8 Leadership Skills That Seem Obvious But Still Aren't Being Practiced | Entrepreneur - Deepstash
8 Leadership Skills That Seem Obvious But Still Aren't Being Practiced | Entrepreneur

8 Leadership Skills That Seem Obvious But Still Aren't Being Practiced | Entrepreneur

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Leadership is a vital skill

Leadership is a vital and all-encompassing skill set for professionals at various levels, whether you have a C-suite title or are just starting to climb the corporate ladder. However, it takes more than just ambition and experience to be an effective strategic leader .

As of 2023, only 48% of employees consider their organization's leadership to be high-quality, mostly due to the lack of investment in leadership-building initiatives. This doesn't mean it's impossible to be an impactful leader . With the right training and dedication, CEOs can polish these qualities and improve their rank as a leader.


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1. Visionary thinking

1. Visionary thinking

CEOs are responsible for setting the direction and long-term goals of their organization. A key leadership quality, therefore, is the ability to think big and envision the future. To have a clear and compelling vision of where they want to take the company, leaders must be ambitious, imaginative and unafraid to take risks. At the same time, they must be able to plan realistically based on given circumstances and understand that turning vision into reality is a step-by-step process.


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2. Strategic decision-making

2. Strategic decision-making

Business leaders are responsible for making strategic decisions that will guide their organization toward success. This means that they must be able to analyze complex information, weigh the pros and cons of various options and make decisions that are in the best interest of the company. Strategic decision-making is a crucial leadership quality that requires a combination of analytical skills, business acumen and emotional intelligence.


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3. Adaptability

3. Adaptability

Leaders who were able to adapt quickly were able to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and even thrive in some cases. Similarly, changes in consumer behavior, technological advancements and political and economic uncertainty can all require leaders to adapt their approaches. By being adaptable, organizations can navigate through these changes and emerge stronger. This requires not only a willingness to pivot but also a mindset of continuous learning and improvement, as well as the ability to lead and motivate teams through change.


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4. Emotional intelligence

4. Emotional intelligence

The ability to cultivate emotional intelligence as a strategic leader encompasses other vital skills — including self-awareness, empathy, and social skills — to enable leaders to build a culture of trust, collaboration and innovation within their organization. By being attuned to the emotions and perspectives of others, leaders can foster a positive and supportive work environment and be better at managing conflicts by navigating interpersonal dynamics to find win-win solutions.


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5. Effective communication

5. Effective communication

Unlike emotional intelligence, communication can be easily improved with practice. I believe it starts with listening. Encouraging employee feedback and acknowledging their ideas and opinions shows employees that their input is important to the company's success. As the leader, you can benefit from this feedback loop by practicing both 1:1 and 1:many communication habits, while learning how to appropriately respond to both positive and negative feedback. The communication loop that results from an open dialogue is sure to prompt stronger relationships and improved business performance.


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6. Accountability

6. Accountability

Accountability is a trait that becomes more effective when cascaded from the top down, so it must start with the leader. In a fast-paced and well-oiled organization, all team members should be held accountable for their actions and responsibilities. I emphasize this to help fuel a culture that values transparency , teamwork and productivity. Granting employees ownership of their priorities and tasks reiterates that their contributions matter to the success of the company and motivates them to put in the work to exceed expectations.


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7. Team-building

A strong team is the foundation for any successful organization, and it is the responsibility of the CEO to facilitate team-building activities and establish clear goals and expectations for the team. A CEO who values team-building demonstrates a commitment to creating a positive work environment where team members feel valued, supported and motivated to do their best.

Additionally, team-building can help identify the strengths and weaknesses of team members, which can be leveraged to create a more cohesive and effective unit. Ultimately, team-building is not just a one-time event, but an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and attention from the CEO to ensure that the team remains aligned.


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8. Strategic networking

Networking is essential for all professionals, regardless of having a C-suite status. While face-to-face connections are ideal, the great thing about networking in 2023 is that you can essentially do it from your couch or home office. LinkedIn is a great hub for like-minded professionals if you can find the right groups to join. Also, joining local business organizations and attending both in-person and virtual networking events can help grow your network substantially. These are ways to connect with other business leaders, share insights and build relationships with potential customers, partners, investors and mentors.

Ultimately, my job as a CEO is to provide my team with the resources and experience they need to succeed, and strategic leadership is at the root of it all. With the right guidance from the top down, CEOs have the power to drive change in their organizations that help pave a brighter future for the company and its people.


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Here are eight skills you need to start developing in order to become an impactful and influential leader.

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