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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A Leader Must Depend on God

There are 3 areas in every leader's life that they should be relying on God for.

There are 3 areas in every leader's life that they should be relying on God for.

photo by Pandiyan

Many leaders rely on worldly things to help them lead. Things like computers, other people, or any other of a number of things. They think that they will lead better if they have something to rely on. But all of those things are imperfect; they fail, they break, or they just do not help.

There is only one thing you can rely on that will always be perfect, that will never fail, and that is God. He is the source of every leader’s authority, whether they know it or not. God wants us to rely on Him, and as a leader, we should in three key areas.

First, we should trust in God. God is the only being that is perfect. Do you not think it would be wise to trust in the only perfect being in existence? God desires, and created us for that purpose. As a leader, our authority comes from God, so we should trust in his judgment. When we are faced with difficult situations or tough people, we must trust in God to help us get through them.

Second, we should put our faith in God’s plan. After all, He is perfect, so He has a perfect plan for your life. This does not mean that your life will be without pain, suffering, trials, and difficulties; it means that God has planned these things to help you grow and know Him more. So as a leader you must recognize that when unexpected events happen, they happen for a reason and you should make the most of them. When you trust in God and have faith in His plan for you, your life will gain meaning and purpose. You will start to see all the little things God does for you, and then you will be able to help lead others and show them these things as well. But there is one last key area in which we should depend on God.

Lastly, we must not worry. God wants us to trust in Him and have faith in His plans for us and when we worry, we show our doubt for his supreme power and planning. Jesus says in the New Testament, “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:34). He is saying don’t worry! I have a plan and you should trust me with this. Yet not only does God call us to not worry, it will actually benefit us to not worry. Worry and anxiety are one of the big causes of stress. So when you give your worries to God, you will help decrease the stress in your life.

So how can you depend on God more? Have you been trusting Him in all areas of your life? If you have not been, do not worry, it is a slow process to change years of patterns and habits, but do not try to change on your own, ask God for help, and seek out someone else who is also willing to support you.

If you would like help in this area, leave a comment or contact us directly. We would be happy to help you start leading better today.

Trust in God, have faith in God’s plan, and do not worry!

5 Tricks to Overcoming Procrastination

Are you behind on things or putting important tasks off until the last minute? Thenn take a look at these tricks.

Are you behind on things or putting important tasks off until the last minute? Thentake a look at these tricks!

photo by ailatan

We know we should not do it but we do anyway. What is it? Procrastination. How often have you had something you needed to do and then you just decided to put if off for a little while or you got caught up doing other ‘important things’.

It is just so easy to put something off until tomorrow. We often do it for a variety of reason, such as anxiety, busyness, boredom, or dislike for the task. But whatever the reason, it needs to stop, which is why we have 5 tricks to help you stop procrastinating today.  You can read about them tomorrow if you like.  Just kidding.  You need to read them now or you would not be on this page.  :-)
  • Take on only what you can accomplish – If you have so much to do that you cannot get any of it done on time then cut back and focus on a few tasks that you can do on time. A key part to fixing procrastination is simply managing your time and energy well. Look at all the activities and tasks you have, and then try to see if you can actually accomplish them in the amount of time you have. if you need to reorganize your life, then do it. Sometimes it takes some change in other areas before you will see change in this area.
  • Structure your time – set aside time for doing the things that usually distract you. If you like to take a break from accomplishing things by visiting your favorite websites plan a time to do that or use it as a reward after you have accomplished something important.
  • Tackle the hardest thing first.  Often we put off the hardest task and do things that are less difficult in their place.  Many times we never get around tot he really important things.  If you tackle the important things first the rest of the day will go much easier.  I have quit responding to my email in the morning and have started leaving it until the afternoon.  I’ll check to make sure there are no emergency emails but then I get started tackling projects and answer email later in the day when I have less project time.
  • Don’t get distracted – when you set out to do something, then keep doing it until you finish. Don’t let friends or other things distract you. Be sure that you set aside enough time to do the task in the first place.
  • Just do it – get your tasks done when you think about them, don’t but it off. If you think about another task while you are in the middle of one, then write it down and continue on your current task.
If you are stuck on what to focus on take a breather and ask God for wisdom both on what to work on and how to go about it.
Procrastination can be a difficult habit to break but you’ll be on you way if you follow these tips.  Not only will you find you are accomplishing more but your energy will increase and you’ll feel better about life.

A Leader Must Have Vision

Leaders need to have vision to avoid being in a fog

Leaders need to have vision to avoid being in a fog

Photo by Philipp Klinger (No sun anymore on Cape Cod)

A leader’s primary objective is often simply to lead and direct people. But it is vital to recognize other aspects a leader must also focus on. One such important area is having a vision. Having a vision means planning ahead, it means having a goal or idea for the future. It means that there is an overriding objective that the leader is trying to attain.

Every leader, no matter what occupation they have or role they play should be working towards their objective. Having a vision gives reason for their leadership.

A vision can look like a variety of things. It can be a soccer coach’s goal of reaching the final with his team, or the CEO’s goal of making 100 million dollars.

What long term goals do you have that you should be focusing on? What is your vision for the people you lead?

Leaders need to be constantly setting, and evaluating their vision and goals for the future. They should be planning their long term vision, along with several mid-term type objectives, and a bunch of short-term goals.

Setting a range of goals will help you, and the people you lead, focus and stay on track with what you are trying to do. Be sure that any short-term goals match up with your vision.

Once you have a plan and vision, it is important to communicate it to those who are following you. Be enthusiastic and get them onboard with you. Don’t keep them in the dark about what your plans are and what you want to do, let others know and they will probably be even more willing to follow.

The Leader and Time

Today’s podcast focuses on the leader and their use of time.

Teach us the brevity of life so that we may gain wisdom. Psalm 91:12 NLT

While it is a little dark going to www.deathclock.com might help to teach you the brevity of life. Personally I felt like my date was too early but you never know. I think the reason that Psalm 91 calls us to think of the bravity of life is we are so prone to thinking this life is forever.

[podcast]http://www.leadernexus.com/podcast/leaderandtime.mp3[/podcast]