leadership skills to know


So What does it take?

Being a great leader is not about your career or company’s success but about the experience you provide for yourself and those around you. The success comes with your enthusiasm and perseverance. Working on your own inner alignment allows you to become the best leader you can be. Here are 11 important facets of a great leader. They…

  • Are Approachable
  • Are Fearless Because They Self-Forgive
  • Have Energy That is Contagious
  • Create Passion in Themselves and Others
  • Make Great Decisions Quickly  
  • Use Mindfulness for Great Communication
  • Love Celebrating Accomplishments
  • Appreciate the Talent That Surrounds Them
  • Keep Growing As a Person
  • Value Work Relationships
  • Provide and Invite Feedback

Communication and Attitude

These tips are not only essential for excellent leading, but for great people. Great people can attract more opportunities and thus more significant success. Becoming a good person is about communication and attitude. How you say things is just as important as your attitude when you say something. The more open and approachable you are, the easier it is to be a confident, effective leader. 

Be Approachable
A Leader Should Be Approachable Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

One- Be Approachable

Keep tabs of your feelings and how you are coming across. Feelings are as to how your face might look to others. If you are feeling frustrated, check the mirror. Chances are your face reflects that particular mood. 

When you always walk around the office with a moody face, you give off an appearance of displeasure. People will attempt to avoid you, and when that happens, they will be less likely to want to approach you with an issue.

Smile at people as you pass by. Even if you don’t feel like it, eventually your mind listens and finds something to smile. The fake it till you make phenomenon is founded in truth. When you live like what you want to be, you change to that. Keep smiling, keep being inviting to ease the approachability effect.

I used to have a boss that would do rounds early in the morning. She had a heavy, loud walk, and you could hear her from a unit away (I was a nurse). She never smiled; her face appeared to look for issues; her eyes shifted from the nursing station to the hallway and back. I certainly did not want to be found by her, and so I would avoid her morning inquisition.

Don’t make the mistake of going down your “hall” simply to look for issues. Look for smiles, say hi, ask how their morning is. When you appear approachable, your employees and colleagues tend to share the office issues and any pertinent information with ease. 

Show forgiveness
Self-Forgiveness Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

Two- The Key to Fearlessness is Self-Forgiveness 

Failure is inevitable; when you realize that you will fail more than you win, you will have grasped more about success than most humans. 

You can’t succeed without having failed, and to fail, you must try. A leader is great at failure because they know it can’t define them; it can only improve them. 

The second, but most important, part of failure is self-forgiveness. Without self-forgiveness, you will create a fear of failure.

Fear derives from self-judgment when you allow yourself to ponder and overthink. This fear takes your mind towards what could have been or should have been. When you think in regret, you form self-judgment. Self-judgement is the cornerstone of self-hate.

Remove that self-judgment, and you will begin t see yourself trying things you were too afraid to do for fear of being judged or, worse yet, judging yourself.

When you apply self-forgiveness to everything you do or say, you form a freer personality that allows you to be you. In Turn, become the person you have always wanted to become. 

Free from self-judgment not only makes you better, but it also makes those around you better. When your team sees you not afraid to fail, the team becomes just as fearless, and ideas begin to flow in.

Leading with good vibrations or energy
Leading With Good Energy (Vibrational Uplift).Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Three- Energy is Contagious; If You Have Low-Level Energy, You Affect Those Around You

Energy is contagious because we all seek it in others. When you go around in a bad mood (you know, letting life get to you), you allow life’s problems to affect you and others.

Learn self-awareness to become aware of your moods. Self-awareness comes from practicing mindfulness. The process of mindfulness allows you to acknowledge emotions/feelings and interpret what you need.

 Emotions have a purpose; they reveal a need; once you understand that need, the feelings smoothly guide you rather than hold you hostage.

You, as a leader, should have regulated emotions because others look up to you for guidance. Lift your vibrations (moods) by becoming aware of them. 

Once you have elevated vibrations, you attract terrific people, life is more meaningful, and others get inspired. 

When you have a light mood that attracts you to see changes around your employees, THey are more willing to share ideas and speak up at meetings. In fact, they are more inclined to do more for you or the company.

Passion Fuels Motivation
Passion Fuels Motivation. Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Four- The Best Motivator is Inner Drive, Which is Fueled by Passion

One of the secrets of Motivational Speakers and Leaders is arousing Passion in themselves and others. That is a gift. Learn to create Passion in yourself and others because passion improves creativity and thinking.

According to R. J. Vallerand, “Passion is defined as a strong inclination toward a self-defining activity that people like (or even love), find important, and in which they invest time and energy on a regular basis. “

Passion has to be cultivated and sustained, not in an obsessive way but on a needed basis. It’s healthy to arise Passion and then rest from it, but you must continue to call on it to fuel your motivation to see results. Here are five points to keep in mind to help fuel and sustain Passion in your team.

  • Set Goals for Your Team
  • Use Rewards
  • Track Progress and Keep Team Aware 
  • Make Goals Personable 
  • Offer Verbal Words of Encouragement
  • (Most Important) Have a Why That is Relatable to Your Team
Decision making tips
Decision making-matrix Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Five- Be A Great Decision Maker 

Decisions have a pattern, and the best decisions are made by the heart first (it’s your subconscious that knows what is best suited for you when you are pondering something). 

So what makes some people naturally more adept at making decisions than others?

I believe the cause of that could be fear. Most people have slight anxiety when making decisions, but it really never gets past the point of a phobia. If you did suffer from an extreme aversion to decision making, that would be called decidophobia.

Here are a few reasons why a decision might be hard to make in the workplace:

  • You might feel powerless; somebody has the final say.
  • Your Homelife might be affected.
  • Losing control of your current life situation, being asked to move.
  • Money issues, it might cost more for the company.
  • Your image might change. Would your employees think less of you?
  • Fear of losing company status, you might get demoted if you fail.
  • Discomfort or fear of a new position, ever-popular “imposter” syndrome.
  • FOMO (fear of missing out), saying yes to everything because the opportunity might not be there later.
  • Dependence of others, all the responsibility lies with you. 
  • More work, yes, it might mean more work for you when you make certain decisions.
  • No time to get used to the idea; this sets off immediate fight or flight, which inhibits rational thinking, a.k.a, you can’t make a decision.

The Decision Making Methods 

There are many ways to make an informed decision. In most cases, you don’t need a specific process to make every-day decisions. But, for learning sake, here are two methods that I have found helpful. It is up to you to find what fits you. 

Thinking It Out Method:

  1. What is your current issue or question you must move on?
  2. Do you have other options in these situations?
  3. What can happen if you choose a particular option? What can happen now vs. what can happen later?
  4. Write the pros or cons of those choices.
  5. Circle the options that you feel are more beneficial for you and will take you in the direction you dream of.
  6. If your option/choices involve your partner or kids, talk over your preferences. If it doesn’t affect the lives of those closest to you, then make your choice but try not to talk to others unless you can deal with the judgments or comments.

Eisenhower’s Decision Principle

This method helps people break down a decision into what is important and not important and urgent and not urgent. Stephen Covey talks about this method in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here is a fantastic infographic by Art of Manliness.

A Matrix for Decision Making
Here is a fantastic infographic by Art of Manliness.

Six- Be a great Communicator (learn mindfulness to be able to listen to what you mean to say)

Communication is simple, but emotions and trepidations often make it more complicated. When you slow down your mind and stay in the moment what needs to be said comes easier. Practice mindfulness to calm the mind and make communicating a breeze.

After you have gotten your mind calm then you can approach your employees or team with the seven tips below.

*Listen Actively
*Be clear
*Be friendly
*Be Confident
*Use Empathy
*Have An Open Mind
*Offer Feed Back, but don't micromanage

Seven- Celebrate Accomplishments (reward performance):

When you acknowledge someones hard work or creative new ideas, or even when it was a small growth for that person, offering encouragement fosters growth. 

Acknowledgment fuels self-worth, and self-worth encourages further imagination and creativity. It’s a win-win, you increase productivity, and someone feels safe and appreciated.

Eight- Appreciate the Talent That Surrounds You

This tip is slightly different than tip number six; this tip has to do with understanding that someone in your team has a talent that you don’t have, and when you have pieces of a puzzle, you have to keep those pieces together. 

There is nothing wrong with understanding your limitations as a no issue. When you surround yourself with the right talent, it allows you, the leader, to put your abilities to lead into action.

The team’s core is a leader that understands and fosters a creative and safe working environment.

Personal Growth is Part of Leadership
Personal Growth is Part of Leadership Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Nine- Keep Growing As a Person

Choose opinions wisely; most set beliefs simply hold you back. Make a pack to not make a judgment about anything you encounter or information you learn. This is beneficial to keep an open mind and allow self-growth.

Self-growth is not hard and can easily integrate into any routine. But growth is not just about picking up a self-development book and reding it just for show. 

Your self-development should be effortless; look that the area that you currently wish you knew more about and go towards that direction.

Some of my favorite areas of growth are small and insignificant to the average self-development-aficionado. For example, I like to work on my approach when someone says hello. It’s small actions that I want to develop rather than large subject matter than can be too broad and quickly forgotten. 

Strut your strengths like you mean it. If you are an excellent communicator, offer to talk to people. If you are a leader, showcase those skills more often, speak up and show you can lead.

Ten- Value the Work Relationships

The people you employ have much to give, be thankful, and acknowledge the connection.

Stop and talk to your team members one at a time. Chat about life and get to know the person behind the talent. People often surprised me when I take the chance to get to know them. 

I find things about them, like their favorite color. Or why they have owls hanging everywhere. 

Spending the time to get to know someone allows a deeper connection to them, and likewise to you. When your employees or team bonds with you, they are more willing to put effort into the company/team goals.

Giving Feedback
Giving Feedback, Essential Leadership Skills Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Eleven- Provide and Invite Feedback

Feedback is hard to take and hard to give; you have a lot of emotional insecurity to deal with. Plus, feedback can trigger insecurities of potential weaknesses. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

After a while, it will become routine for your team members to hear criticism without pain. Because they learned how painless criticisms can be, from you.

Feedback should be motivational, and about the work rather than the person. Here are eight ways to do that. 

Eight Ways To Provide Feedback

One- Practice Your Feedback Muscle By By Starting With Yourself. 

Ask for comments regarding your work performance from your team. Make it a habit to say thank you and learn from that valuable opportunity to build rapport.

Two-Use Positivity

Start with the good qualities of the other person. Point out what they did right before pointing out something they can improve on. This method opens the other person for hearing from you rather than tuning you out.

Three- Make it Action Centered, Not Personal.

When you point out issues, make sure they are about the problem and not about the individual behind the problem. 

Four-Stick to Specifics

Specific problem feedback provides a person with workable criticism. It makes it less abstract and focuses right on the issue, and that needs fixing.

Five- Give Explanations For The Feedback

Explain why you are focusing on the issue at hand and why it adds or does not add value to you or the company.

Six- Keep Personal Judgement Out of It

Judgment is never a good idea anywhere, especially not at work. It keeps people from feeling safe enough to share and grow.

Seven- Encourage Bilateral Input

After you provide feedback, make sure that you hear their side, it might end up giving you a broader understanding of the issue.

Eight- Catch Them Being Great

Take the opportunity to check for those improvements you wanted to see. Then offer recognition. Recognition is about mutual respect, so be sincere with your compliments. 

Leadership Skills self-development
Self-Development Leadership skills Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash


We have become accustomed to being fed information by experts about careers and leadership that are one dimensional. You probably feel that you can use those techniques at work, but putting them to use outside of that work environment seems unnecessary or inapplicable. 

But real leadership is interchangeable; it flows easily in and out of your work environment. The tips I gave you, you can take home, you can take to your next job, you can use to lead anywhere. 

These tips are about core values that transform you the individual to you the expansive soul you were meant to be. Grow My Friend!

Get out there and lead as you mean it, with heart and soul,

Lucia Stakkestad

Works Cited:

 (Vallerand, R.J. The role of Passion in sustainable psychological well-being. Psych Well-Being 2, 1 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/2211-1522-2-1

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Lucia Stakkestad is an emotional regulation teacher with over a decade of experience in helping individuals gain insight into their feelings and learn methods to handle their emotions more effectively. Not only does she specialize in emotional regulation, but she also teaches evidence-based mindfulness practices that can help you reduce stress and anxiety, build healthier relationships and develop self-awareness. With her guidance, you will gain a better understanding of your mindset, emotions and mindfulness and learn how to make positive transformational changes in your life.

Lucia Stakkestad

Lucia Stakkestad is an emotional regulation teacher with over a decade of experience in helping individuals gain insight into their feelings and learn methods to handle their emotions more effectively. Not only does she specialize in emotional regulation, but she also teaches evidence-based mindfulness practices that can help you reduce stress and anxiety, build healthier relationships and develop self-awareness. With her guidance, you will gain a better understanding of your mindset, emotions and mindfulness and learn how to make positive transformational changes in your life.

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