16 Tips to Sharpen Your Leadership Skills

By | July 14, 2016

Recently I got into a discussion with employees of a firm I am working with and they identified what they do not appreciate in their leaders. So take heed, spoken from the mouths of babes.


Leader Tip #1

A master listener listens for both what is said and what is not said. For 5 minutes each day, listen to an employee or client and refrain from saying “I” or “me” during the conversation. What did you hear differently?

Leader Tip #2

Keep your ego, agenda, attachment to the outcome and your judgment out of the listening space. When you listen it is l00% about your employee or client and 0% about you!

Leader Tip #3

Ruffle feathers. Rock the boat. Exercise your role as collaborator, innovator and inspirer. Shake the organization up. Throw all the cards on the table, call your people and stakeholder’s together and create a new deal.

Leader Tip #4

Put the human back in human relations. Create ripples in your organizational environment. Boost your company’s immune system by raising the energy bar every day. Ask your employees, clients, and stakeholders what’s working well in their work and life. We don’t come in parts; we are whole people who like to be seen for who we are in all parts of our lives. By asking, “What’s working well in life and work?” the energy immediately rises and you have engaged people.

Leader Tip #5

Track and tout accomplishments and talk them up everywhere.

Leader Tip #6

Give kudos daily to every employee you are in contact with for his or her tiny and large contributions to the mission and organization.

Leader Tip #7

People are your greatest asset. Create a transformation team consisting of employees only – no management, and follow their recommendations.


Leader’s Tip #8

Be an innovative leader and inspire others to follow suit. Model being comfortable “not knowing the answers”. Draw out perspectives of others and become convinced that disagreements are learning opportunities that lead to solutions.

Leader’s Tip #9

Work with a diverse Executive Team who offers different viewpoints, and innovative ideas. Have Executive Team leaders keep each other accountable to aligning goals and outcomes to the organization’s mission.

Leader’s Tip #10

Take l00% responsibility for your own actions. Be accountable yourself and expect nothing less from your team and staff members. Conflict is natural and when embraced and resolved leads to finding better results.

Leader’s Tip #11

Schedule accountability checks in your calendar and practice giving feedback during in a caring and non-judgmental way.

Leadership Tip #12

Let go of old thinking that you need to know it all. Asking for help is a secret key to leadership success.

Leader Tip #13

Create an R & D team (research and development) asking your clients, stakeholders and employees to give you feedback on effectiveness of leadership. Do a yearly market analysis on new trends and hold an organizational forum on the findings and adjust your targets.

Leader Tip #14

Mix it up. Hold a contest with awards for the zaniest, provocative, unique and controversial ideas. Implement one of them within 30 days.

Leader Tip #15

Ask not what you can do for me. Ask what can I do for you. Be humble, authentic. Let go of personal ego. Choose to model a positive perspective in all situations. Showcase others, not yourself.

Leader Tip #16

Define roles and expectations clearly. Have weekly goal plans and weekly accountability checks and if staff member does not meet the standards, let him or her go. It will be a relief to all, including the one that is dismissed.