Developing Positive Leadership Skills

Inspiring a shared vision requires our leaders to be thoughtful visionaries who engage others in creating a shared future.

by Michael Corthell 

Qualities such as assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence and conscientiousness are some of the most important leadership skills. Transformational leaders, are leaders who are positive, and inspiring. They empower people and develop followers.

''A leader is one who knows the way,
goes the way, and shows the way.''
—John C. Maxwell

A transformational leader works with his subordinates, treating them as a team, to identify any needed change. She or he creates a vision to guide the change through inspiration—executing the change along with committed members of the group or team. These types of leaders are more valued by their followers and their superiors because they inspire action and therefore get things done.

You may aspire to be a great leader. Here is exactly how to do it:

Make sure you have a clear vision. Take the time to share your vision, your mission and your goals with your group. Your job as a leader is to provide a clear path that your team can follow.

Make sure you know and use all your skills and gifts. You have unique skills and natural leadership abilities you’ve developed yourself. Realizing and utilizing these gifts and strengths will make you a strong leader.

Make sure you have passionate enthusiasm. 'Passion for the project' is one of the most important motivational/leadership skills. Would you look to someone for guidance and leadership if they did not truly care about the goals of the group? No, you would not!

Make sure you live in accordance with your own morals and values. Always be true to yourself. Making choices and taking actions aligned with your morals and values helps you succeed almost effortlessly. People sense goodness and integrity. They will naturally respect your opinion and follow you.

Make sure you are a role model. The best leaders not only talk the path, they walk the path. As a result, team members will look up to you and try to be more like you. Being a better leader involves working on manifesting the qualities that you would like to see in your team.

Make sure you set definite goals and have concrete plans. You, personally, have to have a definite purpose in life—a number one goal. You have to know where you're going before you draw a map to get there. To improve your leadership skills, first set a specific life goal and a clear plan to get there.

Make sure you are POSITIVE minded. No one can respect a grumpy, negative person. When you are positive minded you are looking are on the bright side of the 'street' or way. People are naturally attracted to you when you have a positive attitude. By being positive, you will have a happy life, as well as be surrounded by happy people. You will magically attract exciting opportunities also.

Make sure you work on improving your communication skills. You need to be able to clearly and specifically communicate your vision, goals, skills, intentions, and expectations to others. You also have to be an excellent LISTENER.

Make sure you motivate others be their best. The best leaders are those who are inclusive. They do this by recognizing each person’s value—not just team members but all people. To be a great leader, look beyond the obvious and see others with insight and compassion.

Make sure you admit your mistakes and learn from them. And you will make mistakes. The road to success is littered with them. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Know this: the key to success is not in avoiding falling or failing, but to get back up and learn from your mistakes.

Make sure you continually study and improve. Good, effective leadership requires demonstrating the willingness to learn new methods and skill sets. Never stop learning and growing. This is leadership by example.

Don't forget that leadership is a two-way street. When you work toward developing the above leadership qualities, don't forget to look to your team members for feedback and inspiration. Pay close attention to methods that have been worked in the past and always be looking for new ways to inspire, motivate and reward your team.

Coaching and developing leaders while enjoying the journey

by Pam Borton

Pam Borton is an Executive Coach, Consultant and Motivational speaker with Pam Borton Partners, a company she founded in 2014.

In April of 2014 Coach Pam Borton transitioned from the University of Minnesota after twelve years as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach. With twenty-seven years coaching Division I basketball including twelve years in the Big Ten, a highly competitive and demanding environment. Her specific focus was developing leaders, assembling successful teams, recruiting and hiring quality people, and winning her entire career.