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Leadership Skills

Six Skills for Effective Leadership

The late Vince Lombardi, a renowned NFL coach, said: "Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile."

If this is, indeed, true then business owners can learn the skills needed to effectively lead their businesses.  Listed below are important leadership skills.

  1. Forecasting

Leaders must have the ability to look beyond what is right in front of them to anticipate changes – however slight – in their companies, the industry, and the economy as well as with their competitors.

Strong forecasting skills enable business owners to make long-range plans for their businesses and make the changes necessary for their businesses to successfully adapt to change.

  1. Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves using logic and intelligence to identify issues, gather information, and analyze information to effectively manage a business. Critical thinkers use good judgment, open-mindedness, and fairness to make decisions and solve problems.

  1. Ability to gather and interpret information

It can be tempting to make a quick decision to alleviate the anxiety associated with uncertainty or unresolved problems. But good leaders take the time to gather thorough information from many sources to create a complete picture of the issue. This allows them to make a more informed decision.

  1. Decision-making

Business owners are constantly making decisions and sometimes with incomplete or even too much information. They must use critical thinking skills to analyze the information, develop potential solutions, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each potential decision, and then make a decision.

Effective leaders recognize that there are no perfect decisions. So they use the information that is before them as well as their experience and perhaps their instincts to make the best possible decisions.


  1. Consensus building

Effective leaders develop the skills needed to bring people together to share their ideas, explore areas of agreement and disagreement, and create shared solutions.

This involves listening to all sides with an open mind; building trust with stakeholders; understanding peoples' ideas, motivations, and issues; and maintaining an open environment that allows people to share and exchange information.

  1. Thirst for knowledge

Strong leaders are always open and willing to learn new things. They actively seek to learn from employees, customers, vendors, and others.

They also actively work on strengthening their leadership skills, subject matter expertise, and professional skills. And they are open to honest feedback from their employees and others.


Brainy Quotes, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/leaders.html#ixzz1qMCXyHr9

Paul J. H. Schoemaker, 6 habits of true strategic thinkers, Inc.com, Mar 20, 2012 http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/6-habits-strategic-thinkers-142752703.html

© 2014 Katherine Williams. All rights reserved.

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