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Top 5 Skills that Differentiate a Stellar Leader from a Mediocre One – Do You Have Them?

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Leadership Skills | Top 5 Skills that Differentiate a Stellar Leader from a Mediocre One – Do You Have Them?There was a time when the great thinkers of this world thought that we all come into being with a specific set of skills. These skills defined our lives and decided who we were going to be even before we’d have a chance of thinking about it.

This led to the idea that some people are born leaders, some are born musicians, and some are born without any special skills (aka the regular ones). Luckily, we know better by now, and even if a natural inclination is important, it’s the skills we acquire that make us who we are.

This means that we have talented people who chose not to develop their natural abilities, and we have determined people who choose to compensate by learning and being consistent.

Now, when it comes to leadership, not everyone is a natural at it. However, if you truly want to be a stellar leader, you can do so by refining your behavior and actions through training, education, and experience.
Today we’ll list the top 5 skills any true leader must have in order to rise above the average and make a difference in their field.

Communication & Empathy

You must be able to inspire the people in your team and the only way to do this is by communicating in a way that lets people know you understand and support their positions. As a leader, you are in charge of guiding the team towards new levels of success but there’s no way to do this without showing empathy and being a good listener.

Verbal communication is crucial in both one-on-one and group meetings, as it creates a strong bond between participants.

Luckily, most of us can learn to get better at communicating their thoughts and making other people feel heard and understood. Nowadays, we have access to a wide array of online business communication courses designed specifically for leadership and management positions.

However, empathy may be a bit more difficult to grasp if you’re not a natural empath. It can be learned, but it requires you to see the world through the eyes of another person, which can be confusing to master.

Integrity & Accountability

If you want people to be honest and work from a moral high ground, you need to be the leading example.

C.S. Lewis once said that “integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” If you invest more in your image than you do in your team and your behavior, things will start to crumble pretty fast.

A good leader must implement a solid foundation and allow team members to grow on their own path. This usually means putting your employees first and being appreciative of their time and efforts. After all, their success is yours as well.

Furthermore, a stellar leader will always support its team and share in both the blame and the success. They will hold themselves accountable for their actions, thus creating a sense of responsibility among team members and gaining their respect.

Resilience

When we talk about great leaders, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, we only discuss their success stories. However, if we were to read their biographies, we’d learn that they had to overcome increasingly difficult conditions and situations.

Most people would have caved, given the same difficulties, but the stellar leaders of this world plowed through any wall that blocked their way. They had the vision and, even though there were many times of doubt, they never let their teams see this.

Wrap Up

While the skills mentioned above don’t talk about incredible talent or extreme intelligence, they can be difficult to master for most people. We’re not all great communicators and it can be difficult to maintain your integrity when things don’t go your way. Also, keeping yourself accountable and moving forward regardless of difficulties doesn’t sound like that much fun.

However, these are skills that toughen a person’s character, earn their peers’ respect and help create some of the most amazing leaders of our world (past, present, and future)!


About the Author

Oli is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses.com.au.

What Other Successful Business Owners Can Teach You

Have you ever considered that, as a business owner, you could learn a lot from other business owners? When it comes to running a company, all the most successful people have learnt from others and you should too. If you’re serious about making a go of your business, you need to be willing to learn from other, more successful business owners, starting now.

You can’t know everything, which is why learning from what others have done is so crucial to your business’s success. After all, if a certain strategy worked for them, then it might also work for you. With that in mind, below are a few examples of the things that other business owners can teach you that can be useful when it comes to your business success.

Steve Jobs

Without a doubt, Steve Jobs was one of the world’s most intelligent people. On top of being incredibly smart, he was also charismatic, and in many instances, it was his charisma that got him far. He had the ability to build excitement and hype around his new products. If you believe in a project, it’s vital that you can communicate your excitement to people.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson is one of the world’s most persistent people. He believes that if you’re passionate about something, it’s crucial that you see it out. Don’t be afraid of long-term projects; be willing to work on things that you know will take time to complete, just like Richard Branson, and various other successful business owners like Fahad Al-Rajaan, do. Persistence is the key to success in business, always remember that.

Mark Zuckerberg

If there is one thing that Mark Zuckerberg is willing to do, it’s embrace change, and you should too. Every time Facebook creates a new interface, its users take a while to adapt to the changes, often bad mouthing them while doing so. However, after a few days, people soon adjust, just like Mark Zuckerberg knew they would.

Bill Gates

College dropout Bill Gates isn’t afraid to break the rules and you shouldn’t be either. When he dropped out of college to start Microsoft, he went against all the rules. It was unheard of for college dropouts to make a success of themselves, but Bill Gates did. Don’t be afraid to break the rules if you think it will help your business’s success. Be brave and take a leap of faith.

When it comes to running a successful business which has huge potential for success, you need to be willing to learn continuously. Just because your business is doing well right now doesn’t mean you don’t need these lessons. After all, if these strategies worked for some of the world’s most successful business owners, surely they can work for you too. It’s just a case of taking the time to implement them and determining whether they can aid your business and its success. Be open to trying new things and your business’s success should soar.

How to Improve your Productivity

Staying motivated and productive can be a major struggle for a lot of people. If you find your attention wavering while you work, then you might just need a boost.

Here are some of the ways that you could boost your productivity, at home and at work.

Reward Yourself

Treating yourself to a small break or snack after you finish a task will keep you pushing forward. Sprint style working, where you work for a set period quickly and then take a break, is big in business for this reason. Treats can be small items, like a snack or a walk around the building, which you can easily fit into your working time.

Set Goals

Setting yourself goals gives you something to work towards. This can be great for keeping you motivated with a larger task, as you can split it into smaller tasks to keep you on track. Being able to check smaller tasks off your lists will make you feel accomplished, instead of slogging towards a larger, overall goal.

Track your Progress

There are lots of online tools that you can use to track yourself and what you’ve managed to complete during the day. Some of them will even allow you to break this down into individual tasks, so you can see which tasks take you the longest. This serves two purposes, you can see what you’ve spent your day on and you can also budget time more accurately for these tasks in future.

Have the Right Equipment

There’s nothing worse than having to undertake a job without the right software or equipment. Even small things, like having the most up to date versions of Word and Excel, can save you time. Dynamics 365 software can be kept up to date by a Dynamics 365 partner to make sure that you always have the right tools to get the job done.

Tackle Undesirable Tasks

The amount of time that you take putting off tasks that you just don’t want to do can be costly. This is a pitfall that we all fall into from time to time, sometimes it’s better for your productivity to face this head on. If you do so, you will get the worst tasks out of the way and you can enjoy the rest of the task with this in mind.

Steer Clear of Distractions

Distractions are the enemy of productivity, so try to keep your workspace clear of them. This could be a digital distraction, like Facebook, or a physical one like your phone. Stay logged out of digital distractions and put any physical ones away where you won’t be as tempted by them. Remember that these are designed to grab your attention, with notifications and pings, so try to avoid them where possible.

Staying productive can be tricky, but if you track your time and push yourself to complete goals then you can keep this motivation up. Take breaks when you need to and come back refreshed, ready to smash the task at hand.

There Are More Ways To Reach The Top Than You Think

You might be at a point in life where you are unsure how to progress in your career and how to reach success. This could be at the beginning of college, just before leaving school or even at a time later on in your life. At one point or another, we are all stuck with how to proceed. You may even feel pressure to make the right decision because you don’t want to be in the situation where a few years later you feel like you made the wrong choice.

We have a few options on how to proceed here.

Find A Basic Job

You can complete this part-time or full time depending on your situation. This is also a smart move if, for whatever reason, you find yourself out of work. People are often wary of taking a basic job because they think that it means a low level of pay. On occasion, it can, but a basic job can also be seen as the first stepping stone. Slowly but surely, you can rise through the ranks to the point where you will be able to grow your paycheck, your responsibilities and indeed, your position in a company or sector. This is a smart move if you are completely unsure of what direction to take. For the time being it does set you on a path that with hard work will lead to great success.

Choosing A Degree

You might be in a situation where you are choosing a degree. This could be a post grad or your first time in college. It is important to understand which degrees open what doors and the type of thing you can expect. For instance, a law degree doesn’t just open up the possibility of working as a lawyer. Most people with law degrees can find a job operating in human resources. Human resources can be another high paying position that could prove to be a useful backup. While an online social work degree is something that can indeed help you find a position in social services or even in the health industry. By knowing you have more than one route available to you, you’ll find the right path.

Get Yourself Out There

Of course, if you take the necessary steps, you can make sure that the right career finds you and avoid searching for it yourself. You can let a business owner or business headhunt you for a role that you would love. Doing this is all about making sure that you are active on social media. Make sure that you have a Linkedin Page and that you are staying active across social media. You don’t have to use this for personal use. Instead, use it purely as a way to build up your own personal brand. In other words, who you are and what type of business interests you have.

Do this and as well as the possibility of being headhunted, you could find yourself getting far more job offers when you send out your CV and attend interviews.

We hope you see now that there are more ways than it seems to reach the top with any career path.

How to Get a Work-Life Balance When Working at Home

Although there are many advantages to working from home, there can also be problems associated with trying to work in the same place you live. Not only do you need to make sure you get all your work completed, but you also want to spend time with your family. Here are some of the ways you can try to achieve a better work/life balance.

Set Yourself a Schedule

When you are working from home, it can be easy to just pop into the office room and answer a few emails. However, if you do that, you will find yourself doing it more often, with opening a couple of emails to replying to them and then working a few extra hours – just because. It is important that you stick to a schedule, so create one that sets out your day carefully and includes an end to your work. Allow yourself time to work, but also make sure that you only spend set hours in the office. If you are working for someone else, then it is important that you are honest and clear about the hours you work from the beginning of your employment.

Give Yourself Space You Need

While you can set up your office area anywhere in your house, it can make a lot of difference if you need peace and quiet. Ideally, you need a room to yourself that you can use as an office, then you can close the door, and the others in the house will know you’re working. Alternatively, you can always look at mobile offices that you can set up in the garden. It will give you a dedicated space, and it won’t take up a room in your home.

Work Smarter Not Harder

There are some that believe you have to work all the hours you can to be successful. While you need to put in the hours to do a good job, you don’t have to spend the whole day and night in the office. By doing the things you need to do efficiently, you can get far more work completed in less time. If you have a lot of jobs to do, consider taking on a virtual assistant that can help you with the routine tasks.

Learn to Say No

It can be easy just to continue to do a thing for your clients or your boss without thinking about what it means to your family. You are not obliged to work 24 hours a day, so you should learn to say no when they are asking things that are unreasonable. If you have set hours of work, then it makes it easier to say you are not available. If you have a mobile phone for your work, then you need to make sure you turn it off when you are not available. People can leave you a message, and you can get back to them later.

There are many people who love working from home and still manage to fit both home and work life into their day. All you need is a little planning and to learn to say no when you aren’t available.