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Leadership Skills - Being An Effective Leader

Question – Can I develop Leadership Skills?


Answer – The answer is in the question itself – SKILLS.


With the right fundamentals, guidance, practise, empathy and compassion; leadership skills can be developed by anyone, steadily and surely. That's why we 'groom' future leaders instead of DNA replication.


Question – As a Leader, am I expected to know it all?


Answer – Not at all. You‘re a Leader not an encyclopaedia.


Leaders are human, and no human no matter how intelligent, will have all the answers to all the problems all the time. However, a Leader is expected to know how to get the answers and then get them in time to prevent disruption, stagnation or failure.


So although leadership is not a closed book test where you need to cram answers but an open book exam where you look for answers, it is nonetheless an exam, and getting right answers at the right time is what differentiates an effective leader from an ineffective one.


Question - I don’t feel confident about being a Leader?


Answer – Build your confidence


In my rookie years as an individual contributor, I worked under a Team Lead who was initially not very confident about the decisions he took, but he was open & honest to admit it. He relied a lot on us (his team) for inputs, feedback & suggestions which we happily shared with him because whenever the chips were down, he in turn, was always there to prop us up. He had our backs and we backed him up. Matter of time before his confidence levels shot up, and ours too.


Confidence does not come on day 1 itself. It grows slowly & steadily, if nurtured well with the right amount of help, support and propping up, be it in case of team members or team leaders.


Question – Isn’t empathy in a leader a sign of emotional weakness?

Answer – No. In fact, leadership without empathy is dictatorship.


Leaders can express empathy by:


1. Being assertive, never aggressive


2. Giving negative feedback sensitively


3. Resolving matters not building them up


4. Not creating a culture of fear or retribution


5. Listening to contradictory views with maturity


6. Not raking up the past even if presented with an opportunity to do so


7. Encouraging & facilitating work-life balance for their team members


8. Dealing with people & situations on the basis of facts and not stereotypes or biases


"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." - Jack Welch.


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