Leadership skills are a common conversation. You may know that to be a good leader, you need to be able to communicate, listen, build relationships, coach and many more. But what are the top leadership skills that you may not know about? 

Here are the top three leadership skills you need to grow to rise to the top in 2022.

Confidence

Have you ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? “The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is that you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” ~ David Dunning. The Dunning-Kruger effect is the explanation of the disconnect between confidence and competence. The most confident are often the least competent. Competence and confidence don’t progress at the same rate. In the “real world” we often mistake experience for expertise. When in reality, experience doesn’t indicate competence. A small amount of knowledge can create an issue, as confidence grows faster than competence.

When we are overly confident, we lack humility and fall into a dangerous zone. This zone is called the Armchair Quarterback. Another way to think of it is the backseat driver. The person is confident they have all the answers and know what to do, even though they aren’t the one driving the car, making the changes, or taking any action. But boy can they call the plays from the lazyboy… They like to just sit there and tell everyone how to do everything.  This person may still be very positive, uplifting and motivational, but they may be making decisions out of lack of experience and can hurt others or the team in doing so. 

Confidence Blindspots:

Blindspot: As humans, we routinely overestimate our abilities. 

Pro-tip: Actively seek out reasons why you might be wrong. Even a single idea can curb overconfidence. If you find yourself having too much pride or conviction in your work you may be stuck in an overconfidence cycle. Allow doubt, curiosity and discovery to creep in to help break the cycle. 

Conversely, if we lack too much confidence we fall into a zone many of us are probably very familiar with, the Imposter Syndrome zone. But I want to spin this zone as a potential positive. When we fall into this zone, we lack some confidence, but we likely are highly competent. We have the experience, skills, or education. Being in this zone means you have what is needed to get the job done, you just may need enough experience under your belt to move you up to that confident and humble place. 

Blindspot: Imposter Syndrome is often coupled with high competence.

Pro-tip: Take some time to reflect on the skills, talents and abilities you have. Work with your coach to make a list of all the things you have to offer. Talk to your peers, family, friends about what they admire about you and leverage these talents. 

What you can do with your leadership coach:
  • Discuss specifically what it means to be confident as a leader.
  • Reflect on both confident leaders and competent leaders in your life. Understand the difference and determine who you want to follow and why.
  • Set a goal and challenge yourself to try one of these pro-tips in order to grow your confidence.
Confident leader image using game pieces

Humility

Humility is a great quality of leadership which derives respect and not just fear or hatred.” ~Yousef Munayyer 

Have you ever mistaken humility for low self-confidence? This is normal! Often when we are moving fast, we see a humble person and mistake them for someone lacking confidence. We may even call them a push over. Ideally, humility will meet up with confidence and create a perfect pair. A leader who is confidently humble believes in their abilities, retains a healthy amount of doubt, is curious and questions well, desires the truth, and remains flexible. 

Humility Blindspots

Blindspot: Our egos get in the way. We mistake who is right for what is right. 

Pro-Tip: How do you become more humble as a leader?

  • Become a lifelong learner
  • Listen to others and ask for help
  • Remove the “dog eat dog” mentality
  • Check yourself when your pride is getting the best of you
  • Leave your ego at the door
What you can do with your leadership coach:
  • Talk about the times and ways your ego gets in the way.
  • Reflect on the traits one of the humble leaders in your life exhibits.
  • Set a goal and challenge yourself to try one of these pro-tips in order to grow your confidence.

Walk the Walk

Walk the walk is another one that gets overlooked. Especially over the last 20 months of the pandemic. The rules have been bent, twisted, broken and welded back together. It’s time to take a step back and look at the example that’s being set for our teams, peers, friends, and families. Neglecting to walk the walk is the quickest way to lose your people and create bad habits that are very hard to reverse. 

Challenge yourself to walk the walk:

  • Do as I say AND as I do
  • Set a good example
  • Follow my lead
  • Back up what you say with action
What you can do with your leadership coach:
  • Discuss your expectations around work, boundaries, fitness, goals, relationships or anything. Are you walking the walk?
  • What have you committed to that you’ve fallen short of?
  • What have you told others is important that you’ve neglected to do for yourself or follow through on?

Use your coach to deep dive these skills and see what you can do to set yourself up for success in 2022. We’re here if you need help honing these top leadership skills!

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Jennifer Maynard

Jennifer's story is filled with stories and smiles. As she enters 20+ years of business she is happy to say she has enjoyed many career fields, companies, roles, and personal pivots. She is very excited to now be a part of the team at Ama La Vida as a Leadership Coach. Jen was born and raised in the Puget Sound area (Seattle, Wa). At age 30 she took her first life pivot and moved to Charleston, SC. In 2014 she had her first and only child, Grace. Since then, she has lived, traveled and worked all over the globe. You can read more about her story here.

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