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10 Types of Leadership Skills You Need to Have

Leaders possess skills that may not always easy to define. But we know leadership when we see it.

As a result, those with leadership abilities share several qualities that make them successful and stand out. For example, they remain anchored by a clear set of principles and values about themselves, the people in their lives and their place in the world.

The great world leaders: Kennedy, Gandhi, Mandela, Merkle, May and esteemed business leaders: Cooke, Sandberg, Gates, Winfrey all offer answers to the question of whether great leaders are born or made. There is significant evidence to suggest that both are true. Many are born into leadership and others are born with the qualities that propel them into leadership.

The leaders from all walks of our lives that step up in their communities, cities, and workplace to help others and change lives make as much if not more impact on who they serve as world and business leaders.

Types of Leadership Skills

Here are 10 types of leadership skills that we need to have that are are essential to leadership success.

Competency

Whatever our expertise may be, our success and effectiveness lies in our ability to do the job based on our competency. Do we have the preferred skills, training, attitude and personality to master the job and excel at it? It’s not enough to only have hard skills in today’s workplace. Workers must be able to fit into evolving cultures of diversity, personnel changes, new products and services and being committed to staying personally current and relevant.

Composure

Are you cool under pressure or do you get flustered when things get tough and  intense? Leaders need to handle several things at the same time, which means being prepared and ready to work smart daily. Being ready to handle and deal with our responsibilities and the unforeseen things that will come up and having a team of people who we can count on for feedback and support only makes us stronger and more effective under pressure.

Here are some helpful ways to maintain leadership composure during high pressure moments:

  • Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Get in the Way
  • Don’t Take Things Personally
  • Act Like You Have Been There Before

Self Improvement

Moving our careers in the direction we want them to go requires being at the top of our game, having great people skills, and staying connected and relevant. Continuing education, being an avid reader, networking and industry events are all important activities to regularly take part in. Be selective about which ones you go to. Get some referrals from your network and associates on what’s solid, new and exciting. Don’t be afraid to start a selective networking event with hand picked prospects. If you need to catch up on some self improvement ideas or revisit older ones consider these 25 Best Self Help Books to Read Anytime and these top 15 small biz podcasts.

Open Mindedness

It is essential to be informed and a trusted resource. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which we approach, respect and acknowledge the views and knowledge of others. The worst thing a leader can be perceived to be is “a know it all”. Being open minded and admitting that you don’t know everything creates an underlying sense of authenticity and humility and can enhance conversations with associates in many mutual ways.

Self Discipline

Self discipline is by far one of the top skills we need to succeed in work and life. We can set up all the systems and procedures possible by if we don’t have the personal commitment and discipline to use and follow them then why  bother? The ability to control and motivate ourselves, stay on track and do what is right cannot be periodic, half way or sometimes. It must be consistent, committed and conscious. It’s a manifestation of a serious, thoughtful leadership action plan.

Can you wake up an hour early before work each day to get to the gym?

Are you making sure you are confirming your appointments?

Do you consistently following up with customers and co-workers to see how they are doing?

Compassion

Kindness, caring, and a willingness to help others are all examples of compassion and    just might be one of the most important intangible qualities leaders possess. The ability to demonstrate compassion and care for those we work with and for builds loyalty, trust and respect.  A kind word, one on one conversations, taking time to listen, being mindful, expressing gratitude are examples of how to foster compassion and loyalty.  These are the magnets that attract repeat business, referrals and new customers.

Howard Behar, former President of Starbucks International and author of, “It’s Not About the Coffee” says “It’s impossible to lead in business – or in life – unless you genuinely care about people. That’s what matters. Period.”

Sense of Humor

According to a Robert Half survey, 91% of executives believe a sense of humor is important for career advancement and 84% feel that people with a good sense of humor do a better job. When our workplace and leaders cultivate humor and levity it just makes the workplace more fun and productive. For those of you looking for a great team-building activity, try heading to a comedy club or enrolling your team in an improv workshop.The team that laughs together thrives together!

Accountability

Taking responsibility for our actions, decisions and performance as leaders is a benchmark in evaluating our professionalism. Our accountability based on a strategy not just hope should be deliberate. Effective leaders set themselves and their teams up to win on many levels.

Some ways leaders can foster accountability are to:

  •  model the behavior
  • set up accountability review sessions
  • be a resource ally and cheerleader.
  • Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • Be consistent

People Skills

Great leaders combine competence, personality, vision and the ability to work with many different kinds of people. The balance of hard core technical skills and soft core people skills are an essential  formula for leaders to grow and thrive. People Skills add value to an organization by enabling people to get along with others through effective communication. These 29 Secret Techniques to Get the Most Out of Your Team can help.

Mentorship

Following the example of other successful people is simply smart. What are the key websites, blogs and events where people gather and congregate to share ideas and points of view? Study them. A great mentor willingly uses and shares their experience, skills and attitude to help others. To find a mentor, we need to know what we need to improve and what goals we need to set up to help get us there. Identify resources through websites, books, podcasts, local events and strategically reaching out with specific resources that can help them. Get involved and put yourself out there.        Stand out, get noticed, make a difference and be remembered.

Take stock of all of your assets and liabilities and be brutally honest about refining them. The most successful people and businesses take stock regularly of what is and what is not working and are proactive about making changes.

Don’t go it alone. Success is a WE proposition that makes effective leadership possible and sustainable by our commitment to helping and encouraging each other.

New Zealand’s youngest woman Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 37, is leading a new generation of leadership.

“We seem to have resigned ourselves to accept that politics is a place for aggression and self-interest,” she shared. “I reject that. Why wouldn’t we want to see notions of kindness and compassion that we teach our kids in our political leadership instead?”

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “10 Types of Leadership Skills You Need to Have” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Maybe It Is Not Your Message - It Is the Messengers

Did your mother ever say “You’re not wearing that are you?” or maybe your dad said something like “Stand up straight” or “Give a firm handshake”.

And, did you roll your eyes?

I did.  Because I thought that your thoughts and ideas should speak for you; not what you wear or how rich or charismatic you are.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works.  And today I find myself saying those same things to my Gen Z son.

It’s Not the Message, It’s the Messengers

You can have the facts, the experience, and passion. But if you don’t have the specific traits of a trusted messenger, your message will be ignored.

Almost everyone has had the experience of not being taken seriously — even when their message was serious, founded on fact and relevant to the audience.

You can get frustrated, or you can read Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why”.

I received a review copy from the publisher and after reading just a few pages of the intro, and I was hooked.

Maybe This is Why Your Message is Falling Flat

Maybe the problem with your marketing isn’t your marketing message — maybe it’s who is delivering that message.  And if that is you then this is a book worth reading.

Messengers” doesn’t position itself as a marketing book, even though it deals with core elements of marketing and persuasion.  It’s a book about the human condition. And, it’s a book any business owner who is struggling with communicating their value should read.

Why?

We live in a world where proven facts, verifiable data, and truths are often ignored — especially when delivered by a messenger who isn’t well-known, charismatic, rich, dominant or likable.

Ouch.

The most frustrating thing about the book is — that it confirms what you’ve always known and gives you the data to support it.

“Messengers” Just Might Explain Why We Promote and Support Jerks or Not

This book is fascinating and riveting because it spends nearly 300 pages explaining elements of influence and persuasion. But instead of focusing on behaviors, the authors put the attention on the “Messenger”; the person delivering the message.

And how this person (the messenger) appears to their audience will determine whether or not they accept the message.

Actually, we accept two different types of Messengers; Hard and Soft.

Hard Messengers can often come off as jerks, although not always.  We accept what they say as truth because of their —

Socio-economic position: As humans, we have a hard-wired logic that states that If they made all this money then they must know what they are doing.

Competence: I’d adjust this to be “perceived” competence.  They simply look like they know what they are doing.

Dominance: They display physical dominance over their rivals.

Soft messengers are the charismatic leaders we admire. They are the complete opposite of the hard messenger. They connect with their audience, they are relatable and have the following qualities:

Warmth: Warm messengers are caring and likable.

Vulnerability:  To open yourself up to others, is actually a sign of bravery. Vulnerable messengers show they have nothing to hide and engender loyalty and connection.

Trustworthiness:  Can people count on you? There are two types of trust; competence-based and integrity-based. A trustworthy messenger has proven their worth in the past to the degree that you can count on them in the future,

Charisma: The alchemical mix of confidence, expressiveness, energy, optimism, rhetorical ability and many more attributes.  We can’t quite quantify it, but we know it and feel it when we see it.

One key question that doesn’t really get answered is which type of messenger should you use and when?

The closest that you’ll get is that you should use a hard messenger when the audience expects something tangible and a soft messenger when they expect something intangible.

As you’d imagine, it’s better to have skills in all of those areas.

The Audience Matters More Than You Think

The first question for any form of communication is always “Who is my audience”.  But more importantly, what do they need and what do they want?

By putting their focus on the messenger rather than the message, authors Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks shine a new light on who a messenger should be based on the circumstance and what the audience wants.

In fact, this is a topic I would have enjoyed reading more about.  The audience matters. What they want matters. And based on these two circumstances, you want to make sure that your messenger and message are aligned.

Perhaps this will be their next book.

Authors as Professors of Influence

Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks are both successful researchers and professors of behavioral science and psychology.  Martin is the CEO and Marks is an associate at INFLUENCE AT WORK.

Martin is also the author of “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive” which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into 26 languages.

Why Read “Messengers”

Depending on your intentions and maybe even where you are on the cynical scale, your reasons for picking up a copy of “Messengers” may differ.

Let’s put it this way.  If you own a business, run a business or sit in a meeting where you recommend courses of action — this is a must-read.

If your marketing or sales hasn’t been as successful as you’d planned, it may NOT be your marketing message.  It just might be the messenger.

Image: Amazon

This article, “New Book Tells Small Business Owners How to Communicate their Value” was first published on Small Business Trends

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A lot of time is wasted on email management all over the world. In fact, The Radicati Group estimates that we sent 281+ billion personal and professional emails per day in 2018, so it’s little wonder that a large percentage of American professionals’ days are spent reading and answering emails. 

But Right Inbox can help change that. This simple Chrome extension will allow you to schedule emails ahead of time, integrate your inbox with your CRM, and track the performance of your emails over time.  

And these are just a handful of the many features offered by Right Inbox.

Installing Right Inbox

Downloading Right Inbox is incredibly simple. Simply navigate to the Add to Gmail button in the top right-hand side of the Right Inbox website, then click Add to Chrome. 

When you first start writing a new email in Gmail, you’ll see two lines of helpful features, the first at the top, and the second below the Send button. 

New features

In September 2019, Right Inbox 10 was launched to include the following features, which we’ll expand on below:

  • Signatures – Save and access your favorite sign-offs.
  • Templates – Save your most effective messages as templates to use later on.
  • Sequences – Set up automated follow-up emails. 
  • CRM sync – Link your Gmail account with your CRM for extra insights. 
  • GIFS – Bring your message to life with an animated visual. 

Key features

Recurring emails 

If you’re an individual or business sending the same emails over and over again, you could be wasting a lot of time unnecessarily. 

For example, a restaurant might need to circulate their latest menu, or a finance director might need to remind staff to fill in their expense forms at the end of the month. Right Inbox lets you automate these activities and save lots of time in the process. 

First, you need to compose your email, entering the relevant recipients and subject line. Click on the Recurring button at the bottom of the compose window, and choose the regularity of the email, the day of the week, and the time of day (including time zone if needed). You can even add a start and end date. 

Once you’ve set the parameters, the recurring emails will be sent automatically from your inbox to the recipients at the time, date, and frequency you’ve specified.

Email signatures

If you’re sending out various types of emails, such as cold emails to unknown recipients or seasonal greetings to friends and colleagues, chances are you’ll sign off emails in different ways.

Fortunately, Right Inbox lets you save a selection of your email signatures and quickly access them with the click of a button. 

At the top of your new email window, click the Signature button, then Manage Signatures. From there you can set up your signatures, where they’ll be stored for you to access when you need them.       

Send later

One of Right Inbox’s latest features is the Send Later button. This is a bonus for people who need to send time-sensitive messages or who are mindful of time zones.

In the menu of the Send Later button at the bottom of the compose window, you can choose from a list of preset time delays, or you can customize your own. When you’ve clicked Send, your message will be saved in the Send Later folder until it’s sent at the specified time.

Email reminders

If you have complicated email sequences to keep on top of, Right Inbox can be set up to remind you about an email conversation at a time that’s relevant to you. 

You can choose from the preset times, choose a specific time, or customize your own menu so you can easily access the times that make the most sense to you. 

Email notes

When used in conjunction with email reminders, email notes help you stay on top of your email conversations in a way that’s tailored to you. 

When you add a note to an email conversation, only you will see that note, and they don’t get in the way of your email content. 

Templates

When you send lots of marketing emails, you tend to discover which emails work and which ones don’t. Whether it’s a slight change in the subject line, or a visual that stands out, the emails that work are worth their weight in gold. Right Inbox lets you save your favorite templates for this very reason. 

At the top of the compose email, click on the Template button and go to Manage Templates. 

Here, you can create different templates for the different messages you’ll need to send, and access them quickly next time you need to send that type of message. 

Email sequences

A large chunk of your time may well be taken up monitoring and chasing those who haven’t responded to your latest sales or marketing messages. 

Right Inbox can help with this by letting you set up email sequences that automate the process for you. 

When you click on the Sequences button at the top of the email composer, you can choose to Manage Sequences. 

Here, you can set up multiple stages, inserting the appropriate message for that particular stage. Once you’ve saved and activated the sequence, the emails will be triggered, unless a reply to the original message is received. 

CRM integrations

Right Inbox can also be integrated with most major CRM systems, allowing you to sync up your emails with your CRM so that you can track and monitor them. 

At the bottom of the message window, you’ll see the integration button (it looks like a small jigsaw piece), which will take you to a choice of CRM systems.    

Right Inbox also lets you determine which email threads are synced, and which are not. You can set your emails to sync automatically with your CRM and then click the checkbox when you don’t want a thread to be synced. 

Embedding GIFs

If you find yourself sending out far too many dry sales or marketing messages, then GIFs are a quirky way of catching the eye of your recipients. 

Right Inbox has teamed up with Giphy, so you can browse their GIF library and even save your favorites, all from within Gmail. 

In summary

Right Inbox’s pricing model is relatively flexible. 

 

The free version is available to everyone when they download the app, offering several features (but with monthly caps). 

 

Or you can upgrade to an unlimited plan on a monthly subscription at $7.95/month (this is discounted by 25% when you sign up for a year) to receive extra features. Team plans are available at $6.95/month, and there’s a $1 per user discount. 

 

Right Inbox is a super-helpful option for those who want to get more from their Gmail. It helps organize your inbox, schedule and automate messages, and even integrates with your CRM to track your email performance over time. Give it a try and boost your email efficiency right away. 

 

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