Top 5 Leadership Skills Every Successful Leader Needs

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Top 5 Leadership Skills Every Successful Leader Needs

Effective Skills For Leadership

  1. Admit and accept failure
  2. Adapt quickly to change
  3. Deal authentically with others
  4. Grow personally and professionally
  5. Remain aware in any situation

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 2/19/15 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.

Successful leadership goes beyond basic qualities.

You must venture into the unknown, lead and inspire others in your vision, and establish a functional business structure.

That requires a level of tenacity that far exceeds your typical mid-level manager.

But with all the other day-to-day responsibilities, you can easily let developing the characteristics of a good leader slip away.

Before long, your team feels burnt out, the business doesn’t operate efficiently and you even feel uninspired.


How can you avoid this terrifying picture?

Develop strong leadership skills.

In addition to the many qualities you need for success, there are five main leadership skills that can help you and your team reach full potential.

1. Admit And Accept Failure

Great leaders know how to say things like:

“I was wrong.” 

“I didn’t make the right choice.”

And a biggie: ”I’m sorry.”

When you can instinctively admit your mistakes and accept responsibility, you’re on the right path.

Not only will it make you a more inspiring leader, but it also does great things for the culture in your company.

Mistakes shouldn’t be an opportunity for others to assign blame and point fingers. Instead, it simply poses a new, unexpected challenge to overcome.

The world won’t end because you (or anyone else) failed.


Cultivate a safe learning environment and your team will love growing.

2. Adapt Quickly To Change

The most successful leaders know how to quickly adapt to change and become very flexible in fluctuating circumstances.

This skill helps you make difficult decisions, like pivoting your business model when it’s not working.

It’s a balancing act, though.


Because on the flip side, the ability to stick to your guns when everyone tells you to change also shows strength.

Ultimately, it comes down to knowing your business and keeping a flexible mindset.

But also having enough intuition to know when a change could potentially bring harm.

3. Deal Authentically With Others

Traditionally, companies taught managers to hide vulnerabilities and insecurities from their employees.

But today, essential leadership skills include being able to show their strengths AND weaknesses.

The more humanity you reveal to others, the better you can connect with them.

It opens the door for people to feel comfortable with their own vulnerabilities and show you their authentic personality as well.

4. Grow Personally And Professionally

Exemplary leaders understand the importance of continual growth and reinvention.

You must consistently broaden your perspective, improve your skills and develop emotional intelligence.

As you grow, both personally and professionally, others around you will feel even more inspired by your leadership.


Mentoring, coaching, continuing education, industry conferences and a good book will also help you grow.

And don’t forget your most valuable resource: Feedback from the people around you!

5. Remain Aware In Every Situation

Many people take a tunnel-vision approach to business.

They keep a single-minded focus, regardless of what it costs (personally, professionally or emotionally).

But truly successful leaders understand the importance of taking an opposite method.

They take time to hear the opinion of others and understand they can’t do it alone.

It’s that type of awareness which will make you shine.

Final Thoughts On Building Effective Leadership Skills

You don’t just wake up one morning with all these qualities.


It requires dedication, determination and hard work to exude these characteristics every day.

But the benefits outweigh the cost in a big way.

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Josh Coffy

Josh has an exhaustive understanding of technology and a creative marketing approach that drives client results. In his free time, Josh does CrossFit and travels with his wife.