Consistently developing leadership capacity within your organization needs to be a prime objective. Failure to develop leaders internally will hurt your organization’s ability to be successful in both the short term and the long term. When people grow internally they need to be prepared for the challenge of a new position and increased responsibilities, and leadership skills play a large role in a person’s ability to transition effectively.

While the leadership style and organizational culture will be different from organization to organization based on factors such as personal leadership styles, defined goals and objectives, and the make-up of your organizational structure, there are four leadership skills that need to be developed on a consistent basis to help current and future leaders develop professionally.

Leadership Skills Every Leader Needs

Leading People

Leaders need to have the skills and ability to lead people. This starts with the ability to motivate, mentor and effectively communicate in a way that is engaging and will inspire the desired results from people. Leaders must be able to effectively assign work, identify ways to maximize the use of an individual’s skill set, provide feedback and discipline when necessary, and also hire people that are the right fit for your organizational culture.

How might you improve these skills?

  • Assess leaders based on their skills and actions
  • Provide mentorship and training programs
  • Effectively communicate the skills and actions that are expected of people in leadership roles
  • Create discussion groups to discuss best practices related to leading people

Managing Change

Effective leaders understand how to successfully frame and implement change within their organization so it will stick. To manage change effectively you need to have the ability to develop and implement a change management plan, know how to manage resistance when it occurs, and understand the important role that collaboration and open dialogue play in the transition to change.

How might you improve these skills?

  • Provide access to change management classes, seminars, discussions, or training
  • Communicate the importance of collaboration during organizational change
  • Help leaders and future leaders develop strategies to deal with people who are resistant to change

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is a vital skill that all leaders need to possess. They need to understand how to take an initiative from a concept — and successfully turn it into a viable workable implementation. Leaders need to be able to think through both short term and long term implications of strategies and understand the importance of updating plans based on an environment of continuous change.

How might you improve these skills?

  • Encourage sharing of strategies with other leaders in the organization. Open collaboration can lead to greater efficiency in terms of planning and execution of strategy
  • Set up training for strategy development and other related skills such as risk management and mitigation
  • Create professional coaching and mentoring opportunities for leaders
  • Include more people in the strategic planning process and involve up and coming leaders in strategy discussions

Employee Development

A leader’s ability to get the most out of their team is important when it comes to the long term goals of the organization. Leaders need to be skilled in effectively coaching and communicating with people in order to help them improve their skills, understand their role within the context of the organization, and grow internally.

How might you improve these skills?

  • Establish one on one coaching sessions with leaders and individuals
  • Encourage leaders to work with employees and assist with the development of their career goals
  • Communicate the importance of leaders promoting employee development through discussions, events, and meetings

There is always room for improvement and focusing on these leadership skills will help your organization’s current and future leaders to continue to grow and develop the skills that are vital for success.

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