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The Skill Leaders Neglect to Their Peril

Make a list of essential leadership qualities and you’ll likely leave off an essential to success.

The top 21 skills and behaviors of successful leaders:

  1. Grit.
  2. Compassion.
  3. Integrity.
  4. Vision.
  5. Courage.
  6. Passion.
  7. Communication.
  8. Decisiveness.
  9. Loyalty.
  10. Emotional intelligence.
  11. Focus.
  12. Planning.
  13. Openness.
  14. Empathy.
  15. Humility.
  16. Bias toward action.
  17. Trust.
  18. Listening.
  19. Ownership.
  20. Drive for results.
  21. Big picture perspective.

You excel at a handful of items on the above list. You’re developing the rest. 

The missing ingredient:

I’ve led many discussions about successful leadership. But I’ve never had anyone suggest the skill of receiving help.

A leader who doesn’t need others is egotistical, short-sighted, and disconnected.

Successful leaders need, seek, and receive help.

You feel more comfortable giving help than receiving it.  Giving help is powerful. (But if you want others to succeed THEY need to feel powerful.)

Self-sufficiency is code for I don’t need you. It means you will offer help, but you won’t receive it.

Self-sufficiency limits potential.  

Not needed:

When you don’t need help, you tell others they don’t matter.

Everyone, however, needs to matter. Self-sufficient leaders drive competent people away.

The greatness of shared vision exposes the depth of our need for help.

3 ‘help’ phrases you could use today:

  1. “Help me understand this.”
  2. “You’re great at this. What do you think?”
  3. “I’m not great at this. Could you offer some suggestions?”

ways to build a ‘helping’ culture:

  1. Publicly thank helpers. “Who helped you succeed?”
  2. Give help. Helping relationships include reciprocity.
  3. Listen to disconfirming perspectives. Some leaders only want to hear what they already know. These leaders will go where they have already been.
  4. Openly talk about the strengths and weaknesses on your team.

What’s on your list of top leadership skills and behaviors?

How might leaders excel at receiving help?

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