Whilst there is such a thing as a natural leader, where the skills to engage a team and naturally inspire confidence and loyalty come easily, there are usually some areas to develop. Expanding your abilities as a leader makes teams stronger and you a more reliable and trusted leader.

I’ve recognised these five areas that occasionally require development, as they can sometimes become lower priority as the day-to-day management takes over.

1 Lead by example

Showing your team integrity, professionalism and a strong personal work ethic will inspire them to follow suit. Actions really do speak much louder than the words, so show these positive team player traits by setting a positive example yourself. This will inspire and motivate your team and create a culture of aligned commitment and excellence.

2. Communicate with clarity and kindness

Effective communication is at the core of any relationship. Successful leaders use clear and open, honest communication to help build trust and ensure everyone is aligned with the company’s vision. Communicating this way promotes collaboration, but just as importantly for a leader is to actively listen to your team members. Provide constructive feedback and encourage an open dialogue for a culture of transparency and communication without fear.

3. Foster a culture of continuous learning

Your own skills as a leader are never static, they require continuous learning and development to stay updated with industry trends, best practices and leadership methodologies. Invest in your

personal professional growth by perhaps attending workshops, seminars or seeking mentorship. By constantly improving your skills you’ll be better equipped to lead your team towards the business growth that you desire but it’s also essential to empower your team. My earlier article, ‘An entrepreneur’s never done learning’, looks closer at this topic.

4. Delegate responsibilities

To help drive business growth and empower individual team members, identify their strengths and assign tasks accordingly. Allowing team members to take ownership will therefore develop their own skills and leadership abilities. By empowering your team, you create a sense of ownership, and encourage innovation and productivity. As I believe Richard Branson once said, ‘There’s no point in starting a business unless you’re going to make a dramatic difference to other people’s lives.’

5. Build and take care of professional relationships

In my experience, successful leaders understand the value of strong relationships. Develop relationships with your key stakeholders, industry peers and mentors and seek out events to use as relationship building opportunities. I’m an advocate of networking as it open doors to valuable opportunities for collaboration and insights that can contribute to your growth.

Remember, not all leaders were born that way, it is a journey. I hope these five ‘lessons’ support your own style of leadership and support you on your journey to becoming the kind of leader you want to be. As always if I can help you in any way then let’s have a conversation.

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