Leadership is a skill that everyone should learn. Saying “everyone is a leader” sounds like a platitude, but it’s true: you don’t need to be a manager to be a leader. If you do manage a team, however, being an effective leader is even more important.

Good leadership is probably the single most important skill in business. Companies exist because people working together can achieve more than individuals can alone. And yet despite both the prevalence and the importance of leadership, most of us probably learn leadership skills by accident.

I started my first company while I was in high school. I did well at school, but I quickly learned that being a Straight-A student does not make someone a good leader. There are plenty of heart surgeons, rocket scientists and lawyers who are excellent at what they do, but wouldn’t necessarily make effective leaders.

Describing myself as an effective leader today, I feel, would be premature. I am definitely still learning. I have made many mistakes and learned from them along the way.

Part of the leadership journey is learning to listen. It is a critical skill for leaders for two reasons. First, it’s fairly obvious that having an accurate understanding of an issue is important for making an effective decision. But secondly – counterintuitively – it’s harder to get an accurate understanding as a leader. You may have access to teams of people, to dozens of reports, and to much more information, but leaders often receive a very biased perspective. Read more

Andrew Barnes – Dynamic Business – 17 Aug 2017