No leader can exist without followers. In other words, by definition, a leader needs followers in order to lead. This means that skills in leading and managing people are absolutely crucial for effective leaders.
This section of SkillsYouNeed therefore examines some of those skills, explaining the art of successful delegation, how to create a motivational environment and motivate others, and how to facilitate processes.
The section also covers the skills required of entrepreneurs and for innovation, and explains what defines an entrepreneur.
Being able to pass work to others, and achieve through them, is crucial to success as a leader.
No leader can do everything themselves. Anyone who tries to do so will both struggle, and also find that they lose their team in very short order.
Our page on Delegation Skills explains that the key to successful delegation is to understand the level of control that you want, and then to communicate that very clearly to your subordinates. It explains that there are nine possible levels of delegation: success comes from both parties understanding which is in use.
Everyone is motivated. The key to leadership is to persuade others to want what you want.
Our page on Motivation Skills explains what motivates people. It also suggests how you can help to motivate others, including providing interesting and stimulating work, and setting challenging goals.
Creating a Motivational Environment will also help to improve motivation. There are three important elements: showing how much you appreciate others, helping them to see the big picture, and encouraging them to improve and develop their skills.
Facilitation skills are useful far beyond supporting away-days and events.
They are also useful for supporting any and all processes, including change management, project management and team building. It will immediately become clear that these skills may well be crucial for leaders. The heart of process facilitation is helping those involved to identify and then achieve their aims, and there is more about how to do this in our page on Facilitation Skills.
You may also find it useful to read our page on Dilts’ Logical Levels, which provides some of the background to helping others to change and improve.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Entrepreneurs are a very special breed of leaders.
Far from having to lead and motivate others within an established organisation, they go out on a limb, often against the advice of others, and create something new. In a very particular way, they are leaders: starting a new movement, often over and over again. Our page on What is an Entrepreneur? explains more about this.
While all entrepreneurs are slightly different, they do share certain traits and skills. For example, they love what they do, and are able to articulate it very clearly in a compelling vision. Our page on Entrepreneurial Skills sets out more.
One key skill of entrepreneurs is being able to innovate: come up with good ideas, and then deliver them in such a way that they improve the business. Our page on Innovation Skills explains more about the four types of innovation: basic research, sustaining innovation, breakthrough innovation and disruptive innovation.
A Leader’s Job is to Lead
Without followers, a leader is nothing.
Even entrepreneurs need followers—those who are persuaded about their idea, and join them—even if they start alone. It follows, therefore, that managing and motivating people are key leadership skills.
Without being able to take others with them, leaders will fail to achieve.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Learn more about the skills you need to be an effective leader.
Our eBooks are ideal for new and experienced leaders and are full of easy-to-follow practical information to help you to develop your leadership skills.