How to Develop Legendary Leadership Skills

What makes one fit to lead? Is it qualifications, experience or just being bossy? How do we ensure that leadership not only gets compliance, but also gets results, motivates the team, builds character, boosts morale, productivity and loyalty, etc.? In other words, how do we tap into leadership skills that are nothing short of legendary?


Wielding the title of leader, firstly, is a responsibility. The roles and functions of leadership, requires the wielder to be widely dynamic, on multiple fronts. Sometimes empowering, sometimes firm; sometimes transactional, sometimes transformational; sometimes psychologist, other times a coach; sometimes, all of these things at once, but never inflexible or shortsighted.


Motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, describes leadership as, "the ability to inspire a team to achieve a certain goal." In the same context, he articulates that the definition of leadership is to "influence, inspire and help others become their best selves, (while) building their skills and achieving goals along the way." That's quite an agreeable definition.


The catch is that this type of leadership is attained by working from the inside-out, and that's the direction we will travel throughout this piece. Let us begin.


Know yourself



As El Capitan, what do you know that you’re bringing to the table and how is it going to serve you and the greater good? To know yourself, you'll need to identify and design a definitive path, with a clear understanding of your vision and purpose. Apply the knowledge of what you know about your own strengths and weaknesses so that it will help to enhance your capabilities, the way you are able to apply yourself and the intentionality, for the outcomes you’d like to inspire.


Additional ways that will allow you to continue to connect with who you are and the way you’d like to show up, in your leadership, are:

  • Committing to continuous self-development

  • Receiving coaching and coach training

  • Practicing emotional intelligence and self-compassion

  • Asking yourself challenging questions


Don’t try to be perfect



Both Harvard Business Review and Forbes believe that it is okay for leaders to ask for help, and with good reason. The ability to ask for help, as a leader, signals humility and that you are not afraid to not be perfect. It sends the message that you are relatable; a human being like everyone else.


Despite the naysaying, there is strength in vulnerability, and taking into consideration, all the times that you would encourage others to seek help when necessary, you asking for help will reflect that you are one who practices what they preach. As a leader, you are connecting with real people, so help them to relate with you, by showing that it’s okay to ask for help, or to, occasionally, say that you don’t know. It’s not going to make you weak or incompetent. On the contrary, they’ll respect you more for keeping it real.


Help develop the leader in others



The best leaders are the ones, who enable and empower others to be leaders, themselves. Think about it, no one likes being micromanaged, or deprived of autonomy. Matter of fact, we, as humans, have a psychological need for autonomy. On that path towards legendary leadership, you should encourage your team to take risks and to get into the habit of making decisions that don’t necessarily require your input.


Teach and develop the leader in them by being generous with your knowledge, so that they build up the confidence needed to trust themselves and to practice accountability for the choices, actions and judgment calls they come to make. The key is to remain as encouraging and patient as can be, and pretty soon, you will see competent leadership start to blossom, under your wing; a telltale sign of exceptional leadership.


Practice inclusivity



Good leadership unites. It brings the team together and ensures that everyone feels welcomed. Inclusivity means that, where relevant, the input and feedback of all is encouraged. Dictionary.com describes inclusivity as, “the fact or policy of not excluding members or participants on the grounds of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc.”


Leadership that exudes inclusivity ensures that there’s a space for everyone to participate or feel apart of; from the extroverts to the introverts and the advantaged to the disadvantaged. This is what makes teams whole. Everyone has a role, feels relevant and has their uniqueness acknowledged, in a space that benefits them. You’re already en route to legendary status.


Champion your team's needs



The phrase, “all for one and one for all” is attributed to a few different people but most memorably, in the mainstream arena, from the movie, The Three Musketeers. Basically, it means that the individual and the group stand together on principle, support, and cooperation, to commitments. As leader, you will be required to champion the needs of your team to stakeholders and superiors alike, and you better be up to task.


Are you willing to be proactive in ensuring that they are provided with the right working conditions, resources and support? Are you there to stand and defend them, when their position is challenged? If you are, your group will see you as trustworthy, and as someone that they can count on, and trust that when it counts, they’ll return the gesture.

Additionally, you show that you care about, understand and pay attention to their needs and wellbeing. That you are not just there to be served but to also serve. Definitely, qualities found amongst the upper echelon of high class leadership.


Celebrate with your team



We all like being praised or appreciated. Who doesn’t? The thing is that we don’t do it often enough, but still we shouldn’t overdo. It’s about finding the right balance. Maybe, consider a praise scale that exists to match the very accomplishment or action being praised? You can choose the delivery style that can range from an email that says well done, to face-to-face acknowledgment, or even a team meet up that spends a few minutes to praise and celebrate the entire team.


Bringing the team together like this will bolster that overall sense of comradery and team spirit, felt. Your team’s performance, engagement and loyalty will benefit from the sense of pride that resonates from being celebrated. To take this further, be the leader that encourages them to celebrate each other, but keep in mind that there should be balance, when handling this double edged sword.

Foster efficiently, effective communication



You read that right: foster efficiently, effective communication. it might look complex, but it just means getting the team to a space where communication is successfully executed, to a degree, where it reflects the greatest maximization of time, attention and effort inputted. In short, getting good at efficiently communicating effectively. Make no mistake, though, this one takes time, because communication is a process and everyone has varying communication styles. Fact is, that it will never always be perfect.


Some ways that we get to this desired space:

  • Be direct and thorough about your expectations

  • Proactively listen, check in and ask for reflection

  • Be persuasive and negotiate, without being forceful

  • Ask the team how they would like to be held accountable

  • Create channels for feedback and input

  • Ascertain how they would like to see disputes resolved


To wrap this all up, know that this is your journey and the benefits reach far beyond the fulfillment that you will experience. It extends to your team, organization, stakeholders and cause. The journey, itself, takes time but eventually, the output will be worthy of the inputs. I


n the event that you are ready to take your leadership development to the next stage, book yourself a free 1-on-1, 20 minute discovery call, with me. Let’s discuss how my coaching process will support and connect you to your desired outcome.


You may also like: 5 Signs it's Time to Hire a Life Coach


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