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As noted by Martin Seligman, the Chief Scientist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, “To be a great leader, you need the five classic leadership skills: self-awareness, social awareness, people skills, emotional intelligence, and planning.”

The same skills make a great leader at work. All it takes is some reflection on how we are at home in our job and we can easily adapt similar habits and skills.

Being self-aware

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To be a leader, you need to be clear on what drives you and how you plan to reach a specific goal.

If you don’t have any goals in mind, how do you expect to get any closer to your goal? It doesn’t mean you have to start from the basics.

The first step is to identify your values and build a system around them. One way to do that is to take the following eight questions and perform self-audits.

  • What do I value most at work?
  • How do I manage my expectations concerning the people I am managing?
  • What tasks do I dislike doing the most?
  • Which tasks I do well?
  • How do I feel about the level of effort I put in?
  • Do I take action on the ones that I dislike?
  • What changes would I make if I knew I would not suffer any consequences?

These questions will help you define your values and reflect on the ones that are important to you.

By doing so, you are getting clear on what you want and need in your career and what are the most important things to achieve those goals.

Practice on your teams

If you have not yet arrived at that level of leadership, then now is the time to practice on your teams.

When it comes to being a good leader, numbers are often the best way to judge the effectiveness of a team leader.

The more people you can count on to do the right thing, the more effectively you will be able to lead and the more likely your teams will be to follow you.

Although organizational charts often place the leader of a group or team at the top, teams are also about people.

The leader of the team is responsible for building a positive work environment, setting and communicating a set of expectations, and providing clear guidance.

The performance of an individual contributor is just as important as the performance of the team as a whole.

If individual contributors perform poorly, the team will do poorly. Therefore, it is critical that the leader set an example by remaining reliable, dependable, and accountable.

There is no doubt that effective leaders are the ones who make the most decisions in the workplace, but they cannot make every decision.

To be a good leader, you must have the ability to delegate and empower others. They must do the right thing because they know it is the right thing to do.

Lead by example

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This skill of leading by example is the most important leadership trait for leadership success.

One of the most important lessons that you can learn in a leadership role is to know when it is best to speak and when it is best to listen.

And never, ever ask the same question twice in a meeting. One of the biggest problems that many leaders have is their inability to effectively communicate.

Great leadership starts with great communication skills. As your boss, a coworker, a teacher, or a leader, you must always be listening to understand what your team members are saying.

Do not just fill their ears with your own ideas. Instead, be a good listener, ask them questions, and, most importantly, respond to their ideas, questions, and requests.

This is what really matters in the long term–that you hear what your team is saying and, in turn, respond to it.

While learning how to be a good listener may seem like a difficult skill to master, it is actually one of the most crucial qualities in being a good leader.

Your teammates will do their best work when they know that you are listening to them and understanding their needs.

If you cannot listen effectively, then there is really no point in hiring you or promoting you.

You cannot win over good employees or keep the good ones if you cannot clearly hear what they are saying.

If the team is not taking the initiative to complete tasks, then they are not being good team members.

Just as you should be aware of your own mistakes, you should also be very aware of the mistakes made by your team.

This means that you must be aware of how your team feels about certain things and address those concerns accordingly.


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There are many things that you can do to improve your own performance as a leader.

By listening to your team members, evaluating the strategies that you use to manage your team, and changing some of your habits, you can become a better leader.

By working on these skills and by focusing on leadership, you will become a better, more successful leader.

Good leadership starts with self-awareness, communication skills, and self-control.

It does not start with power and fame and money like most people believe.

With all of these qualities, you can become a good leader–a real leader–in no time.



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