charles Schwab pointed at the sign and said, “Can’t you read?”
Absolutely not, not that master of human relations.

Mr. Schwab chatted with the men in a friendly way and never said a word about the fact that they were smoking under a No Smoking sign. Finally, he handed them some cigars and said with a twinkle in his eye, “I’d appreciate it, boys, if you’d smoke these outside.”

That is all he said. Those men knew that he knew that they had broken a rule, and they admired him because he hadn’t called them down. He had been such a good sport with them that they in turn wanted to be good sports with him.
– Dale Carnegie

Hundreds of books have been written by leaders and about leadership. While reading books is useful, gaining experience on the job, and learning from mistakes, is the most effective way to learn leadership skills.

One of the best ways to learn leadership skills is to observe good leaders in action. Observe how they take control of a situation, how they treat their staff and command respect from people around them. You can draw on your own experiences as an employee, noting how good managers and bosses spoke to you, and try to emulate their methods. Even your experience as a parent can help; good parenting requires good leadership skills.

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Skills of Good Leaders
What makes a great leader? Is it possible to learn leadership skills and abilities?

Vision & Execution
People Skills
Self Awareness
…continued in Ebook: Success in Work

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