Learning about how to improve leadership skills is an imperative aspect to building any business.
We are not all natural born leaders, I for one, was definitely not, I had to teach myself these skills in order to build a successful business.
Having leadership skills is an invaluable tool no matter what kind of business you have, be it network marketing or something else.
This article will explore what leadership skills are, types of leadership styles, characteristics of a good leader and tips on how you can improve leadership skills when building a business.
This is an article you will want to come back to, so sit tight and let’s dive right in!
What are Leadership Skills?
Broadly speaking, leadership skills are the strengths and abilities demonstrated by a person in order to inspire, motivate and guide others towards a shared goal.
No matter the organisation, leadership skills’ importance lies in its ability to provide a foundation for a strong and successful team, as well as the ability to get tasks done efficiently — what any business owner would want.
I came across an acronym for leadership on the internet here and really loved this breakdown of the word. It serves as a perfect reminder to come back to when being a leader or stepping into that role.
L – Love – be in love with what you do.
E – Enthusiastic – be expressive in your enthusiasm.
A – Attitude – have the right attitude always.
D – Desire – you must have an eager desire to learn all there is to know about your profession.
E – Emulate – emulate others who you aspire and look up to.
R – Respect – always be respectful and earn respect from others through always being in alignment with your integrity.
S – Success – is only as sweet as how you got there.
H – Humble – have humility and stay humble about your success and always pay homage to those who helped get you there.
I – Imagination – use your imagination and tap into the creative energy that lies within, this is your very own power.
P – Passion – stay passionate in everything you do.
Strong and successful leadership must start with personal mastery. You have to practise what you preach in order to lead with integrity and authenticity.
Types of Leadership Styles
Listed below are some of the most common and well-known leadership styles. Understanding your style is an essential aspect to how you show up as a leader and the leadership skills you will embody.
1. Autocratic Style
This is very much a “do as I say” type of leadership. Often, an autocratic leader rules with it being their way or the highway, as they feel they know better. They make all the decisions with little to no input from team members.
2. Authoritative Style
The authoritative leadership style is a lot more inclusive than the above style. These leaders will map the way and set expectations, while also engaging and energizing followers along the way.
They will take time to explain their thinking, they will never just issue orders. They will allow people space for choice and to have a voice on how to achieve common goals.
3. Pacesetting Style
This style of leadership has a “do as I do!” attitude. This style is descriptive of a driven leader who sets the pace as in racing. Pacesetters set the bar very high and push their team to run hard and fast toward a goal.
4. Democratic Style
Democratic leaders are also inclusive and will likely ask “What do you think?.” They have an open book policy and want to be transparent with their team.
This style works well for garnering trust and promoting team spirit and cooperation from your team. As this type of leader you will get people to do what you want done, but in a way that they would like to do it.
5. Coaching Style
A coaching leadership style, which is the approach I take in my business has a “consider this” approach. As a coach, you are not telling someone what to do, but rather guiding them to unlock their potential that lies within.
These types of leaders are very compassionate towards people and want to empower them as best they can — it’s their belief that everyone has the power within themselves.
6. Affiliative Style
This type of leader focuses on putting people first and they believe in getting up close and personal with people.
They are very attentive and want to support the emotional needs of their team as well as they can. They will offer an open line of communication and strive to create an environment that is harmonious and collaborative for their team.
7. Laissez-Faire Style
The laissez-faire leaders, also known as delegative leaders, offer little or no guidance to group members and leave the decision-making up to the team.
While this type of leadership style can be useful in situations involving highly qualified professionals, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.
This type of leader can come across as appearing aloof.
This style of leadership is definitely not the example of leadership skills you would want to follow when building a business, especially of the network marketing kind.
It’s not to say that you will fit into one style category or that you should, but it’s helpful to know where your strengths may be and which areas require improvement.
I found this great leadership style quiz — give it a go so you can get a general idea of how you might lead.
What are the 10 Characteristics of a Good Leader?
When looking at how to improve leadership skills, taking a look at this list is a good place to start. Go through each one and rate yourself out of 10, anything below 6 requires more of your attention.
- Ability to delegate
- Learning agility
When building a network marketing business these are characteristics that will be in your favour as your team grows.
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19 Tips on How to Improve Your Leadership Skills When Building a Business
1. Take Initiative
Taking initiative is right up there on the list of effective leadership skills. At the end of the day it’s YOUR business so you are the one that has to take the lead.
Whether it’s a network marketing business you have or something else, it’s up to you to drive it!
2. Communication and Listening Effectively
Excellent communication skills are paramount to becoming an effective leader. However, communication is much more than expressing what you want to happen, it’s also about being able to truly listen to others.
If you want to know how to improve leadership skills in business, LISTEN.
This is one of the most crucial leadership skills you can develop.
When you take the time to listen to others you’re able to get valuable feedback, suggestions and ideas.
In my network marketing business we are all about this dynamic.
3. Motivate Others
Are you making an effort to motivate your team?
A great leader should influence people in the most positive way.
You motivate people by understanding what they need and want. This is a big focus for my team and I, we do our best to keep the energy high.
4. Practise Discipline
Every successful business is built on the foundation of discipline. This is an integral leadership skill that you have to demonstrate if you want your business to succeed.
Effective execution = discipline. Your team will learn this skill from how well you do it.
5. Leaders are Learners
Personal development is the ultimate tool for developing leadership skills. Whether it’s books, seminars, podcasts or YouTube, don’t stop learning!
Take 20-60 minutes per day and make it a goal to learn and get inspired by others.
This has been a key tool in my life and work.
6. Handling Conflicts
Learning how to handle conflicts is an essential leadership skill. A good leader knows how to handle difficulties amongst people and resolve conflicts.
This takes a certain amount of courage, as it’s not always easy to be the one to do the right thing, but you will be respected in your ability to do so.
7. Be a Follower
Leaders should learn to recognise the value of their team. Even if you have been building your network marketing business longer than someone else, we are always able to learn from others — if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room!
8. Develop Situational Awareness
In simple terms this can be defined as “knowing what is going on around us.” When looking at how to improve leadership skills, developing a sense of situational awareness is useful.
This is when you can see the bigger picture and anticipate problems before they occur, as well identify opportunities.
9. Inspire others
Inspiring others is an important leadership skill especially in a network marketing business as people will require encouragement and guidance.
What I love about Forever, the business I’m a part of is that they often create events that leave people feeling incredibly inspired and motivated to keep building their business and dreams!
10. Lead by Example
If you want to know how to improve your leadership skills — lead by example, always.
Act in a way that shows others how to act.
You can only provide advice or tell someone to do something if you’ve actually done it, this is how you can be an authentic leader.
11. Be Goal-Oriented
An effective leader will always focus on a solution, rather than whining about a problem. They are goal-oriented and will make sure the most important tasks at hand are completed first.
They have the end vision in mind and are always working towards it — this is important when building a business, because if you don’t know what you’re working towards, then what are you even doing.
12. Take Responsibility
Learning how to take responsibility is a key action step for how to improve leadership skills.
Pointing fingers and playing the blame game when things go wrong is not something a good leader will do.
Taking responsibility, shows that you’re worthy of trust and respect.
13. Share the Glory
Oooh, this is an essential leadership skill and something I make a keen effort to do with my team because the truth is, I wouldn’t be where I am in my business without them.
Whatever type of business you may have, ultimately any success and achievements you get are due to the efforts of the entire team.
A leader is really only as great as the team behind them.
When you share the glory you set an example for others to do so with their teams and this will inevitably result in respect and admiration for your role and impact you have on others.
14. Know How to Develop a Team
Rome wasn’t built in a day and it sure as hell wasn’t built alone, so become an effective leader by developing a strong team through training, teaching and coaching.
If you were to have told me at the beginning of my journey that I would be as good of a business coach as I am now, I would have said “bollocks,” but here we are, proving that anything is possible!
In a network marketing business like Forever, training new team members is a fundamental part of the business model. Without this you can’t expect new members to achieve any goals.
15. Be Confident
Being confident is one of the most difficult leadership skills to develop, for me at least.
Some people are naturally better at this, but for others, like myself I had to “fake until you make it.”
I was immensely shy and uncomfortable talking to people when I first started my Forever business, but I pushed through and it got easier the more I put myself out there.
“I Am” affirmations can really work well for this. Choose a quality about yourself you are struggling to believe like confidence for example and construct an affirmation such as — “I am confident” or “I am a well-spoken public speaker.”
Write these statements on sticky notes and stick them all around your house as a reminder and then say them out loud in the mirror every morning when you’re getting ready for your day.
16. Give Value and Teach People Through Content
Providing value and teaching people through content is key in setting you on the path to being a good leader.
Make a place for yourself as an authority on a subject through content in the form of videos, blog articles (like this one), podcasts, emails, social media etc.
When you consistently give tips to people and teach them basic strategies that can help them, people will start to see you as an expert and therefore a leader in your realm of work.
Wondering what content you could create?
Think of your target audience and the problems and questions they may have related to your industry and then solve them.
17. Model Other Leaders in the Same Industry as You
If you want to look at how to improve leadership skills, look at other leaders in your industry and get inspired.
This is not about copying what other people do, just look at how they do things and how you can adapt what they do to work for you.
Why reinvent the wheel or over complicate things?
We are all here to learn from each other.
18. Host Something Live Every Week
Do a live webinar on Zoom or something similar at least once per week for your leads and/or team.
By hosting something live every week, people will start to notice you as a leader who is committed to helping others succeed and by doing this your speaking/presenting skills will naturally get better.
This is something I do by hosting a live webinar every Monday at 8:30 pm (GMT +1) for any people that are wanting more information about building a Forever business.
19. Post Results and Testimonials About What You’ve Done
Sharing results and testimonials is a great and authentic way to show people that you’re a good leader.
By having other people vouch for you in testimonials talking about the impact you’ve had on their lives is a powerful way to show the kind of leader you are.
Ready to Be the Best Leader You Can Be?
Looking at how to improve your leadership skills is part of being a leader, the very fact that you want to improve and be better is what a great leader would do.
Good leaders train to be that way, it takes effort, time and learning, which means that anyone has the ability to become an exceptional leader.
Leave your comments below and feel free to ask me anything about how to improve leadership skills when building a business.
I do hope you found this a helpful guide and that it’s inspired you to be the best leader only you know how to be!
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