College of Business

Five leadership skills to master

By Riley Villalpando | January 16, 2024

I am not wired to be a leader.

I never saw myself as someone who could be in charge of a group of people. When I became a Sergeant in the Army, I grew my abilities and learned how to effectively lead a team. This was due to years of developing my skills as well as learning how to communicate efficiently. 

Organizational leadership involves motivating your people to accomplish a common set of goals. Being knowledgeable about your organization’s mission is essential to being successful in a leadership position. Leaders must motivate, set goals, and inspire those around them.

No matter what season you are in, at some point you will be challenged with being a leader. Being a leader takes time and effort. If you want to be a proficient leader in your organization, there are five skills you need to master.

1. Motivation

If employees are not motivated, they will lack the passion needed to carry out the organization’s goals. Set high, yet attainable goals and encourage your team to meet them.

Start by making sure you are motivated. You set the tone for your team. If your team sees that you are not motivated, they are unlikely to follow.

2. Communication

When you are in a position to motivate a team, using effective interpersonal skills will help projects run smoother.

Make sure you are using effective communication when interacting with your team. Properly articulating your thoughts and directions will bring your team to a better understanding of the goals. Knowing how to speak to people is the most pivotal quality for good leaders.

If you are not clear with your communication, details can get lost in translation which will skew your message. This can lead to confusion, which can cause goals to go unmet.

3. Listening

Bringing your team together through your efficient communication can help eliminate problems from arising. Good communication starts with listening. People like to know that their opinions are heard. When employees feel heard this can increase morale while also increasing productivity.

4. Problem Solving

Leaders have to be good at solving conflict. Conflict can cause a decrease in efficiency. Learning to properly diffuse a situation could help save a project.

5. Integrity

If you do not possess integrity, you are going to have a hard time initiating change in your organization. The more you lead by example, the easier it will be to get people to follow you.

Learning to master these skills can help you become the leader that organizations are looking for.  

Riley Villalpando is a client services coordinator for Lowcountry Pianist & Company LLC. She is an Army veteran and is pursuing her Master of Science in human resource management.

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