Leadership Building Blocks: The 5 Quintessential Skills of Extraordinary Leaders

Though there are many different types of leaders, most great leaders rely on the same core skillset. If you’re interested in advancing your personal leadership, studying the 5 key skills extraordinary leaders share and considering your performance in each category can be a very telling exercise in self-awareness.

How do your skills compare? Keep reading to find out.

1. Communication

We’ve all heard about communication time and time again, and the importance of being an avid communicator to being a steadfast leader isn’t going anywhere. What takes leadership-level communication to the next level comes down to listening deeply. Extraordinary leaders don’t only listen for logistics; they listen for the inherent meaning and context in the words that are being said.

2. Persuasion

In leadership, persuasion and inspiration go hand in hand. You need to be able to convey your viewpoint in a way that gets others excited and on board. Not just those below you, but your peers and those above you too.

3. Emotional Intelligence (EI)

EI is quite possibly the deepest of people skills, and as a leader, where interacting with others and strengthening relationships is a daily duty, it’s easy to see why emotional intelligence takes center stage.

EI also has a major stake in how a leader understands his or her own feelings, and that can often translate into how they carry themselves and the cues they put out to the world.

4. Vision & Strategy

With so much to do within your day-to-day tasks and teams, taking a departmental or company-wide view of the work that’s being done and the direction the business is moving in can seem daunting. But great leadership demands being able to keep your head above the clouds, maintain perspective of the company’s overarching goals and know and communicate the next steps that need to be taken to keep everybody on course.

5. Decision Making

A leader’s decision-making process is multi-faceted and calls on various skills to be effective. One aspect involves gathering all of the information necessary for making a decision, which means you have to be someone people are willing to talk and tell the truth to.

Another part involves being timely about the decisions you make. Yet another takes place once the decision’s gone into effect, being determined to clearly communicate what was decided so the change or new process is understood by everyone.

Where Can Your Leadership Grow Stronger?

After reading about the 5 skills extraordinary leaders possess, which areas do you feel good about and which ones could you improve?

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses as a leader isn’t easy, but it’s step 1 in the right direction for becoming a better one.

If you’re not sure what your next step should be or you’re having trouble assessing where your skills stand in the above categories, reach out to Arden for help in deepening your awareness study.