How to Develop Leadership Skills at Any Stage of Your Career

Leigh has a passion for working with high-performance teams in dynamic environments. She loves collaborating with others to create great work and supporting new project managers on their career path. She blogs at ProjectBliss.net.

You know that strong leadership skills can help you in your career, but just how does someone develop them before becoming a leader? I’ve got great news—it is possible to develop leadership skills that will help you at all leadership levels, and you can start now.

Let’s first take a look at what the top leadership traits are. In late 2014, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman released the findings from a study they conducted to identify top leadership traits. They wanted to understand "what skills have the greatest impact on a leader's success in the position the respondents currently hold." They surveyed across various management levels and found consistency in many skills that were listed as at the most important, despite the level of leadership held (“The Skills Leaders Need at Every Level,” Harvard Business Review).

The top seven traits were listed as follows:

  1. Inspires and motivates others
  2. Displays high integrity and honesty
  3. Solves problems and analyzes issues
  4. Drives for results
  5. Communicates powerfully and prolifically
  6. Collaborates and promotes teamwork
  7. Builds relationships

Additionally, they found the following (among others):

  • Develops others
  • Takes initiative
  • Practices self-development

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