sg-crest A Singapore Government Agency Website
Official website links end with
Secure websites use HTTPS
Look for a lock () or https:// as an added precaution. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
workipedia logo white

5 minute read

Build Your Leadership Skills to Advance in Your Career: Here Are 7 Ways to Do So

The technical skills you learn are helpful but if you want to move forward in your career, leadership skills are essential for advancement. Here’s how you can develop them.

Watch The Full Video Here!

As American football coach Vince Lombardi once said: “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.” 

And research backs this up. While some of us may be born with the personality traits that can help us be more successful in leadership roles, it doesn’t mean leadership is innate. Practical leadership skills can be learnt and developed — and they are essential if you want to move higher in your career. 

Being a leader opens doors for an individual to achieve recognition, as well as networking opportunities with other leaders. Having the necessary leadership skills is essential to put you in the running for such roles and these skills include effective communication, critical thinking, delegation, motivation, decision-making and more. 

Whether or not you’re aiming for a promotion, seeking out other opportunities or wanting to excel where you are, leadership skills can give you that edge above the rest. Here are 7 practical strategies you can take to build and strengthen your leadership abilities. 

Have a job but want to level up? Explore career events and resources designed to help you develop your skills and expand your knowledge with Career GRIT. Check it out now!

1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses

Becoming a better leader involves assessing your current skills and knowing where you need to improve yourself. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help you identify the skills you want to develop. You can do this by asking your peers, colleagues and managers, as well as taking online assessments to understand your competencies better. Use the results to create a personal development plan that outlines your goals and action steps. 

2. Seek feedback actively

An important aspect of a good leader is one who is keen to listen to suggestions, ideas and feedback from others to help improve themselves, the team, processes and the organisation. Practise active listening and be open to criticism. It is also important to do some self-reflection on what’s been conveyed to you before taking the next step. 

3. Be open to learning

An effective leader seeks out learning opportunities and keeps up with the times. So yes, sign up for leadership courses or programmes, as well as classes on relevant topics like communicating effectively or design thinking. But that’s all not. Make it a point to attend seminars and read books to keep up to date on the latest industry news and trends and research leaders you admire to learn fundamental leadership tips.

4. Learn to communicate and collaborate effectively

Good leaders need to know how to communicate effectively both orally and in the written word. This is so leaders can express their vision, values and expectations while understanding the needs and feedback of the team. Start by practising how to be an active listener and building this skill. After which, start looking at other areas of communication, such as words, tone and body language. This will empower you to lead your team more effectively. You can also attend communication courses to build on your knowledge.

Looking for a fresh perspective on your career? Polaris is your go-to programme for personalised career guidance. Sign up today!

5. Don’t shy away from more responsibilities 

You don’t have to have an official leadership role before you can practise being a leader. Seek out opportunities to take the lead, whether it’s taking on added assignments, projects or a short-term stint in another team. This also shows initiative and demonstrates the trait of being willing to go beyond your usual work to get things done, which in turn leaves a favourable impression on your bosses. 

6. Acknowledge mistakes and move on

Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be passed over for leadership. To be an effective leader, you must admit your wrongs and show willingness to learn from your mistakes. This builds trust and credibility. Also, it is essential to use such instances as opportunities to learn as it’ll help you identify areas for professional improvement. This helps you determine how to set realistic goals and strategies for success. 

7. Find a mentor 

What better way to learn leadership from someone whom you respect as a leader as well? Having a leader who possesses the right skills and is already a respected, trusted person is very useful for your development. Identify someone who has the expertise to guide you and reach out to them for mentorship. If your company has official mentorship programmes for leadership development, you can choose to sign up. What’s important is that for you to learn, you must be teachable and receptive to criticism and feedback.

Read Also: On the Job Hunt: The Importance of Mentorship and How it Can Benefit Your Career

These steps can help you practise and refine your leadership skills. Taking a proactive approach to demonstrate your leadership potential will also give you opportunities to make meaningful contributions to your team and organisation. 

Building leadership skills is continuous; you must remain dedicated and committed to your personal and professional growth. Take the time to cultivate your leadership capabilities and achieve the goals you’ve set. In time, take heart; your efforts will be recognised.

Find more jobs like these at
MyCareersFuture Job Portal