Developing Effective Leadership Skills

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What Is Leadership and how to develop it

Leadership is the skill that allows you to convince people to follow you so that you can together fulfill a shared vision.

Leadership is about being a role model that people follow and admire. you won't be able to develop leadership skills before you develop the ability to motivate people when they lack motivation, to pull them up when they are down and to help them reach their goals when they feel lost.

Can anyone become a Leader and develop leadership skills?

Some people are leaders by nature, they were lucky enough to possess the required skills and qualities that should be present in a leader.

The good news is that even if you are not one of those people still you can develop your leadership skills and be just like them or even a better leader.

Why Do People Follow Leaders?

If you want to be a leader then you must learn how to make people follow you and you won't be able to do that unless you first learn why people follow others. People usually follow leaders because:

  • They trust them: People won't follow someone unless they trust him. One basic step for becoming a leader is gaining people’s trust.
  • They admire them: People usually follow those they admire. Usually they admire the confident, the strong and the courageous. If you want to develop effective leadership skills then you must know how to make people admire you
  • They believe in their vision: This is one of the fundamental reasons people follow leaders. People won't follow a leader unless they believe that they will get a personal benefit and unless they believe in his vision.

Developing Effective Leadership Skills

Now that you know why people follow leaders it's time to utilize this information to attract followers yourself. Here is a list of effective leadership skills:

  • Have a Vision that You Strongly Believe In: You can't make people follow you somewhere unless you know exactly where you are going. If for example you are a manager of a company then you should have a vision of where you want your company to be in the future. If you are a normal person then you should have a vision of where you want to be in the future. Having a vision is the first and most essential step for becoming a leader.
  • Communicating the Vision: People will only follow you if they believed in your vision so your second task should be communicating this vision to them. Once you convince some people to believe in your vision you can move on to the next step
  • Win People’s Trust: In order to be a good leader people must trust you first. Gaining their trust is directly dependent on your behaviour: if you were honest and open, if you kept your word and told the truth then they will surely trust you.
  • Know Their Needs to be a good Leader: Even if people believed in your vision they won't follow you unless they believe that they will get some benefit. If you managed to connect people's needs to your vision and to show them how your vision can help them live a better life then certainly you willsucceed in letting them follow you.
  • Let them Admire You: People usually admire those who have something they don't have. If you are more confident, more knowledgeable or more courageous than they are then you have a good chance of being admired. This will only work if people believed that your good traits will be of benefit to them else their admiration may turn to jealousy.
  • Roll Up Your Sleeves: Don’t just be bossy and give directions but instead get involved in the work just like others do. Join them in both easy and difficult tasks in order to be regarded as a leader rather than an arrogant boss.
  • Improve Your People Skills: You can never be a good leader unless you understand people well and know how to effectively communicate with them. If you want to be a leader then one of your main tasks you should do is to enhance your communication skills.

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