10 Ways On How To Develop & Improve Leadership Skills 2024

Mark Talmage-Rostron
February 6, 2024 · 8 min read

As they say in the classics, in business there are leaders and then there are followers. And you'd rather be a leader as it brings with it a plethora of advantages. True leaders tend to be visionaries, ‘bigger picture’ kind of people.

A good leader is a perfect team member that has the ability to look ahead and is focused and goal orientated. Leaders bring products to market first, are ahead of others in their industry, have solid communication skills, develop new revenue streams, and by creating a great company culture, they can motivate people to assist with employee retention, and very importantly, aid in better decision-making. 

Decision-making is one of the most important leadership skills. Successful leaders makes the best decisions for the company in all situations. Leaders are experts in making the right decisions based on the then circumstances, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of their institution to make sure that their choices create and opportunity to build growth now and in the future.

If you have not thought about good leadership before, it's time to improve your leadership skills by finding ways to develop leadership skills sooner rather than later.

10 Ways On How To Develop And Improve Leadership Skills 2024

1. Develop active listening to understand 

Becoming a great leader means we need to improve our listening skills to truly listen to and get feedback from others, and even read between the lines to understand our team's needs and what is "meaningful" to our direct reports. Sometimes the answer is simple and will help you develop your leadership skills and maybe inspire others to follow in your footsteps.

2. Focus on continuous improvement

Instead of staying current, a good leader is someone who looks to continuous improvement and skill building to help improve their leadership style. Achieving that outcome should involve reading leadership books, having mentors teach and guide you and getting feedback from those you are in charge of leading.

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3. Understand other's perspectives

Much as we'd like to think it, we are not always right. So you need to learn how to listen to others and not be draconian in your leadership approach. Understanding other's perspectives is essential for leaders to communicate effectively, demonstrate empathy, make inclusive decisions, resolve conflicts, build trust, and embrace diversity. By incorporating different viewpoints, leaders can enhance their own leadership skills, promote collaboration, and create a positive and productive work environment.

Business Perspectives

4. Hold quarterly individual meetings

Holding quarterly individual meetings is a valuable practice for leaders to develop and improve their leadership skills. By holding quarterly individual meetings, leaders can strengthen relationships, practice active listening, provide feedback and coaching, align goals, offer support, motivate team members, and engage in self-reflection. These practices contribute to leadership development, fostering a positive and productive work environment.

5. Practice empathy

Practicing empathy is instrumental in developing and improving leadership skills. Empathy refers to the ability to understand and share the feelings, perspectives, and experiences of others. By practicing empathy, leaders can build trust, enhance communication, resolve conflicts, engage and motivate employees, make inclusive decisions, support employee development, and promote well-being. These empathetic leadership qualities contribute to a positive and productive work environment, fostering the growth and success of both individuals and the organization as a whole.

6. Build emotional intelligence

Building emotional intelligence is highly beneficial for developing and improving leadership skills. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one's own emotions and the emotions of others. By building emotional intelligence, leaders can enhance self-awareness, develop self-regulation skills, demonstrate empathy, improve communication, resolve conflicts, make informed decisions, build relationships, foster team engagement, and cultivate adaptability. These qualities contribute to effective leadership, promote a positive work culture, and drive the success of individuals and the organization as a whole.

Build emotional intelligence

7. Seek out professional development

Seeking out professional development is a proactive approach that greatly contributes to the development and improvement of leadership skills. Here's how engaging in professional development activities can benefit leaders. Overall, seeking out professional development enables leaders to enhance their skills, gain diverse perspectives, expand their network, receive feedback, learn from best practices, engage in coaching or mentoring, and embrace a mindset of continuous improvement. These activities contribute to the ongoing development and improvement of leadership skills, enabling leaders to excel in their roles and drive success within their organizations.

8. Adjust with changing values

Adjusting with changing values is crucial for leaders to develop and improve their leadership skills. It enables leaders to adapt to diversity, enhance employee engagement, embrace innovation, build trust, foster inclusive decision-making, exhibit ethical leadership, and engage in continuous learning. By adjusting their approach to align with changing values, leaders can navigate complex challenges, inspire their teams, and lead their organizations effectively in an ever-evolving world.

9. Self-reflect, then adapt

Self-reflection and adapting are powerful tools for developing and improving leadership skills. It is essential for developing and improving leadership skills. They promote self-awareness, continuous learning, adaptability, improved decision-making, relationship building, personal growth, resilience, authentic leadership, and feedback-driven development. By engaging in self-reflection and adapting their approach, leaders can cultivate their skills, drive their own growth, and positively impact their teams and organizations.

10. Find a mentor

Landing a leadership position that feels like sink or swim with no support doesn't require drowning. Look toward your professional network and upwardly within the company to find a mentor relationship that can keep you on the fast track to leadership success.


Looking To Further Develop Your Leadership Skills?

Leadership skills are extremely important to excel in a career. However, other soft and hard skills are also needed.

Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills with our free report, and open the doors to a successful career. Download the free report today!

Why not also check out our leadership and organization development course, which will give you skills need to be confident in leadership within an organization!


FAQs 

What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

While both leaders and mentors play important roles in guiding and supporting others, there are distinct differences between the two. A leader is responsible for providing direction, making decisions, and overseeing the work of a team or organization, whilst a mentor on the other hand, serves as a trusted advisor and guide to an individual or a protégé. It's worth noting that leaders can also serve as mentors, and mentoring skills can enhance a leader's effectiveness. However, the primary distinction lies in their roles, scope of influence, relationship dynamics, and focus.

Why are leadership skills important in the workplace?

Leadership is a vital component of management that helps to direct an organization's resources to improve efficiency and achieve business goals. Effective leadership means providing clarity of purpose, motivating and guiding the organization to realize its mission. Regardless of your position, understanding the role of a leader can help you to make a more meaningful contribution to the accomplishment of your company's objectives. In this article, we discuss the importance of leadership and its impact on the fortunes of an organization.

How do you improve leadership skills in the workplace?

Leadership and management skills are essential for anyone who wants to be successful in business or their career. The good news is that effective leadership is a skill that you can learn. There are six effective ways to improve your leadership skills. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Take management and leadership courses. Brush up on your hard and soft skills. Find a mentor. Determine your goals. Last but not least, admit when you fail and move on.

How to develop new leaders within your company?

Many employees in management positions demonstrate leadership qualities to their teams, such as delegating tasks and creating goals for a department. As a manager, it's important to observe all the members of your team to determine who might be a suitable candidate for a potential leadership role. Understanding more about what it takes to be a leader in the workplace can help you implement strategies to develop more effective leaders. There are tried and trusted ways to do this. Recognize people with leadership potential. Mentor potential leaders. Highlight the importance of hard and soft skills. Give constructive feedback. Provide opportunities for development. And provide leadership development at an early stage.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level?

Nexford's Career Path Planner takes into account your experience and interests to provide you with a customized roadmap to success.

Receive personalized advice on the skills and qualifications you need to get ahead in areas like finance, marketing, management and entrepreneurship.

Take the quiz to get started now!

Why should companies have leadership development programs?

Independent studies by the Conference Board, Bersin by Deloitte, HR analytics experts McBassi & Company, and our own researchers consistently reach the same conclusion: Leadership development is one of the most pressing issues facing organizations today. Leadership skills are vital and are essential in the modern workplace, and if your business commits to developing its leaders, you can expect to gain a significant competitive advantage by improving the bottom line; attracting, developing, and retaining talent; driving strategy execution; and increasing your success when navigating change. There are four reasons why leadership development should be high up on any organization's to do list. It helps improve bottom-line financial performance, attract and retain talent, drive strategy execution, and increase success in navigating change.

Conclusion 

There can be no doubt that having an effective leadership strategy in place can be mutually beneficial to the business and people's individual growth. No company can afford to stagnate or not use career development to develop a positive work environment, or they will be swallowed up by companies that do so and breed effective leaders. Developing strong leadership skills can be taught on the job, but to build leadership skills is to take courses at online universities such as Nexford

What many companies are finding that instead of training people on the job, the best course of action is to enroll chosen members of staff on courses such as 'leadership and organizational development' at online universities such as Nexford. This can help fast-track and enhance your leadership skills and provide vital skills needed to take your career to the next level.

Nexford's leadership and organizational development course examines individual and group interaction and helps learners gain a deeper understanding of how human behavior drives organizational behavior and development.

Drawing from neuroscience and cognitive science perspectives, learners transition from manager to leader through the lens of managing self, others, teams, and relationships. On the course learners will examine principles of motivation, communication, leadership, organizational development and change relevant to contemporary issues.


Looking To Further Develop Your Leadership Skills?

Leadership skills are extremely important to excel in a career. However, other soft and hard skills are also needed.

Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills with our free report, and open the doors to a successful career. Download the free report today!

Why not also check out our leadership and organization development course, which will give you skills need to be confident in leadership within an organization!

Looking to potentially take your career even further? Consider how an Online BBA or Online MBA can help you develop these skills and increase your earning potential.

About the author
Mark Talmage-Rostron
Mark Talmage-Rostron

Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.

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