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5 Free Resources to Develop Your Leadership Skills

January 28, 2016


Do you know the top 5 skills of effective leaders?

Understanding the skills and abilities that it takes to be a successful leader is helpful for a number of reasons. However, for most of us, we do not possess all of these skills. And for the skills we do possess, sometimes we are not at the level needed to be effective. It is a fairly obvious observation but leaders need to focus their developmental time and attention on the areas that are really going to make an impact on their effectiveness and thus the organization's bottom line.

Here are five resources tied to the top five skills that successful leaders need. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be an all-encompassing list but merely a way to give some pointed tips around some of the most important leadership skills. Okay, good talk – let's kick this off:


Feedback is a Gift

Key Tip = The best tip in this article is #7 – “Practice.” Sometimes in our work lives, we forget the things that our parents taught us. Practice makes perfect. Reading a blog post about being able to lead or give feedback is not going to change behavior. It may increase awareness – but it certainly won’t change behavior by itself. You need to practice these skills in order to develop.


How Leaders Become Self-Aware

Key Tip = I really like the second point in this article – “Watch Yourself and Learn”. Leaders need to spend time on self-reflection to see if their action and behaviors are actually impactful. In my experience, this is actually a lot harder than it sounds. Leaders need to dedicate time for self-reflection and put processes in place to track their performance.


Stop Making Plans; Start Making Decisions

Key Tip = Okay, this is a long article, but it's worth it. The best tip is the realization that successful leaders focus on a few key themes. You never want to stretch yourself too thin. Making decisions on the strategic priorities and then allowing that to drive all other business decisions, is key.


9 Ways to Take More Initiative at Work

Key Tip = Tip #7 “Always Be Prepared”. Sounds simple, right? An old boss once told me to over-prepare for every meeting and presentation. If something doesn’t go as planned, you at least know it wasn’t because you didn’t prepare. Removing that variable from the equation will help you pinpoint exactly what happened in tough situations.


Making Change Happen: How to Create Urgency

Key Tip = Tip #3 “Provide a Roadmap” is essential for innovation. Not everyone shares your same vision. In order to get others on board, you need to communicate the vision and provide a road map. This will help others see the overarching goals and they can plan accordingly.

The biggest takeaway here is that it's easy to become complacent and think you don't need to improve your leadership skills. The truth is, even great leaders have areas for improvement. It's important to constantly be practicing and perfecting your leadership skills, and reading over these 5 articles is a good place to start.

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Paul Glatzhofer Paul Glatzhofer is the VP of Talent Solutions based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI Services LLC. He works primarily with organizations that are implementing global assessment and development systems at the leadership level. Paul’s work includes leadership development, leadership skills training, coaching, leadership and executive selection, turnover and ROI analysis, and ongoing feedback development.