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Develop The Top Five Leadership Skills

National, state and local governments across Australia and New Zealand are currently being roundly criticised for a lack of proper leadership and direction. So what does it take to be a leader in this era?

What are we looking for in our leaders and why is true leadership in such heavy demand yet such short supply?

Complexity, globalisation, competition, technology, social media, regular media – so many dimensions of life place increasing pressure on leaders. In playing a leadership role, many struggle with the weight of expectation to be exemplars of attitudes and behaviours that are above reproach.

Many simply don’t grasp the full extent of true leadership – “the ART of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it”. A leader’s role is clearly defined as determining the strategy, communicating the direction, building confidence and driving results for employees and business alike.

So with this in mind, consider the assessment from the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey of the essential competencies leaders should have if they wish to successfully lead organisations and people:

Top five critical leadership competencies

  1. Communication skills
  2. Planning and organising
  3. Problem solving and decision-making
  4. Developing and coaching others
  5. Building relationships (external and internal)

Importantly, those further up the organisation (middle managers/supervisors, leaders/senior managers) held similar views in relation to the most important leadership competencies (although leaders placed greatest importance on Strategic Thinking as a core competency).

The critical focus on communication skills highlights why so much emphasis is placed on leader ‘performances’ – in the media, at Annual General Meetings, in company videos, in company presentations, and in the boardroom.

Only through effective communication can leaders hope to convey their messages about plans and directions, how they are problem solving and making decisions, how they are developing and coaching others and how they are building relationships – the other critical leadership competencies craved by those they hope to lead.

Today’s leader must be talented in a number of ways that go well beyond simply running the organisation from an ivory (or mahogany) tower and barking orders for the minions to follow. To attract and retain the talented personnel needed to be competitive and to generate efficiency and productivity at individual, team, department and organisational levels, they must be a true all-rounder and be willing to continue learning better ways to lead.

As the second most prominent area of current skills shortages in organisations across Australia and New Zealand (behind technical skills only), the pressure is on for leaders to acknowledge the need for them to grow and develop to fulfill the leadership expectations of their people – or risk losing them to leaders who can and do show true leadership.

If you doubt your current leadership skill set – LMA can help! 
Click here to take our FREE DIY leadership analysis to gain some valuable information about your current leadership skills.  Additionally LMA has many leadership focused courses available here.