Leadership Skills

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Because leaders themselves take so many forms and personalities, it can be difficult to generalize about leadership skills as a whole. When we think of great leaders, we often picture military generals drawing up battle plans and marching armies into war. We think of qualities such as bravery, decisiveness, courage, and wisdom, and for good reason: these are all hallmarks of great leadership.

The problem is, they're not the only attributes that define great leaders. Humility, understanding, conflict management, and caution can also be essential for any first-rate leader, as these are these traits can preclude egregious errors. More than a few world leaders (Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Hitler, Stalin) ultimately succumbed to hubris, the feeling of pride or arrogance that blinds one to looming threats.

Other Types of Leadership Skills

Most business owners and managers don't need detailed battle maps of the Rhineland or Waterloo. They're not preoccupied with how many battle regiments must be deployed, where supply lines will run, or how their cavalry will cross lakes and rivers. They are, however, called upon to allocate resources, make personnel decisions, and establish policies that will help boost revenues and defray costs.

Here, the leadership skills needed for both the battlefield and the boardroom intersect. Just as a young cadet can't be expected to lead a squadron into battle without first having the proper leadership skills, so too can a young professional be expected to fail when charged with managing an entire division or department if he or she lacks the appropriate skills. This is one reason why so many ambitious workers enroll in training programs or buy tapes, CDs, and DVDs that help inculcate these lessons.


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