CraigL... I completely agree. I would also add a few things that make up “leadership skills.” Today there are 100 different ways to execute a task. For some, it’s a pencil and paper. Others may choose a computer using mouse, or keyboard function keys. In other industries it may be the use of a sledge hammer VS a saws-all. The point is, the job must be executed on time and with great results.
Many times results have so many variables controlling them that everyone will end up with a different result. Some results are clearly better than others, while it is possible for a less than stellar result to achieve greatness through time. A very simple example of this might be a technique for varnishing a door. When completed, one door may appear aged while the other looks fresh and very attractive. Through time, the first door, appearing aged, may not change much in appearance. The second door starting as a fresh and very attractive look, may pass through phases ending in a worn and undesirable finish, which eventually needs re-varnished.
That leads me to the leadership question. If I am “leading/directing” others in executing a task, I will not just provide the list of instructions for the execution of the task, but will also provide well-defined (experienced) reasons for the chosen path. This builds confidence in the people you are leading and through time opposition to your leadership will diminish due to a high level of confidence.
Along with all the “explain your reasons for the direction or actions taken,” you also need to track your results. Tracking is where organizational skills come in handy.
There will come a day when a competitor or associate has a better method or better execution than you. In that case you must have a record of why you chose the path you eventually took. Everyone has a boss, therefore providing a “report” addressing all the potential pitfalls of the project and the reasons you took a specific course of action… or didn’t take any action… will directly impact the “bosses” sense of your leadership skills.
If you are a good leader your “reports” and end results with prove your choices are worth following. The goal is to have a higher success rate with small and large projects than failure rate.
So how do I develop my leadership skills?
I watch others who are doing what I think is right. When they succeed, I have provided myself and education. When they fail, I am also educated.
I also gather information from the internet and SuN contributors. It is difficult to be a better person (leadership or otherwise), if you are not following other’s (grander than you) examples.
How do I measure my leadership skills?
I attempt to lead. When I fail. I have to understand why and resolve my misstep. When I succeed, I look for a larger issue to tackle.
Thanks for listening… I hope it makes sense to at least 90% of you.
Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
My band: Letters Make Words