- Leadership happens at every level
- Denying someone leadership skills sets the whole organization back
- Leadership matters
Leadership At All Levels
It’s an interesting phenomena that many of the skills most needed in the work world today are being disregarded. Leadership skills matter immensely for everyone in an organization. Just because one person leads the company as CEO doesn’t mean a leader isn’t needed at every level.
Have an annual charity support day? Or a day where your whole company closes and volunteers to do good works? Someone from every level will be on those teams, and some may even lead them. This means they need more skills than just following orders.
Old-school leaders tend to think that sharing leadership means giving up some of their power. But power is illusive, and it can stay with a person who delegates almost all tasks, as well as leave someone who never enlists the aid of another team member.
Listening Skills For Leaders
Leading is listening. To the needs of the company, to the needs of the department, to the needs of the team. And leading is more than just listening, but you can’t really ever know what to do until you know the situation. Something unfolding may not be what you see it as – there can be consequences and repercussions to consider before an action.
Looking at leadership as something outside of everyone makes it inaccessible and perhaps, somehow, forbidden. But leading a team, a department, a theater group, or a company requires the same skills, even if they do not always apply at the same level. A parent has full responsibility for a child while they’re young, but a CEO is only responsible for those who work for her. The leadership of a country should be required to answer to their constituents.
Where can one look for advice about leadership skills? There are many historical examples, depending upon which qualities you wish to emulate. Nelson Mandela led from prison, and directed the destiny of a nation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved a nation on the brink of despair. Angela Merkel leads Germany in these current trying times. Each a leader in their own way, looking at the greater good and the possibilities.
While you may not be able to talk to each of these and other leaders directly, you can find their writings and speeches, political plans of action, and letters of advice. Brene Brown and Maya Angelou are often cited as mentors to those wishing to lead even while outside the halls of power and authority. Locally, there are business owners and politicians, sports figures and coaches, and many more who are available.
While leadership skills in the broadest form should apply to everyone equally, it doesn’t necessarily mean therefore that the actual application is the same across every company or situation. What worked for Julius Caesar will not work for Boris Johnson. There are levels of exertion required, different types of listening needed, and obviously responses will tend to vary greatly depending on the entirety of the situation.
Leading yourself is an aspect of leadership proper as well. You are responsible for your own conduct, the amount of credit you claim and offer others, and many more aspects. As you continue to lead yourself and your team in the future, you will continue to see the opportunities multiply. In every chance you have to lead you can lean in and involve yourself completely, and really make it a worthwhile experience – for your team and yourself.