Whether you are a worker, a student, or someone living life your own way, we all need to cooperate and get involved with others multiple times throughout our lives. Too often, we hear the phrase “leader vs. follower.” However, the truth is, even if you see yourself as more of a follower, leadership skills are still essential to establish productivity and good relationships. With that being said, here are some essential leadership skills that you must have.

1. Good communication skills

This is the kind of skill that will help you in any aspect of your life. When it comes to talking to others, how we say things is just as important as what we say. In fact, good communication skills are one of the most essential skills of a good leader.

To be a good communicator, it is not enough to be a good speaker — you also have to be a good listener. You want the people around you to feel that they are heard and valued, and you want them to be energized by the way you make them feel.

Teams that communicate consistently and transparently are the most productive ones, and they are the best ones to be in. However, this all begins with the leader setting a good example of what it means to be a good communicator.

2. Creativity

The pace at which the world changes has gone exponentially faster throughout the decades. This highlights the importance of adapting and thinking quickly to solve the various unique problems we encounter on an everyday basis.

The ability to innovate and be creative has always been emphasized as a quintessential leadership skill, and with good reason. Good leaders are the ones who are coming up with new approaches to all kinds of problems, whether new or old.

To be creative means to think out of the box, and to achieve this, a leader must have good imagination, critical thinking, and observation skills. A good leader must also be open to ideas from other people and make adjustments on the fly.

Unique problems call for unique solutions. In a world where unique problems keep coming up, only those who can consistently innovate will come out on top.

3. Decisiveness

There will always be times when you or your team will be forced to pick between two or more difficult choices. It is not enough to just be able to come up with multiple solutions to a problem, after all. A leader must also make a choice — no matter how difficult —, stick with it, and see it through to the end.

Too often, when people get caught in a dilemma, they spend so much time contemplating possible choices. As a result, the opportunity to make a crucial decision flies right by.

A team with a great leader knows that opportunities are often rare, and when one is presented, he makes a choice when others cannot.

4. Responsibility

Being a leader is not all about telling your followers what to do. There is a difference between being a boss and being a leader. One of the crucial differences is that a leader takes responsibility for the team’s successes and failures.

Sure, the leader tends to map the general layout of the team’s actions. Still, when those actions lead to an undesirable outcome, the leader steps forward and takes the blame. Then, he proceeds to make the necessary adjustments to the team’s course, having learned his lessons from the past shortcomings. On the other hand, a boss just lays the blame on the members, calling out whatever he can to avoid taking responsibility.

5. Motivation

Being a good motivator is another skill that sets bosses apart from leaders. A boss does not care how his team feels or how they do their tasks; all that matters to him is that the tasks are done.

On the other hand, the leader takes notice of these small details. He recognizes that the best team members are motivated, team members. He ensures that morale is consistently up for the team.

They know the different aspects that get their members going and utilize each and every one to ensure that the team is always performing at its best.

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