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How to Build Leadership Skills

Leadership is an elusive quality that evades even some of the most educated, powerful, and charismatic among us. Teaching leadership skills isn’t as simple as teaching math, science, or grammar, and developing leadership skills can’t be done in the same way as cramming for a test. There are, however, key habits that allow individuals to develop the mindset a leader needs. Here are three of those habits that might just surprise you.


Keep a Journal

The manifold benefits of journaling are often ignored, but those who have tried it know that there is no better impetus for leadership skill development. Journal keeping helps develop emotional maturity and metacognition. Those who journal find themselves confronting and analyzing their own thoughts, feelings, and habitual responses to difficulty. A journal can become a source of comfort, a venting place for negative emotion, as well as a creative space. Journaling helps increase self-confidence and fosters humility, two different but essential leadership qualities. What’s more, journaling boost memory, comprehension, communication skills, self-discipline, goal setting skills, and the likelihood of achieve said goals. Basically, a journal forces an individual to be accountable to themselves. And accountability is the foundation of improvement.

Remember, keep your journal regularly. If it helps, have one journal for personal matters and another for professional pursuits. Both are useful, and you can use their discreteness to help compartmentalize.




Beginners may assume that leadership means taking absolute control and not allowing a bit of leash to anyone else. The truth is that leadership has a lot to do with sharing. Leaders need to know how to share their vision. Leaders need to know how to share their concerns, brainstorming, expectations, and even credit. Leaders need to know how to share the load, delegating tasks and responsibilities to others.

Sharing is the way that lines of real communication are opened up. By sharing, individuals begin to form bonds of trust, trust that is essential to every team and embodied in every leader. What it boils down to, really, is the choice to lead fearfully or lead with confidence. Fearful leaders shut others out. Too afraid to share or trust, they are more likely to try to domineer over their team. Such leaders fail because they have forgotten that even the leader is still part of a team. Leading with confidence looks like communication, collaboration, trust, and optimism.

Micromanagement and over-shyness are enemy of every potential leader .

Leaders share because they know that it is not just worth the risk, it is essential to their team’s ultimate success.




Yes, swimming. And we’re not talking leisurely floating or hot-tubbing either. Swimming is an adaptable, full-body workout that, when seriously pursued, improves mental health, confidence, and drive. Competitive swimming, even if you are just competing with yourself, is a practice that demands accountability, effort, and a willingness to examine your own strengths and weaknesses. You may think you are simply exercising your body, but swimming forces you to exercises the characteristics essential to leadership. What’s more, vigorous, regular exercise like swimming decreases stress and helps leaders take a break from their problems so they can come back to them with a refreshed mind and clearer perspective.

If you’re shy, an inground pool cost will serve you just as well as a public pool pass, because part of what makes swimming so psychologically beneficial is it’s solitary nature. There’s no ball to pass, no opposing team member to block- just you, your stopwatch, and the distance to the other end of the pool. Serous swimmers learn to keep track of and rely on their own small victories, gaining the capability to keep going without outside validation or the thrill of fast, dramatic improvements.

Further information

Leadership skills get to the core of who we are, so it’s no wonder that many habits that build leadership skills fall outside of our comfort zones. Still, the world needs more leaders and the right habits can turn the most unlikely of people into leaders. So now that you know what habit to add to your life in order to build your leadership skills, the only thing that stands between you and having those skills is your determination.


Page last edited Feb 26, 2019 History

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