Breedlove's Briefing: 15 Leadership Skills for Career Success (As Told by Managers)

May 20 - Sarah Ashlock

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

15 Leadership Skills for Career Success (as Told by Managers)

Who it’s for:

Those who aspire to lead, as well as those currently in leadership roles. (Always be striving to grow.)

Why it’s important:

True leadership requires long-term, bring-ya-to-your-knees work, but it is oh so gratifying. And when leadership is true, the ROI is 10 times the investment. Maybe you’re looking to prove you deserve a promotion, or you’re a manager looking to brush up on your management skills. Whatever the case may be, there’s a lot to be learned about leadership - and these days, it’s all about creating your own path for success.

G2crowd interviewed managers across a variety of industries on leadership skills they seek out when offering promotions. Their advice is worth tacking up on the wall for guidance throughout your career:

  1. Good Leaders Are Curious: They have a strong desire to acquire knowledge and data, and a genuine appetite for learning. Curiosity is a quality that is both valuable and attractive in future leaders.
  2. Good Leaders Work to Serve Their Employees: The ability to serve others can influence the organizational well-being on many levels, including the creation of more leaders, a more knowledgeable and able workforce, and increased job satisfaction.
  3. Good Leaders Empower Their Employees: A good leader must do more than look out for their career. They must also be talent developers, investing time in focused feedback and consistent coaching.
  4. Good Leaders Have Integrity: You must have a strong moral compass to help an organization realize its full potential.
  5. Good Leaders Are Humble: Leaders can’t have big egos (believe it or not). An effective leader empowers employees, while bad leaders often make employees feel insignificant. Humility isn’t overrated!
  6. Good Leaders Go Above and Beyond: People who are leading up will be good leaders. Leading up means advising your boss and guiding them toward the best possible solution to a problem. When the team wins, the individual wins.
  7. Good Leaders Face Challenges Head On: Someone who runs toward the company fires - not away from them - will be a good leader.
  8. Good Leaders Take the Initiative: Leaders take the initiative to fix what is broken, and the example is often so easy to see. Here’s a great story: A group of executives were meeting, and they all noticed the clock wasn’t working. Everyone commented, but no one took action to solve the problem. Finally, one of the team took off her shoes, climbed up on a chair, fixed the clock, and moved on with the meeting. That’s a sign of a natural leader.
  9. Good Leaders Have Great Personalities: Skills can always be learned. Personalities, however, are a lot more difficult to change. Who you are is as important as what you have accomplished.
  10. Good Leaders Own Their Mistakes: Anyone in a leadership position needs the characteristic of taking ownership, not only for their work, but also for their mistakes. A person who is able to lead successfully is one who is able to confidently admit where they went wrong in order to seek a different path for success. I have always taught that “If you can own it (good and bad), you are going places.”
  11. Good Leaders Are Great Communicators: Knowing what to do to drive a business forward is one thing, but sharing that vision and getting those plans in motion is another matter entirely.
  12. Good Leaders Are Self-Starters: Being a self-starter demonstrates that an employee is confident enough to take on challenges and figure out something new on their own. This demonstrates that an individual isn’t afraid to fail, make mistakes, or take risks.
  13. Good Leaders Are Passionate: Passionate leaders truly care about achieving great results – at the individual, team and company level.
  14. Good Leaders Are Emotionally Intelligent: There is not a training program in the world that will make a person give a damn when they simply don’t. When you create a space where employees are the single most important entity, it becomes a space in which authentic and enjoyable customer experiences happen with every transaction.
  15. Good Leaders Are Confident: Leaders who are in tune with who they are and are cognizant of both their strengths and weaknesses are confident people.

Top Take-Away: Be the leader you want to see in the world. Don’t repeat the mistakes of your previous superiors who had no business leading. Use the tips from this article to find your leadership fit. Leading with authenticity will help take you far in your career.

Becoming a great leader is a lifelong journey. Here’s a few more to continue the learning:

Are Hard Skills or Soft Skills More Important to be an Effective Leader?

7 Traits of Highly Effective Leadership

Leadership Ability – Either You Have It or You Don’t

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