5 Basic Leadership Skills Every Leader Needs

Sometimes you just need to focus as a leader on a few basic skills

Sometimes you just need to focus as a leader on a few basic skills

More than a few books have been written on what qualities or traits a leader needs. For some it might seem overwhelming – all the traits and skills a leader must have, but it does not have to be overwhelming. Here are five basic leadership skills every leader needs. If you can work on even just one of these at a time, you will become a much better leader and be able to lead more effectively and efficiently.

1.     Effective communication – a leader needs to be able to speak clearly and efficiently. They should not waste time babbling on about unimportant things. They need to make use of every opportunity they have to talk with those under them and they need to not overwhelm them with what they say. They also need to be willing to carefully and patiently reiterate what they said if it is not understood the first time. At times, a leader must use non-verbal means of communication to get the point across. So be sure to always analyze what you say and do to be certain that you are communicating effectively.

A leader should have a vision and long term goals

A leader should have a vision and long term goals

2.     Clear vision and distinctive goals – a leader should always have a vision or goal for the future. Think about this, if a leader is leading a group of people through a blizzard and decides to set no goals or direction, where do you think they will end up? Well, probably they will not end up anywhere they would want to be. They might even die because they got stuck out in the cold. It’s the same way with everything else; if a leader has no vision or direction, then the entire group will get nowhere and might even die (NOT literally though). A vision is important because it provides a reason for the group or organization to exist. Leaders should always be considering their long term goals and then structuring their short term goals so that they help accomplish the long term ones.

3.     Continued learning and coaching – you probably had someone who helped you and mentored you when you first started leading a group of people. This might have been your boss, pastor or someone else. Once you got the hang of things, you probably thought you could lead on your own right? Well, a leader really needs to always continue to learn how to lead. When a leader stops and thinks they have it all together then they set themselves up for failure. It is imperative to have a mentor or close friend who can offer advice, council, and even rebuke. We all make bad choices at times, and when you have a mentor or coach and are willing to learn, you will minimize the mistakes you make.

4.     Good decision making abilities – one of the biggest jobs a leader has is decision making. They must make the decisions for themselves, and all those who are following them. Good decision making skills come from experience and learning from others. Whenever you have a decision to make, consider the decisions other people have made in a similar situation and use that to help you. Also, and this is very important, rely on God to help guide your decisions.

5.     Positive attitude and outlook on life – lastly, a leader must always keep a positive attitude and outlook on life. A leader sets the example for others, so the leader must always try to be enthusiastic, excited, and positive. It’s not always easy, but when you rely on God, he will help you out on those tough days.

Leading others can be difficult and challenging but if you implement these five basic leadership skills in your life you should be able to lead a lot more easily and effectively.

photos by Ocell ,dsevilla Respectivly.

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Leaders Must Make Bold Moves to Succeed

Sometimes we most make a bold move and take a leap of faith

Sometimes we most make a bold move and take a leap of faith

Photo by aftab.


When was the last time you took a risk? When was the last time you made a bold move and jumped out into the unknown? Many people today spend their lives avoiding the unknown, avoiding risks. But when you take a big risk, you often reap a big reward. Many great inventions came about because of people who stepped out into the unknown. Many businesses have suddenly boomed because of a leader who took a risk.

At times, God will call you to take a leap of faith. He called Abraham to leave his home, his country, the land of his ancestors, and travel to a new land, a land that God would provide. And what did Abraham do? Did he say, “No God, it’s too risky”? No, he simply followed what God said, and went into the unknown.

It is easy to become safety minded, to avoid risky situations or opportunities because its ‘smart’ to not take chances. This is somewhat true, but there are times when each of us must jump out and see what’s in the unknown, see what God has for us.

What kinds of opportunities have you passed up because they seemed too risky? Think of the great benefits that could have transpired as a result of some of those situations. What opportunities do you have in the future that you could take advantage of, although they may be risky?

When you, as a leader, start taking risks and making bold moves, other people in your organization will notice and then follow your example. Imagine if an entire organization were making bold moves, their accomplishments would be incredible.

It is vastly important that you be willing to take a bold step at times in your life. If you hold back, you will miss many wonderful things. Think about this; You can’t cross a big mountain without taking big steps.

What can you do to take advantage of an opportunity that before seemed a little too risky? Trust God, and make a bold move.

Be on the Lookout

It has long been said that if you really want to learn something you should teach it. While that may or may not work for you do look for opportunities to pass on what you know and it will definitely be cemented in your own life.

God has used this in my own life this past year. I have had the opportunity to be teaching and training some this year on discipleship, student led ministry etc while at the same time kind of taking a break in my own life from the same things that I was teaching about. In some ways I think it was good to have a few months of a break. I think the idea of taking a sabatical is a great one and that our companies, ministries and schools would be much better served if those working in them were able to take sabaticals. At the same time while there are seasons for rest I think I have gone from resting to coasting.

For a while I felt OK about not diving into to different things and relationships and being involved in making disciples but then after about four months I began to feel like I needed to do one of two things.

1. Stop teaching about things from God’s word that I wasn’t living out.

2. Change my life to match up with the things that I was teaching about.

I decided number two was a better option and I am praying about ways to be used of God in the community that we are in now and we have been making changes in our lives over the past couple of weeks to line up with what we feel God would have us to be involved in.

This past week I was frustrated in dealing with a design contrator that had been really slow and not delivering the quality of product that I was expecting. On Thursday morning while trying to upload a computer template that was not delivered complete I started to get frustrated. In the middle of my email of telling him I wanted the project completed that day and with professional quality I remembered that I had been teaching the night before about asking God for wisdom in situations that were beyond us. I quit typing my email and asked God to give me wisdom to correct the errors in the work that I had been given and it turned out to be a pretty simple project. In the end most of what I was given was professional and it was completed late that day.

All that to say if you want to have God’s word become real in your life look for opportunities to teach it to others.