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Leadership Article

Leadership Skills: Ten Leadership Secrets for Every Successful Leader

By Ed Sykes

Great leaders exhibit common qualities on a daily basis when working with their team.  These leadership qualities motivate their team members to work toward a common goal and help the organization achieve its goals.

In this leadership article, you will learn the common qualities of a great leader.  The following are ten leadership qualities you can apply on a daily basis:

1.        Motivate Action – Great leaders inspire their employees to take action.  They communicate what the situation is, what the solution is, and what action steps need to be taken to achieve the goal.  Before the final solution is taken, the true leader asks their employees what solutions they might have and what action steps they would take.  Leaders realize they do not have a monopoly on ideas and the more they can get ownership of the solutions from the employees, the more the employees will be inspired to take action.

2.        Create a Positive Environment for Success – Great leaders realize that a positive work environment starts from the top down.  They convey an optimism that is contagious throughout the organization.  They communicate a positive attitude toward their employees and the opportunities that face them.  Leaders also work with “negative employees” to educate them on why it is beneficial for them to be positive for their personal well-being, as well as the organization’s welfare.

3.        Communicate Clearly – Leaders work at being good communicators.  This means not only being able to speak well, but also being a good listener.  Leaders realize that by listening to their employees, they can come up with solutions which are sometimes better than their own solutions.  Leaders also realize that by listening well they can eliminate conflict in the workplace.  They also constantly work to communicate the mission, goals, and values of the organization.  Leaders provide two-way communication with their employees to ensure they are reaching the goals of the team.

4.        Support Their Employees - Effective leaders nurture and support their employees through their mistakes while immediately rewarding them for their achievements. They take the time to immediately and publicly reward their employees while showing the respect of coaching the employee in private.  Outstanding leaders support their employees by making sure they have the resources available to be successful.

5.        Make Timely Decisions – Effective leaders quickly evaluate the information or situation and make a decision based on the information in front of them.  They don’t form committees to evaluate what other committees are going to do.  Like the Nike commercial says, “Just Do It,” and make the decision to act.  Leaders always realize that the situation can change and they can adapt to the new situation.  Being decisive will gain trust from your employees that you can take them where they want to be to be successful.

6.        Make Self Improvement Job #1 – Leaders have a thirst to continue to learn the latest techniques that will enable them to be better leaders.  Great leaders also encourage and provide informal and formal learning opportunities for their employees.  Effective leaders give their employees opportunities to learn through mentoring, advanced projects, in-house training, and college programs.  Overall, these leaders realize that self-improvement is a tool to gain the competitive edge.

7.        Know Your Organization – The best leaders know their organization from the top down.  They know the inner workings and how they and the team fit in the organization. With this understanding, you as a leader can create an effective strategy that helps the organization and fits the needs of your employees.

8.        Understand to Be Understood – Take the time to understand the needs of your employees.  I always say, “Take the time to touch your employees every day.”  I don’t mean to physically touch them, but emotionally touch them.  Effective leaders invest the time to ask about their employee’s well-being, how the project is going, what the workplace environment is like, etc.  This creates a bond of trust between the leader and the employee that makes it easier to communicate, coach, share bad news, and be more productive overall.  The employee will also have a much better understanding of your needs.

9.        Radiate Integrity – The outstanding leader constantly works to build integrity in the workplace.  They “walk the talk.”  If leaders say it, they must live it, and must take the actions that are consistent with their talk.  For example, if the leader asks their employees to stay until the project is done and they walk out the door as soon as possible, their trust is broken.  But if this same person stayed to help their employees and was the last person to leave, your employees with admire you as a leader.

10.     Commit to Excellence – Create a high level of excellence in the workplace and be consistent to adhering to the highest level every day.  As a leader, drive all activities toward achieving this excellence through coaching, mentoring, motivating, rewarding, and personally getting involved with the project. Communicate to the team how their activities help the organization achieve excellence.  Many times, once the employee understands how their efforts personally make a difference, they will take their efforts to another level.

These are ten leadership secrets that will take your organization to the next level of success.  Apply these leadership techniques today and in the future, and you will become the leader everyone aspires to become in the organization.

Suggested Leadership Reading:

Leadership Techniques for Anyone: How Kermit Shared Five Leadership Secrets with the World

Eight Leadership Techniques for Outstanding Teams

Seven Secrets to Being the Leader Everyone Wants to Follow

Five Secrets to Becoming the Perfect Employee That Everyone Wants – Part One

Have You Appreciated Someone Today?

Nine Ways Johnny Carson Can Help You Run Outstanding Meetings

You Mean I Need to Promote Myself to Get a Promotion? 5 Promotion Secrets to Get the Job You Want!

Five Secrets to Gaining Credibility with Your Team for Outstanding Results

How Appetizing Is Your Feedback? (5 Steps to Giving Effective Feedback)

Ten Techniques for Motivating Others Through Chaos

10 Action Steps to Motivate Yourself to Great Accomplishments

Eight Ways to Motivate Part-Time Employees

Delegate to Accelerate Success (How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Success)

Appreciate to Motivate (The Key to Successful Team Building)

The Greatest Gift of All - The Gift of Empowerment

Leadership Secrets for Challenging Times

Words to Live By – Six Ways to Breathe Life into Your Day

Verbal Faux Pas – The Words You Use Can Empower or Confuse

Bite Your Tongue! 10 Ways to Be an Effective Listener

Five Secrets to “Thinking on Your Feet”

Ten Quick Tips for Outstanding Presentations

Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" Will Help You Get Your Point Across! (Yes you can, here's the plan!)

How to Set Boundaries and Say No 


Want to learn how to develop outstanding leadership skills? Our Team Building, Life After Downsizing, How to Develop the Leader Within You, Time Management Skills to Achieve More, and How to Handle Workplace Stress and Master Your Life change management programs can help you lead others to the next level.  Also read more about change management, leadership, and motivation on our Articles page.  Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at

Suggested Leadership Resources


Want to learn how to be a better leader and achieve more? Our Team Building, Leadership, Change Management, or Assertive Communication leadership management training workshops can help you motivate team members to achieve more.  

Also read our leadership skills articles on motivation skills, leadership, presentation skills, customer service, etc.

Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at for additional leadership skills information.

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Keywords: Ed Sykes, Edward Sykes, The Sykes Group, leadership secrets, outstanding leader, leadership techniques, leadership training, leadership development,  leadership techniques, leadership styles, Leadership skills, leader, leaders,  leadership


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Last modified:
10/09/2011 07:42:15 PM