How to Succeed as a Leader

How to Succeed as a Leader

Want to stand out as a leader? Excel at skills where there’s a strong need and weak capacity. 

Our researchers analyzed data from nearly 2400 managers at 24 organizations in 3 countries to understand the leadership gap — the skills that organizations need for the future that their leaders don’t have right now. We found 6 key gaps emerged.

If you can figure out how to achieve success in these 6 areas, you’re more likely to close the gap and succeed as a leader.

Ways to Succeed as a Leader

Infographic: 6 Ways to Achieve Success - How to Succeed as a Leader

Stand Out by Achieving in These 6 Areas 

1. Inspire commitment.

Managers who recognize and reward employees’ achievements are able to inspire commitment from their subordinates. These managers publicly praise others for their performance, understand what motivates other people to perform at their best, and provide tangible rewards for significant organizational achievements.

2. Lead employees.

Leaders who have good skills in directing and motivating people know how to interact with staff in ways that motivate them. They show trust to their team by delegating effectively, broaden employee opportunities, act with fairness toward direct reports, and hire talented people for their teams.

3. Plan strategically.

This skill involves translating vision into realistic business strategies. Managers who are highly competent in this area typically articulate long-term objectives and strategies, develop plans that balance long-term goals with immediate needs, update plans to reflect changing circumstances, and develop plans that contain contingencies for future changes. Learn how to be a more strategic leader.

LDP Live Online

4. Manage change well.

Skilled leaders have developed effective strategies for facilitating organizational change. Such a manager views change positively, adapts plans as necessary, manages others’ resistance to change, adapts to the changing external pressures facing the organization, and involves others in the design and implementation of change. These are key to becoming a successful change leader.

5. Develop your employees.

A manager skilled in the area of employee development usually coaches employees to improve performance, provides employees with guidance, encourages employees to develop careers, and makes sure employees understand their roles. Smart managers follow this talent development checklist.

Learn how to tackle the job of leadership with self-understanding, personal enthusiasm, vision, and constant energy.

6. Practice self-awareness.

This skill involves recognizing your personal limits and strengths. Self-aware managers admit weaknesses, learn from mistakes, seek ongoing feedback, and know themselves well. Learn how to increase your self-awareness

If you can sharpen your skills in these 6 areas, you’ll improve your ability to address complex future challenges — and set yourself apart from others, helping you to succeed as a leader.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Build the skills and mindsets that you need to succeed as a leader with our flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP)®, available in both face-to-face and online formats.

Sign Up for Newsletters

Don’t miss a single insight! Get our latest cutting-edge, research-based leadership content sent directly to your inbox.

April 20, 2022
Leading Effectively Staff
About the Author(s)
Leading Effectively Staff
This article was written by our Leading Effectively staff, who analyze our decades of pioneering, expert research and experiences in the field to share content that will help leaders at every level. Subscribe to our emails to get the latest research-based leadership articles and insights sent straight to your inbox.

Related Content

Please update your browser. requires a modern browser for an enhanced and secure user experience. Internet Explorer is no longer supported or recommended by Microsoft. The Center for Creative Leadership recommends that you upgrade to Microsoft Edge or similar.