Daily practices you can start today to hone your leadership skills

Do you know the difference between leadership and management? Often, people can confuse leadership skills and management skills but believe it or not, they’re not the same thing. Surely, being a good leader is the same as being a good manager, right? Not exactly…

What is the difference between leadership and management?

Management is an ideology we’re all familiar with. But have you ever taken a moment to figure out how it differs from good leadership? Management is about setting a series of objectives and managing a team of people to carry out those tasks.

However, leadership is about the bigger picture; the scope is much wider. As businesswoman Karren Brady says, “Leadership is about vision and sometimes it’s only a vision you can see.” As a great leader, your job is to persuade and coach your team to also believe in your vision so you can work collaboratively to achieve it. 

So why are leadership skills important?

As we’ve already established, being a good leader doesn’t mean you have to be a member of the 5 am club or read the latest business book on your commute. 

Many people might ask themselves, “Why is leadership important?” Creating a culture that includes positive and uplifting leaders is a vital part of maintaining motivation. Good leadership should help convince your team of the overall vision and maintain the motivation needed to get closer to the vision. 

Your leadership capabilities totally depend on you as a person. Implementing daily habits can help to hone and improve your leadership skills, no matter the stage of your marketing career. Let’s take a look at some habits you can start practising now…

1. Be self-aware and challenge your own thinking

Self-awareness is one of the most important leadership skills. Challenge your own thinking more. If you’re used to working a certain way, ask yourself why. Get curious with your current behaviours, work patterns and kindly critique what you’re doing well and what could be improved on. 

Not only is this a great way to start analysing yourself as a coworker, but by practising “bigger thinking”, you will naturally encourage your team to challenge themselves and assess their ways of working too.  

2. Observe what other people need and ask them questions

Open-ended questions are a very important part of leadership, as they allow your team members to figure things out for themselves, meaning their learning is far more valuable. Everyone is wired differently so you should always take the time to understand how other people function and therefore like to be led.

For example, if someone has amazing ideas but has difficulty expressing them, follow up with them via email after a brainstorm so they have the opportunity to share their ideas one-to-one. Similarly, someone on your team likes to feel well-prepared for meetings, give them a chance to see or hear your questions for them before so they have time to reflect and perform their best. 

Observation is an important leadership skill. Ask and learn more about the members of your team so you can lead them how they want to be led. 

3. Practise your communication

It may seem obvious, but practise your communication. Have you ever had an unapproachable leader? Remember how uncomfortable it felt trying to approach them with an issue. This is something you want to avoid passing down to your own team, so start laying the groundwork now. You want to make your working environment as welcoming as possible for all your employees as this will provide them with a stronger sense of motivation and job satisfaction.

Ask people how they’re feeling, ensure you are expressing your own responsibility but also your involvement with other teams across the organisation. You will also need to ensure you can communicate your vision and expectations correctly in order for your team to know what they’re working towards and what they should prioritise. 

4. Be consistent, but know when to change things up

As a good leader, you will need to remain cool, calm and collected in every situation presented to you. Being consistent is a huge part of a team feeling psychologically safe and motivated, but you should always be on the lookout for when things need to take a different direction. 

Can you be on the lookout for things that could be improved now? Can you see anything that could do with a new approach? These are the kind of questions leaders will have to ask themselves so they can find the right balance between consistency and shifting the equilibrium. 

5. Embrace continuous learning in your work environment

Continuous learning is important for any career, but particularly marketing. Providing yourself and your team with new training opportunities will create a positive and encouraging work culture. As a leader, you should be open to new learning opportunities yourself, but also ask your team what would benefit their professional skill set. 

One way in which you can provide your marketing team with continuous learning is through a membership like the Girls in Marketing Membership. Our team’s packages are created specifically for leaders to invest in their teams. By getting involved with monthly networking sessions, webinars hosted by industry experts and new resources, your team can feel educated, empowered and connected in the marketing industry.

Support your team by signing up for our team membership package today.


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Marketing Leadership Virtual Conference

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