When someone thinks of leadership skills, they may think of decisiveness, the ability to delegate and problem-solving. Each of these skills can go a long way in career and personal development. However, not everyone always knows how to develop those skills or where to turn to for advice.
Whether you want to be a leader or just start taking a more active role in your life, consider this advice from the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Below, each shared one action you can take to start improving your leadership skills today and how they might help you in other aspects of your life and career.
Q. For someone with little to no leadership skills, what’s one action they can take every day to start improving? How does this help?
1. Reflect on Your Current Skills and Strengths
Everyone has leadership skills. Leadership skills come in all shapes and sizes. We think of leadership as someone who stands at the whiteboard and makes decisions or someone who is a great public speaker, but there are leaders who are quiet and reserved and those who lead from the back. Being self-aware is the first step toward great leadership. – Kara Brown, LeadCoverage
2. Educate Yourself
Learn from great leaders and adapt their habits, skills, or mindsets. Education can come from various methods — from reading books, listening to podcasts, attending webinars or seminars, etc. Leadership isn’t something that can be built overnight. Through continuous education, you can take your leadership skills to the next level. – Meeky Hwang, Ndevr, Inc
3. Practice Discipline
Practice discipline in everything you do. Get up at the same time every morning. If you have to check emails each day, write it down on your to-do list as Thing One (so to speak). Make sure you hit all of your deadlines with time to spare. Bonus points if you improve your level of discipline in your personal life, which will eventually spill over to your professional one. That helps as well. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
4. Take Initiative
When you know you can do a task or you have ideas you can present but you happen to be scared or your leadership “muscle” is still not big enough for you to take the lead, do it anyway. The more scary the initiative is, the better. Take it day by day — ideas today, project tomorrow. As long as the initiative comes from you, it shows determination and a desire to lead. – Daisy Jing, Banish
5. Seek to Help Others
A powerful way to make leadership more practical and natural to anyone is to reframe leadership into the concept of helping others. When you share what you know and help others work more effectively or solve their problems, you are contributing something. Do something that makes work easier for your workmates every day. It could be sharing a video, creating templates, or discussing an idea you found. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
Read every day. Learn from others who have failed. Accept the fact that you will fail, but own the fact that the failure will make you stronger and create a leader others will look up to one day. – Chase Williams, Market My Market
7. Hone Your Decision-Making Abilities
I think a valuable leadership skill everyone can develop is the ability to make decisions. Quick, decisive thinking is imperative in the workplace for success. All leaders should be able to adeptly review information or a situation and deftly develop a game plan. Try applying this to your own workload first, then try it with smaller issues within the company. You’ll feel more confident quickly. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity
8. Ask Questions
For anyone to improve their leadership skills, they need to start asking questions. Even leaders need guidance and feedback from their teams to improve their strategies and create a healthy work environment that people are proud to be part of. If you don’t know how something is done or run, then ask for the normal processes. It’s important to regularly collect feedback as well. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
9. Write Down Your Thoughts
The best thing you can do to develop your leadership skills is to write down your thoughts and observations on your behavior throughout the day. Keep track of your notes and look for patterns. Use this information to reinforce your strengths and build on your weaknesses. With enough practice, you can become a mindful leader in your industry. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
10. Talk to a Leader You Admire
Call on someone you admire whose leadership skills you would like to model and ask for help. I have been fortunate to have a number of really impactful mentors. One of the things they had in common was leading through uncomfortable situations. Challenging your security and leading through challenging situations is a great lesson and way to test the modeling of mentors. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
11. Take on New Assignments
I think the best way someone can improve their leadership skills is to take on more challenging projects at work. This will help build confidence while you also learn how to work with different personalities, how to work in a different role, and how to meet deadlines. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.