‹ GO BACK   Posted August 6th, 2015

The 12 Essential Skills of a Strong Leader

Skills of a strong leaderStrong leadership is critical for building and sustaining a successful organization. I’ve been talking a lot recently about leading with vision, simply because it’s the easiest way to galvanize your people and set the course.

But many of you aren’t yet in the position to establish your organization’s vision, and you still want to develop your leadership skills. Being a strong leader is a tremendously valuable career asset; every CEO I know wants to have strong leaders in their key management positions.

Strong leaders are always driven by a sense of purpose, and also have the ability to:

  • Empower others
  • Build team orientation
  • Develop organizational capability
  • Create change
  • Promote organizational learning
  • Emphasize customer focus
  • Work to reach agreement
  • Manage and coordinate integration
  • Define strategic direction and intent
  • Define goals and objectives
  • Define core values

As you’re reading these 12 essential skills of a strong leader, I’m sure you’re thinking about which of these areas you excel in, and which need work. It’s natural.

For many, there are a few areas that are clear weaknesses and can be improved by reading a couple of key books and by applying the lessons learned over the course of 90 days. (If you’d like guidance, I’m happy to provide recommendations on material for developing specific leadership skills.)

If you’re interested in taking a more holistic approach, take the Denison Leadership Development 360 survey. This will measure your performance on the above 12 leadership behaviors that are directly linked to high performing business cultures.

The assessment is a simple online survey of 96 questions that takes about 20-25 minutes to complete. It will benchmark your leadership and management skills to those of leaders in other organizations. You’ll be compared to Denison’s global database of nearly 14,000 leaders (from a wide variety of industries, job functions, management levels and tenures) and receive tabulated graphical profiles–represented in a Summary Report–that convey your results in percentile scores.

Your report will provide:

  • Circumplex reports that compare your self-ratings to the ‘Combined Other’ group of boss, peers, direct reports and others
  • Line item data showing individual scores on each of the questions, and a Line Item report summarizing the 10 highest and lowest scoring items according to the ‘Combined Other’ category
  • A Gap report outlining strengths, weaknesses, and under- and over-estimated capabilities
  • A Comments Report

Value to Individuals

The Denison Leadership Development 360 is a developmental tool. By providing data-based feedback, this instrument allows you compare your own ratings to those of coworkers and to identify gaps in perceived strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. It’s a blueprint for becoming a solid, well-rounded leader.

Value to Companies

Organizations use the Denison Leadership Development 360 to help their leaders to:

  • Identify specific areas of individual strength and weakness, and establish an action plan for leadership development
  • Understand group-level leadership strengths and weaknesses
  • Learn how specific skills and practices impact their leadership performance
  • Develop leadership skills necessary to adapt to a changing environment
  • Understand their role in creating a high-performance culture
  • Successfully develop their teams

The assessment isn’t expensive – it’s one of the best investments you can make in yourself or your people. Connect with me if you’d like to get started.

My focus now is on leaving a positive impact. When I engage a client, I become personally invested – rolling up my sleeves to make sure that I get the results I expect.

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