Gandhi, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Count Basie, Maggie Thatcher etc. What do all these people have in common?  They were some of the greatest leaders the world ever had. So, what qualities did they possess that mere mortals didn’t?

They were all recognized as having great leadership qualities. Leadership skills, as any business owner knows, is important not only to achieve business objectives, but also for the long term health and cohesion of the team.

In this blog we will explore the makings of a good leader and which of these skills you possess. Furthermore, you will be challenged to acquire those leadership knowledge gaps that may be preventing you from becoming an all round leader.

Below are seven essential skills a good leader/manager should have. How many of them do you possess and how many more could you acquire with the right training?

  • Commit to Leadership First and Everything Else Second. Research reveals that the highest performing leaders are effective because they embrace the idea that everything they need to accomplish will be achieved through people, by people, and with people.
  • Lead differently than you Think. A high-performing leader is an incredibly complex and creative thinker. Yet, when the time comes to lead, they don’t rely on their superior “smarts” they act collaboratively.
  • Embrace Your Softer Side. Effective leaders manage the paradox of gaining more influence by letting go of control and allowing themselves to be vulnerable, which enables them to create deep, personal connections.
  • Forge the Right Relationships to Drive the Right Results. High performing leaders spend a greater percentage of their time and energy managing relationships that exist sideways: with internal peers, external suppliers, and customers.
  • Master Communication. The best leaders know that their colleagues—especially the people who work for them—are always watching. These executives understand they are always on stage. They take advantage of that situation by constantly reiterating core messages and values. They want to communicate a feeling that compels people to take the right actions.
  • Inspire Others. Most people will give an adequate performance, but they will give their best if they believe they are involved in something greater than themselves. The best leaders provide a compelling vision that that their contributions are meaningful and valued.
  • Build People, Not Systems. By developing people all around them, these leaders increase their capability and capacity to deliver results. They also know that leaving behind the next generation of leaders is the best thing they can do for the organization—it will be their lasting legacy.


“All leaders must deliver results,” notes Waller in the Gartner report. “What distinguishes the best is how they do it: through people, by people, and with people.” For more information about our Leadership and Empowering People’ course and to book a free two hour free ‘try before you buy taster session’ visit our website or click on this link.

Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at

At ELC Associates we offer one of the most comprehensive and effective leadership and management skills training available. Our marketing training is constantly evolving to incorporate market trends and new developments. If you are looking for an organization that can help improve your organization’s leadership skills whether at junior or senior level, then we are confident that we can meet all your requirements. Contact us immediately through our online contact form, email, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for a free no obligation discussion.

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