A leader is a person that inspires, motivates, and leads himself and a group of people.  A leader will encourage others to pursue goals with intentionality.  I don’t believe anyone is born a leader, but an effective leader is a person that consistently sharpens a set of leadership skills.

Here are 6 leadership skills that every leader needs to sharpen.


One of the most critical skills of a leader is a leader’s ability to listen.  Listening is so important because it shows that a leader is paying attention.  A leader cannot connect with his team without listening.  Listening makes the speaker feel valued and respected.

How to be a good listener:

  • Give your full attention and maintain eye contact

  • Let the speaker finish speaking

  • Manage your body language

  • Summarize what you heard as a listener

  • Ask questions to gain more information   

Cultivate Relationships

It is impossible to lead if no one follows.  Building relationships is a key component to being a great leader.  If a leader is not fond of people, it will be difficult to have success as a leader.  Yes, I do understand that you cannot please everyone.  However, a good leader never fails to develop relationships.

How to cultivate relationships:

  • Make others feel valued

  • Pay attention to the smallest needs of others

  • Regularly express appreciation

  • Help others achieve their goals

Have a Growth Mindset

A leader must always seek to grow.  No success is attainable without continued learning.  Growth ceases when a leader stops learning.  And a lack of growth is a recipe for leadership failure.  Substantial benefits will present growth is a leader’s priority.

How to have a growth mindset:

  • Be willing to shift your mindset

  • Focus on positive and negative feedback

  • Look at failures as learning opportunities

  • Be curious and committed understanding “why” things happen

Critically Think

It is vital that a leader gathers pertinent information, analyze it, and understand that same information before acting.  Critically thinking is a skillset focusing on how a leader approaches difficult people, questions, and problems.  Good leader are good critical thinkers because they question everything.

How to critically think:

  • Collect copious amounts of information from several sources

  • Gather all facts before making a decision

  • Keep an open mind and question everything

  • Be aware of your biases and avoid letting them influence your decision-making

  • Analyze all options, but choose the best option

Manage Emotions

Emotional intelligence is a leader’s capacity to be aware, control, and express one’s emotions, and to the emotions of others.  Some of the best leaders have fallen or destroyed their leadership potential from their inability to manage their emotions.

How to manage emotions:

  • Be patient in your response to stressful situations

  • Be proactive

  • Regulate levels of negativity

  • Regulate energy levels

Be Transparent

A transparent leader is an inspirational leader.  Transparency is the bridge or link to building trust between you and your team members.  A person will not follow what they don’t trust.  And it can be hard to trust what you cannot see.  So leaders have to be transparent about their leadership to build the trust among the rest of the team.

How to be transparent:

  • Be honest always

  • Be open and accessible

  • Talk openly about techniques utilized

  • Explain why you are making specific decisions

Sharpening your leadership skills is so important to you reaching your life goals and helping others to reach their life achievements.  If you will do more than what is expected, you will sharpen your leadership skills and lead effectively as a leader.

How are you currently sharpening leadership?  Please leave a comment below or email me directly.


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