Being a leader is no easy task. It requires patience, determination, excellent people skills, great communication skills, and a high level of empathy. Good leaders must also be well-versed in the art of making tough decisions and have to be OK with not always being the good guy. Although a lot of leadership skills are inherent and aren’t tangible resources that can be acquired, there are a number of ways that you can work towards making your leadership skills the best they can be. Below are five ways you can expand upon your leadership capabilities.
1. Find a Mentor
Whether it be your boss, a teacher, or even a close friend, pick out a mentor who has similar leadership ideals and choose them to be your mentor. This doesn’t have to be a formal process or something that requires any additional work from either party; this person should simply be someone that you can talk to, bounce ideas off of, and learn from. Picking a great mentor can help shape you and your leadership abilities.
2. Further Your Education
There are many degrees and certifications that specialize in leadership from organizational leadership to leaders in business. Choosing to pursue a degree in leadership, like a master’s in public administration, can provide you with extra tools and hands-on learning experiences that you may not otherwise have access to.
This is a simple step but one that is extremely important. Great leaders come and go in the world every day, and many document their progresses and successes for others to learn from and read about. From textbooks to journal articles to biographies, there are countless literary outlets for you to delve deeper into the world of leadership and learn some new techniques that you can implement into your own style.
Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean a promotion or a new job title. Volunteer to step up and take on additional responsibilities anywhere you can – in your job, at home, or even in your social circles. By forcing yourself into these new roles and learning to adapt to new leadership situations, you will continue to grow and hone your skills.
5. Ask for Help
Being shy or timid when it comes to expanding upon your leadership skills will not help your cause; in fact, it will most likely hurt it. If you’re not sure what to do in a particular situation or you’re wondering how someone else came to a certain conclusion, ask them! If you are seeking advice from the right leader, they will be more than happy to share their wisdom with you.
No matter how much practice or experience you’ve had, everyone can value from expanding upon their own leadership skills. There is no one right way or one set standard of values to adhere to, but that can make finding your own voice that much more exciting. By continuing to learn and form your own personal leadership style, you will become equipped with new tools and techniques every day that will make you a trusted adviser and valued confidant.