Essential skills for aspiring leaders: round-up

Let me start by saying thank you to YOU.

Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting on my blog posts about the 5 essential skills for aspiring leaders. I really appreciate your support and encouragement.

Please continue to share my posts with friends, family and colleagues who you think will benefit from them.

The BIG 5!

Here is the round-up of my top 5 essential skills that aspiring leaders and managers need to be successful.

#1 Awareness

Awareness as new leader or manager is vital.
Being more aware will keep you and your team out of trouble

Being aware of what is happening inside and outside of your team will help you to be successful. Although not an easy skill to learn – it can be learnt.

‘Secret ingredient’ awareness actions

  • Listen – listen to what your team are saying and what others are saying about your team.
  • Observe – observe from a distance what is going on in your team. Are there any pain-points? What is going on outside of your team? Will it hinder or help you? What do others need?
  • Ask – ask others for a team/employee culture ‘health check’ – how are people feeling? Are people feeling positive? If yes, why? If not… why?
  • Be curious – ask ‘why’ questions about a company direction. Why a process is followed or the progress of a certain strategy. Asking why questions allows you to learn a lot – quickly.
  • … read more in the post

Read the full Awareness post here.

#2 Communication

Essential skills for aspiring leaders: Communication

Communicators bring communication skills to life! Being a good communicator – especially as a new leader – will set you apart from your peers.

Want to be a better communicator? Yep, we all do right.

Then start here –

  • Have regular team meetings – fortnightly or monthly. Don’t cancel them!
  • I’m a big fan of daily huddles – 5 minutes every morning we all stand up and discuss what today’s focus is.
  • Have regular one-on-one catch ups with staff that report directly to you.
  • … read more in the post

I have found that when staff hear nothing from leaders – they make something up. If you over-communicate and people hear the same message more than once – it doesn’t matter.

Read the full Communication post here.

#3 Courage

Being a courageous leader can be uncomfortable
Leadership is all about aiming high and being courageous

Being courageous is uncomfortable 

How do you know if you are a courageous leader? Have you spotted yourself displaying one or more of these traits?

  • Communicating, even without all of the answers
  • Protecting the team and ‘going into bat’ for them
  • Making a decision for the team
  • Seeking feedback about themselves
  • Being ‘real’ with the team – even if its awkward
  • Being humble if a decision went sour
  • Owning it
  • Managing under-performers

It takes courage to be a leader and these skills are worth mastering through practice.

Be brave, be bold and be courageous! Feeling uncomfortable as a leader or manager is okay – it means you care and you are truly leading.

Read the full Courage post here.

#4 Humbleness

Being humble is one leadership strategy for success
Humility – this little critter is a secret weapon to your leadership success.

Humility – this little critter is a secret weapon to your leadership success and not a topic that comes up very often in the workplace or anywhere really.

Humility in leadership is a must and you need to have the courage to use it.

How saying this will change your life!

“Hi, how can I help you to do your job better?”

This simple powerful act will disrupt your thinking and earn you trust and respect with your team.

Remember nobody makes a mistake on purpose. Nobody comes to work and says to themselves ‘ I am going to intentionally get it wrong today.’

Focus on the well-being of your team and support them to do their jobs well. As a humble leader you must keep your feet on the ground and keep working towards gaining the respect of your team.

Read the full Humbleness post here.

#5 Ownership

Essential skills for aspiring leaders: Ownership

Whatever the situation – choose to have ownership. Ownership will make you a better person and naturally, a better leader. Ownership in leading and managing others is vital.

Holding yourself and individuals in your team accountable will promote a culture of responsibility. Importantly, you must be consistently delivering this the right way.

If you want to stand out and be the best leader your team has ever had then don’t be afraid to take ownership of the result, be creative in your problem solving and praise the team when things go well.

Read the full Ownership post here.


Not sure where to start?

Choose one of the top 5 essential skills – practice one or two tips from it – then move onto the next skill. Remember, it’s more about the journey than the destination and leadership is a ‘verb’ – a doing word – and you learn by doing!

“Be focused and be curios – always!”

Never stop learning,


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