Leadership abilities come naturally to some, but for many, leadership skills have to be honed and developed. Observe the following requirements to improve and build upon your leadership skills.

Be Committed & Responsible

People are more likely to follow you if they perceive you as committed. Show commitment by following through on your promises. Accept responsibility for your successes and failures – playing the victim is not an option. Follow up on issues and review projects regularly to make sure you have done all you can. Keep an eye on projects so that you can head off problems.

Don’t accept failure. Look for ways to turn failures into successes. Think outside the box and make an effort to improve your weaknesses.

Education and Training

If your level of education is holding you back, bite the bullet and sign up for the appropriate course. A curious mind is an asset, as leaders are expected to have a good standard of education and general knowledge. Choose a topic and spend half an hour a day researching it – this should build your knowledge base.

Positive Mental Attitude

Be the best you can be by spending time on self development. Condition your mind to reject negative attitudes – try NLP (Neuro-Linguistic programming) to channel your mental energy. Read self-help and motivational books, and the biographies of prominent leaders. Immerse yourself in the arts: do an art appreciation course. A commitment to positivity will bring about that relaxed countenance that many successful leaders exhibit.

Inner Circle

Besides your family, cultivate an inner circle of people who build you up. In your work environment, surround yourself with colleagues you can trust; people who have the right skills for the job. Spend time with friends who make you feel good about yourself.

Be Disciplined

Always arrive early for appointments. This shows that you are disciplined and respect other people’s time. Seek the support of your family in everything you do.

Be Courageous

Strength and courage in the face of adversity is a must. Trouble comes with the territory but be determined to face it off. People will respect you more if you show courage.

Optimize Communication Skills

People make assumptions about your level of education based on the way you speak and write. When speaking, pay attention to the way you form sentences and pronounce words. If need be, do a business English course.

In written communication, avoid long, drawn out sentences. This is frowned upon, as it represents the old style of business communication. Plain English is now the acceptable standard for business English. Sentences should be short and contain simple phrases. Know your audience and tailor your communication appropriately.