What are the leadership skills that make someone a person everyone wants to follow? History is full of strong personalities who led countries and civilizations. People followed the rules established by them, carried their orders out, and even died for them.

However, it wasn’t about leadership. Fear of punishment and desire to stay afloat—that’s what made crowds follow those headmen. Sure enough, these levers work—if you want to have your fortress or tomb. But they’re futile if your goal is to assemble a team to make your dreams come true together.

To attract talented and creative people, you have to be not only very diligent and passionate about your business but to believe in their success as much as in yours.

To make them want to follow you, you have to acquire dozens of leadership skills. Let’s begin with the essential ones.

1. Confidence

There is the only reliable way to reach a goal—to see it clearly and realize where you want to be in the end. The main word here is clearly. And it concerns both—the final destination and the route to get there. You should have a structured plan and, naturally, plan B, and C. You have to be absolutely certain it is possible to implement your intentions.

Being confident about the direction you head is one of the most important leadership skills. Your followers should find their work meaningful and keep willing to move further with you, side by side.

2. Responsibility

They say we are responsible both—for our deeds and thoughts. As far as the leadership is our thoughts and suggestions that eventually turned into someone’s deeds, we’re responsible for its consequences.

One of the basic leadership skills is being mature enough to carry responsibility. True leaders never look for the guilty when something goes wrong. They find the reasons, analyze them, change the perspective if needed, and keep working. Their task doesn’t involve reprehension. Their mission is to help others to not lose faith.

3. Positive Attitude

Effective leaders are always optimistic. It doesn’t mean they don’t see problems or don’t notice obstacles. They do. In fact, they are more familiar with them than anyone else. Yet, they stay positive. Even when they fail badly at something, they get up and take another try.

They know there are no easy ways, but there are many reasons to keep trying. When life’s testing them, they show their strength. True leaders know that life will reward them for the fortitude. Just as they reward their teams.

4. Be an Example

Parents will agree, it is impossible to explain to children what is right and what is wrong. The only way to make them do what you want—show my own example. This approach works for adults, too. Why? Because there are no adults.

You have to admit it—we are all aged children. Bold, fatigued but experienced boys and girls. So, rise a mentor within yourself. Behave the way you expect your followers to behave. You want them to work hard? Work hard. You want them to be responsible? Carry responsibility. Remember: Like attracts like.

5. Listen

True leaders never lock in their offices. They spend time with their colleagues, talk to them, ask questions, and listen. The only way to stay on top is to catch the thoughts and spirits appearing in your followers’ heads at their inception, and get involved.

Encourage your followers to come to you and share their suggestions. Even if you don’t agree, be impersonal and show your concern. Never suppress someone’s innovation at the beginning. Explore, be open-minded. You never succeed if you will surround yourself with the same people.

Appreciate the variety—let the magic happen.

6. Be Emotional

Arguments, strategy, and planning are not the main tools to make the impression of an organized and experienced leader. Absolutely, success requires discipline, but people are not robots. They feel.

Find a unique connection with everyone in your team. Try to get to know each of them. Become a part of their life—not just professional but personal. The emotional connection is an important part of healthy relations in the collective.

Do not show a false face, though. Be honest and sincere.

7. Say YES

No doubt, mostly it is necessary to stand your ground. But sometimes such conduct could be rather harmful. If you lose the connection with your follower, or you disagree with them, instead of pushing facts and data try to find a new approach.

Show your openness. Everyone makes mistakes. It doesn’t mean we are stupid or unprofessional. Just find the way to say yes instead of no. Consider second chance. Always.

8. Change the Perspective

Yes, you’re creative, intelligent, and hard-working. You attract gifted people. But leadership isn’t about you. It’s about those who follow. Trust your followers. There were strong reasons why you decided to invite them to your team, and why they decided to join you.

Refresh it in mind every time you want to jump to conclusions. Create conditions where they can feel their importance and significance. You couldn’t make it without them. Admit it and make sure they know your opinion.

9. Level Up. No Matter What

You reached one of your goals—you have mastered your leadership skills and have become a leader. You worked hard, you deserved it. Great job! Celebrate it, and keep developing. Do you expect your followers to grow? Sure. So why did you stop?

Even if you’re a super professional in your area, there are always areas you are amateur in. Improve your writing skills, read modern literature, take karate lessons. Grow—emotionally, physically, mentally—together with your team.

10. Equality

Dividing yourself and your followers by professional status or other characteristics must be the most terrible mistake a leader could make. You’re in one boat, everyone has a paddle in their hand—the smoothness of your trip depends on each of you.

Young and old, men and women, managers and executors. You’re equal. With no exceptions.

Leadership is a choice: leader’s—to lead, followers’—to follow. You don’t exist without each other. Here is the catch.


  1. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/
  2. https://hbswk.hbs.edu/

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