Natural Leaders Are Few; Increase Your Leadership Skills with These Tips

A recent Gallup poll reported that only about 10% of people are natural leaders. That innate aptitude can make a significant difference in your organization’s bottom line, but don’t despair if you aren’t in that select few.

“Nearly one in five (18%) of those currently in management roles demonstrate a high level of talent for managing others, while another two in 10 show a basic talent for it,” according to the Gallup study. “Combined, they contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers do.”

While many of us may not be natural leaders, leadership skills can be developed. Michael Schneider, a human capital specialist with Welltower, outlines these three approaches in a recent Inc. article:

1. Possess and share a growth mindset. Schneider champions the “simple belief that intelligence and talent can be cultivated over time,” instead of the fixed mindset, “the belief that skills and abilities are predetermined.” Encourage learning, experimentation, and persistence. “At the first sign of failure…don't give up. See failure as a part of the learning process, welcome feedback, and believe that potential is limited only by effort.”

2. Create safe environments to capture the diversity of team talent. Create a culture “where employees feel safe to speak up,” writes Schneider. Employees who feel encouraged to try new things prevent “bureaucracies and bias” from driving discussions and limiting the team’s effectiveness.

3. Clarity and structure is vital. Clarify goals and roles by creating a clear mission and purpose, he writes, otherwise “competing priorities, individual agendas, and confusion will slow the team down.”

How does being a great manager affect your organization’s bottom line? “Organizations with great bosses, on average, produce 147% higher earnings per share than their competitors,” writes Schneider, “This boost comes from higher-quality work, discretionary effort, and productivity.”

For more information, please read “Only 10 Percent of People Are Natural Leaders. The Rest of Us Have to Work on Developing These 3 Qualities.”