When you picture what an effective leader looks like, you may imagine someone strong and confident, with years of experience under his or her belt. And while those indeed contribute to being a great leader, even the most seasoned experts struggle with what it means to lead a team. Leadership doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and for many, it takes quite a bit of practice and constant awareness in order to fill some big shoes.
Leadership can look like many different things to many people: It combines management strategy, people skills and vision. It’s not about seniority or rank because a title alone does not magically transform someone into a communicative, effective leader. Poor leadership can steer a well-established company into the ground, and it can destroy the chances of a solid startup taking off.
So, what are the most effective leadership skills? Hint: They have nothing to do with how much of an expert you are in your field.
Know how to be supportive
Supportive leaders are available to their employees, explain their decisions, collaborate and effectively communicate plans and strategies. A good leader can enhance employee morale and make an effort to be aware of what his or her team is accomplishing on a regular basis. You can give support via daily encouragement and show appreciation for the hard work being put in day in and day out.
A good leader helps minimize his or her team’s obstacles and helps people overcome whatever is keeping them from doing their best job.