Time and again we are asked:
How do I become a good leader?
What are the most essential skills that a leader needs to have?
What attitude should a leader possess?

So today, I thought I’d pen down my top 3 qualities that every leader needs to possess to be successful. I must mention, it was difficult funneling them down to just 3. However, as I gave it a thought, I realized how interconnected most of them are. And how, if you master one, you master many more!

Yes, that’s great news for all those looking at developing your leadership skills. That makes the goal feel a little more manageable, versus the huge task that developing your leadership skills can otherwise feel like.

So, are you ready for my top 3? Should I spill the beans?

My 3 Leadership Must Haves

1. Ownership

Leadership Skill - Ownership

This is one of those that I have realized the value of over the years. And one which can create a huge difference.

It’s about that feeling of owning. Owning what? Your company, your people, your systems and processes, your office premises and whatever else you can think of!

And how does this feeling help? It brings about the feeling of ‘this is mine.’ And as a human, we all know how when something is ‘mine,’ we go all out to make it the best and give it all we have.

For example, think of ‘my house’ or ‘my car.’ Don’t we do our best to keep them clean, well maintained and looking beautiful. Even if that means hiring the best person to clean our car every day or putting that special varnish to keep it looking great. And what about ‘my family.’ Don’t we do everything under the sun to keep them healthy and happy?

And how does this ‘my’ help in a Corporate set-up? It makes me

• Come up with the most innovative products and services for ‘my customer’
• I am constantly looking at ways to better ‘my processes and systems’ to make ‘my colleagues and my customers’ lives easy
• Keeping ‘my employees and team members’ happy and engaged becomes my priority
• ‘My product quality’ is always the best and I do whatever I need to, to keep it that way

You get the picture…

And,

• ‘My behaviour,’ ‘my actions,’ ‘my growth,’ etc. that drives self-motivation, helps you take steps to grow and ultimately become the best version of yourself.
In short, this ‘my’ will help you take the ownership and accountability that you require to excel in pretty much all areas at work!

2. Emotional Intelligence

This one has to be high on my list. In fact, my colleagues will vouch for how often I say it’s the only thing worth talking about or teaching anyone!

And how does it help?

Remember a time when you were having a difficult conversation – sharing constructive feedback, having an appraisal conversation, reviewing the status of a unfinished project, etc. What happened?

A whole lot of emotions either came forth or you had to make a desperate attempt to keep them from coming forth!

And what happened next?

Probably a conversation which you wished could have gone better or one that disturbed your mental peace.

And since such conversations and difficult situations keep cropping up in every leader’s life, it’s imperative that they become more emotionally intelligent. Besides, it also gives a clear and uncluttered mind. This improves our presence of mind, decision making and creativity. Not to mention our better stress management capabilities, communication and relationships with ourselves and others.

After all, we are humans. And no matter how many emotions we push under the carpet (which is typically how most of us deal with emotions), they make it a point to pop out at the wrong time if not managed effectively! So, no matter how much people say that there’s no room for emotions in the Corporate World, we all know the truth…

3. Discipline

Really? Didn’t expect that one, did you? But it tops my charts and I’ll tell you why…

How do you create a habit? By repeating the same thing again and again. Which requires discipline. Otherwise, you will do it 3 or 4 times and that will be the end of it. You know, like our weight loss goals at the start of every new year!

So, what can discipline do for a leader specifically?

• Help them change the old and bring in the new – new habits, actions, behaviours, etc. These help in managing tasks, time and eventually create a work-life balance. Yes, like I make it a point to stick to my ‘no work’ policy on weekends, even if I have a strong urge to quickly respond to a message that my colleague may have sent after an Ah-ha moment during the weekend. So, while this discipline helps me keep myself cut off from work during weekends, it also helps me discipline my colleague when he least intends to. You know what I mean

• Set a great example that others will follow even without being told – As humans, we tend to look up to people who have great control over themselves, whether it be their thoughts, emotions, actions or behaviours. And when we become such a leader, we automatically start inspiring others. In fact, that’s when we actually get the power to create a change in the culture of an organization without even saying much. For instance, you may have seen leaders who are very punctual. They make it a point to reach meetings on time, submit projects on or before the decided deadlines, etc. Now what happens to their team? They get inspired by their leader and start following suit. And that’s the power of Self – Discipline!

Conclusion

So, Ownership, Emotional Intelligence and Discipline are my top 3 Leadership Pillars. And as you would have seen, are extremely important for any leader.

Which are the leadership skills that top your list? We would love to hear how they have helped you excel as a leader.

To gain more understanding of how The Yellow Spot can help you on your Leadership journey, connect with us at info@theyellowspot.com today. Let’s march ahead and show ourselves and the world what we can accomplish.

About the Author

Nandini Tandon – Nandini is a Corporate Trainer and has been an integral part of The Yellow Spot since the past 12 years. Her passion for helping others and supporting them in their growth story is what drives her and motivates her to give them her very best.

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