IAN FERGUSON: Skills required for proper leadership


Ian Ferguson

Successful leadership never happens by choice. We have suffered for many years as a nation by giving titles to those who have no clue in the art of leadership. A leadership track record does not consist of big jobs or large networks. When a person cannot build healthy trust, centred on relationships, and nurture the talent of those around them, they cannot be regarded as having leadership skills.

This week’s column is focused on the skills required for leadership. Here is the top ten list:

  1. Humility: This is the ability to control your ego, not permanently subdue it. Humility should not be confused with timidity. Humility is keeping one’s ego in check.

  2. Competence: This is the demonstration of knowledge and skill as it relates to your areas of responsibility.

  3. Approachability: Individuals will approach those whom they trust. That is, those with integrity, and those whose personal style and manner is flexible rather than rigid. Learn to be adaptable to the various needs and personalities of others.

  4. Discipline: Exercise the required self-discipline to deliver what you say you will deliver, and behave the way you know you should behave. Discipline puts feet to intent.

  5. Conviction: People will follow those who believe in themselves, and display conviction regarding the course of action. Assess carefully how you will lead and then persevere, displaying confidence and conviction as you lead others towards your goal.

  6. Decisiveness: Assess and then act. Take responsibility for your actions. Do not prepare a barricade or pass blame for your decisions in times of failure. When you must make a decision, make it, then take responsibility for the outcome.

  7. Knowledge: Use your knowledge wisely to promote effective action and, when in doubt, gain the necessary knowledge.

  8. Direction: Have clear goals and a clear vision for yourself, which you then pass on to others. It is important that you have clarity of action yourself, and the ability to clearly communicate this direction.

  9. Clarity: Your communication needs to be simple and memorable. People must be able to understand it in your presence and recall it in your absence.

  10. Charisma: Charisma does not mean the ability to win a popularity contest. Rather, it means that you are likeable. We all tend to gravitate towards people we like, and so as the leader strive to be warm and likeable.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.


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