So You Want To Become A Better Leader?

Recent surveys demonstrate that some business leaders in the UK lack critical management skills essential for businesses to develop in the way they want to.  While leaders appear competent in technical skills, budgeting and financial management, they can sometimes fall short in planning, communication, performance management and people management.

In my experience, there is a business scenario in which employees strong in technical skills are sometimes promoted into roles that require people skills – the two do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Investment targeted at the areas which are lacking in existing managers and planning training and recruitment of future leaders is the key to ensuring the ongoing success of businesses. Training in delegation and being encouraged to show initiative are two essential areas for those looking for future promotion into a leadership role.

What Are The Key Areas To Become A Better Leader?

Communication Skills

Excellent communication cannot be underestimated in my view.  A good leader will command the trust and understanding of the team by communicating often in a positive way and being clear about what is required.

Communication Style

Styles may differ between each team member, and a good leader will show genuine interest in feedback. One action that I would recommend is adopting an open door policy. As a newly-fledged better leader, it takes time to build the necessary trust and knowledge about the skills, motivation and personalities with the team and is available to them is a good start.


A good leader encourages creativity and openness and displays a passion for what they do.  Team members should be challenged to avoid demotivation and boredom and be praised with positive feedback when they do a good job.

A Collaborative Approach

Rather than telling the team what to do, honest feedback can get better results (or team members will never know what they need to improve upon!) A strong leader will also request feedback from the team on themselves for the same reason. 


Delegating is an integral part of the job of leading a team. If a leader cannot delegate, they cannot possibly get everything done. The leader should identify and use the skills of each member of the team and delegate accordingly.

What Makes A Bad Leader?

A leader who cannot accept the blame when something goes wrong is not taking on the responsibility of the leadership role and, in my experience, this does occur from time to time. Without exception, team members lose respect in this scenario. Similarly, a leader who makes promises but doesn’t follow through is another example of bad management. A lack of commitment and frequent negativity will not motivate or engage a team either.

If a leader doesn’t understand what motivates the team and shows no interest in doing so, the bottom line can be affected, and staff can feel disengaged. Again, receiving feedback can help the leader in this situation.

Look To The Past

To become a better leader, think back to which of your previous bosses were good managers. Attributes such as a positive hands-on approach, being a good listener, moving on from mistakes and the ability to make decisions are some of the skills needed by our current and future business leaders. If you think about positive role models in leadership roles in your own working life, this can be an excellent way to outline what skills and attributes a good worker needs to become a better leader.

Sometimes leadership does not come naturally, and some support is needed if so why not read some of the blogs of some of my network to see if they might be the right fit.

Astrid Davies – Why Leaders invest in coaching

Incendo – Why I lead like a gardener (and maybe you should too)

If you’d like some advice on becoming a better leader, please get in touch by email on [email protected]


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