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Five Skills that Every Leader Needs

Every business that wants to drive change, enable growth, or meet any other goal, needs to invest in its leaders, but unfortunately, the quality of leadership in many companies is often lacking. According to DDI World’s Global Leadership Forecast 2021, just 11% of organisations reported strong or very strong leaders – the lowest score in the forecast’s ten-year history.

Whether you work in a role identifying and onboarding leaders or are a leader yourself, it’s important to focus on the right skills to enable quality leadership. Here are five of the most important.


From being able to speak clearly and authoritatively, to listening to employee concerns, all the way to articulating requirements and setting out tasks, communication is a crucial skill of any manager or leader. Without it, teams can lack direction, staff can feel unheard, and leaders can lack authority, leading to a whole list of issues.


Decisiveness involves being able to make educated and calculated decisions even when under pressure. It ties in greatly with communication, as staff need to be told exactly what to do for the action to come to fruition. Leaders must be decisive, or organisations can become paralyzed, finding it very difficult to ensure things get done.

This skill can be seen as more of an innate trait compared to something that can be learned, but with help from people advisory firms like New Street Consulting Group, businesses can upskill their existing leaders as opposed to waiting for perfect candidates to enter leadership roles.


Gallup’s 10th Q12® Meta-Analysis of employee engagement in 2016 found that managers accounted for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores.

As statistics like this show—while leaders must have inner motivation to drive forward—being able to motivate a team is just as vital. By finding ways to motivate employees, build their self-esteem, and give them responsibility, leaders can boost productivity and reduce employee churn.

Conflict management

In any and every organisation, dealing with conflict is critical to retaining team cohesion. Without it, relationships can fracture, cliques can form, and leaders may find it very difficult to get things done. That’s why, when a conflict arises, leaders must be able to jump in and resolve or mitigate the conflict before it affects the business.

Being results-oriented

Leaders drive a company’s results through managing their teams. If a leader isn’t driven by these results, then the company will lack direction, and won’t strive towards producing results, potentially resulting in it being overtaken by the competition. As such, leaders must be fully informed of the results they need to drive and be proactive in tracking progress.

Whether you’re a worker or leader, what skills do you think leaders need to show? Let us know in the comments section.