— March 23, 2019
You’ve probably heard the expression before that some people are just born leaders. While I do think some of us are born with an instinct for commanding attention and providing direction, that doesn’t mean leadership boils down to pure genetics. In fact, I think it’s something you have to work on. It’s something you have to cultivate.
There are plenty of ways to do it, too. Today, I’m going to very briefly run through seven practical ways to become a more effective, transformational leader.
How to Improve Your Leadership Skills
- Take a leadership assessment.
Personality inventories—whether it’s the Enneagram or the DiSC assessment—can provide you with some self-awareness, showing you where you’re strong and where you need to improve. No, these assessments aren’t foolproof—but in my experience, they are very good.
- Cast a vision.
Spend some time reflecting on where your business/team/career is today, and where you’d like it to be in a year’s time or even five years’ time. A big part of leadership is thinking in terms of a vision.
- Try to learn something new each day.
Whether you keep a book by your nightstand, digest a podcast on your way to work each morning, or read insightful blogs, make sure you’re constantly expanding your mind.
- Invest in education.
Enroll in a continuing education class, or simply sign up for a one-day leadership conference. Actively pursue some new skills.
- Find ways to support other people.
Transformational leaders don’t crave power; rather, they try to serve the other members of the team. Look for opportunities to support the people who work alongside you—empowering, delegating, or extending them opportunities for professional development.
- Look the part.
You’ve heard the familiar adage—don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want. There really is some truth to that and a psychological advantage to dressing for influence.
- Talk to the people on your team.
Work on establishing real connections, which is a hallmark of transformational leaders. Pause periodically to ask your team members how they are doing.