• Published January 20, 2024
  • 2 Minute Read
LEADING EFFECTIVELY ARTICLE

How to Succeed as a Leader

Published January 20, 2024
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 that gap and truly succeed as a leader.

6 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 boosts employee engagement and motivation 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.

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.

Discovering the Leader in You BookLearn how to tackle the job of leadership with self-understanding, personal enthusiasm, vision, and constant energy. Get our book, Discovering the Leader in You.

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 leadership programs, available for leaders at every level.

Based on Research by

Jean Leslie
Jean Leslie, MA
Senior Fellow & Director of Strategic Initiatives

Jean develops, oversees, and helps implement programs, projects, and processes that support the vision and the short- and long-term plans of the global Leadership Research and Analytics group. She’s published more than 100 pieces on leadership, assessment, and feedback — in the form of peer-reviewed articles, popular-press articles, book chapters, and books — and has presented over 70 papers at professional conferences such as the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.

Jean develops, oversees, and helps implement programs, projects, and processes that support the vision and the short- and long-term plans of the global Leadership Research and Analytics group. She’s published more than 100 pieces on leadership, assessment, and feedback — in the form of peer-reviewed articles, popular-press articles, book chapters, and books — and has presented over 70 papers at professional conferences such as the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.

David Altman
David Altman, PhD
Chief Research & Innovation Officer

David oversees several global groups at CCL: Leadership Research and Analytics; Portfolio and Leadership Solutions; Partnerships and Innovation; and Future Leadership/Digital Transformation. He maintains an active portfolio of direct client work and focuses on Senior Teams and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. Before joining us, David spent 20 years working in academic medical centers and is an Adjunct Professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

David oversees several global groups at CCL: Leadership Research and Analytics; Portfolio and Leadership Solutions; Partnerships and Innovation; and Future Leadership/Digital Transformation. He maintains an active portfolio of direct client work and focuses on Senior Teams and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. Before joining us, David spent 20 years working in academic medical centers and is an Adjunct Professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

How to Succeed as a Leader
© Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. CCL

What to Explore Next

About CCL

At the Center for Creative Leadership, our drive to create a ripple effect of positive change underpins everything we do. For 50+ years, we've pioneered leadership development solutions for everyone from frontline workers to global CEOs. Consistently ranked among the world's top providers of executive education, our research-based programs and solutions inspire individuals in organizations across the world - including 2/3 of the Fortune 1000 — to ignite remarkable transformations.