Friday, May 30, 2008

Thomas G. Stirr: Essential Leadership Skills

Essential Leadership Skills
Thomas G. Stirr
Author of Miller's Bolt, and 4 Ounces to Heaven

Leadership encompasses a wide variety of issues and related skill sets so you
have a lot of potential material from which to choose.

Visioning: leaders have the ability to see the long term vision of the
organization or their group and get their team to buy into it. They also need
to be able to identify the specific goals, objectives and tasks that need to be
accomplished to achieve the vision.

Creating culture: leaders create the culture in their organization or work
group by establishing beliefs and behavioural norms.

Performance management: leaders hold themselves and their people accountable
for performance and work hard to make sure people understand what is expected
of them, how their performance is measured and rewarded, celebrate successes,
and help everyone learn from mistakes.

Self awareness: leaders work hard at being aware of both their strengths and
weaknesses and continually work on improving themselves.

Developing others: leaders must be adept at assessing the development needs of
each member of their team, identify ways to help individuals develop required
competencies, and recognize leadership ability in others. They help people grow
and stretch by challenging them appropriately. Succession planning would also
fall under this category.

Professional distance: leaders must maintain a professional distance from their
staff while balancing that with the need to still be approachable.

Risk mitigation: leaders must protect the interests of their organizations by
being adept at recognizing and mitigating risks.

Strategy formulation and implementation: leaders must understand how to
formulate strategy and create pragmatic implementation plans to execute

Personal integrity: leaders only earn the trust of their team members by the
consistent demonstration of personal integrity. They need to understand their
value system and how it impacts their leadership approach.

Decision making: leaders need to develop solid decision making skills that take
into consideration the need of the task, the team, and the individual.
Effective leaders are able to maintain objectiveness under pressure. They also
solicit input and value the viewpoints of others.

Courage: leaders have the courage to go against the stream when necessary and
stand up for what they believe to be important. They are honest and direct in
their communications.

Customer orientation: good leaders understand the importance of managing
internal and external customer relationships and are always vigilant in this

Thomas G. Stirr
Author of Miller's Bolt, and 4 Ounces to Heaven
Thomas-Ritt Associates Limited
P.O. Box 20055, 1 Main Street West
Grimsby Ontario L3M 5J3 CANADA
Tel: 905.309.5431, Fax: 905.309.432
Email: tom@..., Web:


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