10 Tips to Develop Your Leadership Inclinations

By August 10, 2013Leadership

Guest Post by Martha Buckly

As the saying goes, great leaders are born, not made. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Nelson Mandela may have had brains that were wired differently, according to a new study. In particular, they had more gray matter in the parts of their minds that control decision making and memory, which could account for their superior leadership skills.

Leadership InclinationsWith that said, there is ample evidence that suggests leadership skills can be learned. Or, at the very least, there are numerous attributes and characteristics that all good leaders have in common. You might not become the next Alexander the Great by following these simple suggestions, but they should help you to run your department more successfully.

1. There’s no “I” in team

Some bosses let leadership go to their heads. They take advantage of the power they have over their subordinates. Good leaders, on the other hand, realize that they are simply part of a team and cannot succeed if they fail to get the most out of each and every one of their team members. There are many ways to motivate your team that does not include bribes or threats. In fact, good leaders get people to follow them simply by being honest.

2. Inspire your employees

One of the most magnetic qualities about all great leaders is that they have the rare ability to empower others through the strength of their character. They need not cajole or inveigle their employees to get them to do their bidding. Rather, they simply inspire them by setting a good example.

3. Actions speak louder than words

The most common concern of any employee who is suddenly thrust into a leadership position is that they won’t be able to rally the troops when they need to. Many of them have less than Kennedyesque public speaking abilities, which means they often avoid big speeches. But more often than not in a business setting, words are a bit overrated. Most employees get inspired by bosses that demonstrate commitment to their workers and the company through actions, not bravura speeches.

4. Give respect to get respect

Numerous studies have found the best bosses are the ones that do not play favorites. They treat all of their employees with respect, from the top executives to interns to temporary workers. As a result, their staff is far more likely to come to them with new ideas, inquires, or concerns. Being a leader absolutely necessitates that you stay in the loop and have your finger on the pulse of your business.

5. Don’t be afraid to fail

Nobody can make the right decision all the time. Politicians, scientists, doctors, and other leaders stumble about as often as they succeed. But what separates them from others is that they never stop trying based on past missteps. Because they believe in their vision, they keep plugging away. That kind of dedication is infectious.

6. Image is important

In addition to giving respect, you must also have respect for yourself, or what the French call amour propre. This feeling of personal worth is reflected in everything you say and do and even how you dress, which brings us to our next tip.

7. Dress the part

In an age of internet billionaires that wear hoodies and flip flops to work, there is something to be said for a nice suit, both for men and women. Sure, the 20-year old tech wizard can get away with wearing whatever he wants, but most employees must dress for success if they want to get ahead.

8. Be a great mentor

As we mentioned earlier, leaders are only as good as the teams they lead. All great bosses leave something to posterity, i.e., they help develop the next generation of leaders. They do this by never saying no to any employee’s request for guidance, help, or support.

9. Always be honest

One of the many differences between a boss and a leader is that leaders don’t sugarcoat the truth. They are frank and honest with their employees, but never petty or mean. They will tell them exactly what they need to know to help their workers learn and grow.

10. Vision is everything

No, you don’t have to be Steve Jobs. But you must articulate an unambiguous vision for the future of your company. It could be something as simple as selling one million units of product or doubling revenues within five years…but it has to be clear and concise and every employee must understand it.

What additional characteristics would you add to develop your leadership inclinations?

Guest Author

Martha BucklyToday’s post is written by Martha, who is a freelance writer currently collaborating with best custom writing. Martha has many years of writing experience and she is always keen on sharing her experience.

Photo credit: pedrosimoes7 via photopin cc



From time to time, guest writers contribute to Thin Difference. Topics include leadership, career development, creativity, and mindfulness. Our mission is to "Cross the gap and lead with a new story line," inspiring Millennial leaders.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Ardian Zakaria says:

    great article

  • VOCL 018 – Looking at Leadership Articles #3 | Voices of Canadian Leadership (VOCL) says:

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  • KateNasser says:

    Hi Marth,

    Many great points here for developing leaders and those w/ many years of experience. I disagree with the first heading — There is no I in team — for leadership and teamwork today celebrates individual talents that are contributed to the whole result. Nonetheless, when I read the paragraph that goes w/ your first heading, I agree that egotism is not a leadership success trait!

    #4 point is the winner for me. Respect is the basis for teamwork which actually gives leadership its true power.


  • Mohammad says:

    Marth, Well-done sister,
    I will post the link of this article into my Tweeter. However, I like point 10 (Vision is everything) and I think if the top people has a (clear) vision and let the people they mange see the same vision and work for it. There we can run a successful business.
    * I need to add point No (11) Lead by example
    Best Wishes Martha

    Mohammed from Saudi Arabia

  • Martha says:

    I am happy you found this article useful!

  • Terri Klass says:

    Great post, Martha and I agree that leadership skills can definitely be learned and improved! All your points are terrific and I especially loved your idea about being an inspirational leader. I think when leaders can find their unique voice and style, they are able to lead with confidence and motivate others to join their journey. I think the critical issue is being authentic and genuine. Others can see when our actions are not consistent with our words. Both must be on the same page. Job well done!

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