8 Instinctive Skills of Great Leaders

We have all met great leaders throughout our lives – it is not uncommon. But every so often you come across a leader who truly stands out. They think differently, they handle situations uniquely – they just seem to have an instinct that others do not. But while many leaders are born with skills that give them this ability, a truly great leader is a learned master of key leadership skills. And with hard work and practice, these skills become instinctive. Of course, these people do lots, lots of thinking, but this is done behind the scenes so that when a problem arises, they act quickly, efficiently, and confidently.

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As mentioned, these skills are learned and practiced, and with some work of your own, you can learn to implement these skills into your instinctive reflex and be one of these great leaders:


1. Give praise

Who gets tired of receiving praise? This should be habitual, but of course, sincere. Work on giving positive encouragement to those around you – a little goes a long way

2. Make decisions

A great idea is only as good as its execution. Many people struggle to make decisions and commit to them. For great leaders, however, decision making is precise and swift, ensuring their actions build confidence and momentum

3. Take responsibility

Building off the idea of concrete decision making, everyone will make mistakes. A true leader will take responsibility for their actions and immediately work to rectify them. Mistakes should not garner blame, but be viewed as an opportunity to improve

4. Communicate

We are constantly asking and explaining the “what” behind business projects. However what is often missing, or poorly explained, is the “why”, leading to confusion and ultimately the failure of the project. Knowing what to do will only take an employee so far; learning why they are doing it will keep them fully engaged and peak their performance. Learn to summarize and effectively communicate the reasons behind certain ideas and watch performance improve.

5. Set an example

Employees notice what you do, no matter how significant the action. Consider this example: a manager notices trash on the ground. One manager might pick it up, throw it in the trash, and make a show for it. Another might pick it up and hold on to it until finding a convenient time to dispose of it. Think about this second manager – they are showing that they truly care about their work environment, regardless of if it is noticed. And believe me, the difference will be noticed by employees

6. Give feedback

Giving feedback not only helps your workers improve their performance, but it shows you care about them as people. This includes constructive criticism and encouragement, even in times where it may be uncomfortable

7. Seek help

A great leader is not afraid to admit they don’t know everything, and will even hire people who are more qualified in certain areas. They are not afraid to ask questions, always seeking to learn, and they are not afraid to ask for help. This respect for knowledge and skills is a key characteristic of strong leaders

8. Challenge your employees

People tend to be more engaged in a project when it is theirs, meaning they are given a degree of autonomy. A truly great leader creates general guidelines, and challenges their employees to complete a project individually. Employees seek these challenges and will be grateful to be given the opportunity.

Robyn Hounjet