3 Undervalued Leadership Skills

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.” – Douglas MacArthur

The above statement completely resonates with me. Most managers may be confident, speak well, have a drive to succeed and emulate an energy that is unlike others. However, an effective leader, according to me, needs to continuously introspect, self-reflect and grow according to the times. Just the ability to manage matters well, does not make anyone a leader.

There are many leadership skills that are always spoken about but here are 3 undervalued leadership skills according to me,

Making Tough Decisions

A tough leader is not that crazy, eccentric person you can think of, but the bold one who is not afraid to go after what he/she believes in and the one who can take failure on the chin without getting knocked out but ready to get up again next morning and stand up for the next fight.

Such leaders, while they expect the best out of others, also have the highest standards for themselves. An effective leader has to be tough and must make those decisions that others struggle with. Despite what anyone else might say, making a decision confidently is not a sign of dictatorship. In fact, if a leader wavers at times which require quick decisive actions, teams will lose faith in them. While consulting everyone, taking people along and being democratic is very important but as a leader, making strong decisions is often left to him/her. Good leaders are not after popularity contests.

Taking a Stand

I have come across many leaders who are almost always politically correct. I often get asked if that isn’t the best way to deal with an adversity, so that no feathers are ruffled. ‘Please your boss to survive’ is quite cliché in the workplace. Knowing when to stand up, stand beside someone, stand firm and stand down is a very important task for a leader. However, when the situation arises, I would say that it is equally important to take a strong stand and state one’s point of view.

When your team lacks a direction, if you do not take a stand, a lot of energy, time and money will be wasted. Many a time, as a leader, one will need to provide perspective and redirect people from the insignificant to the vital. One should not be afraid of taking a stand, right or wrong.

Emotional Intelligence

Though I have spoken about this over and over again, I will repeat that ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is the most undervalued leadership skill. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management cannot be stressed enough. An effective leader must have the ability to understand and manage their emotions, as well as recognize and control others’ emotions and perspectives.

Having a calm demeanour is key to being a good leader, especially in situations where being calm seems like the most difficult thing to do.

A good leader is the smartest, calmest person in the room and not the loudest.

Emotional intelligence can help leaders make the right decisions in difficult times and develops a positive work culture instigating growth, innovation, and creativity. Listening closely to what people have to say without judging them and connecting with employees on a personal level are a few ways one can lead with EI.

Considering what the world has seen in the last decade, it’s now time for a new approach to leadership. The traditional approach that used to work is no longer aligned with the present needs. Embracing these three leadership skills will prepare you to be an effective leader for tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *