Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rethink How You Work: 3 Skills to Revamp Your Leadership Style

Regional Leadership Forum
Regional Leadership Forum (Wikipedia)
by Virginia Morris

In order to climb the ladder of professional and personal success, you have to develop leadership skills through practical training and use of appropriate leadership tools.

Even if you're not a team leader yet or have no intentions of slipping into a management position, such skills will help you handle your own life (both on and off the clock) more effectively - giving you more confidence, more security, and more influence with your friends, your family, and your workmates.

These intangible leadership skills, skills that breed loyalty, respect, admiration, and earn rewards are some of the most difficult to even define but they're also the most rewarding to own.

Forbes Magazine recently outlined the top 10 leadership skills that define great Office Superheroes who really make a difference at their job. Among the most coveted are effective communication, confidence in personal leadership skills, and the ability to inspire workmates.

Unlike "solid" technical skills these nebulous leadership skills aren't concrete. There is an element of vagueness about them, an intangibility that puts most potential Office Heroes off. If you can't even define a skill, how can you hope to learn it let alone apply it in your daily life?

But these seemingly undefinable leadership skills can be learnt if you take the time to restructure how you interact with people, how you think, how you approach even the most menial task.

Leadership Skills to Bust Barriers

Even if you're starting with a fairly solid base, there is always room for improvement. You've gotten this far because you're good at what you do, yet think of how much farther you could go if you were just a bit better.

Communication Skills

You've heard it said that listening is the key to becoming a good communicator but there's more to it than that. Passive listening works well enough for information sharing but if you're not thinking at the same time, you're not adding anything to the conversation. You're not creating actionable goals.

You're not showcasing your true value. That's not an effective way to become an influence genius in your workplace.

Instead, apply active listening in order to shape incoming communication into something you can actually work with. A simple statement can quickly snowball into an idea from which grows a plan by applying an equally simple question: "what if?"


Confidence, for the most part, comes with experience. But as Dr Neel Burton suggests (in Psychology Today) you can give your confidence a boost by:

  • Making lists (one for your strengths, one for your accomplishments, and one for personal attributes you admire about yourself)
  • Keeping a positive outlook (as Helen Keller said: "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement")
  • Paying close attention to hygiene and style (when you look good, you feel good)


As Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says, inspiring others is all about showcasing your passion. As Forbes summarised, you can do that by:

  • Selling the benefit behind your ideas
  • Telling powerful (and actionable) stories
  • Inviting honest feedback (and acting upon it)
  • Encouraging people to become their best selves (getting really is about giving)

The Leadership Tools You Need to Break Old Habits

You can't rebuild anything without breaking down what's already there. Likewise, you can't learn leadership skills if you're unwilling to get rid of some of your existing habits.

Sure, some of those habits have helped you get where you are today but if you don't re-examine which works and which doesn't, you'll find yourself stuck in a rut.

Instead, blaze a trail. Invite admiration and praise. Inspire. Become an Office Superhero through effectively using MAD Office Hero leadership tools in your daily routine.

The MAD Office Hero program is designed to build career-changing skills in leadership, working with others, personal effectiveness, and much much more. Practical leadership tools, engaging interactive videos, and member-oriented discussion help you learn (at your own pace) skills you can use every day to achieve personal success at work and play.

To join our tribe, click or go to

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