Education & Career Trends: The Art of being an Effective Leader

3 min read

Edition: May 14th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Some people are born leaders, but many develop the skills required to thrive as a leader.
(Image Credit: Thinkstock)

Excerpts from article by Karishmma V Mangal, published on

Leadership is the art of motivating, influencing and directing a group of people to work together and achieve collective goals. In each phase of life, leadership skills form the foundation of personal and professional growth.

If students are exposed to leadership opportunities early on, they grow into confident, agile adults who can embrace the challenges of life and thrive in any situation.

That’s why it is so important for young people to experience leadership opportunities during their school/college years.

What does a good leader look like?

An effective leader is:

  • Goal-oriented
  • Honest
  • Hardworking
  • Willing to serve others
  • A good listener
  • An impactful communicator
  • A balanced decision-maker
  • Encouraging
  • Positive in attitude
  • Responsible

If this list seems dauting to you, don’t worry. Remember, while some are born leaders, many others develop the skills required to thrive as a leader.

How to hone your leadership skills?

Here are some simple steps you can take to develop and sharpen your leadership skills, and accelerate your career growth:

  1. Establish your goals to set your direction and keep a check of every goal you’ve achieved or missed; reward or improve yourself accordingly.
  2. Demonstrate discipline by always meeting deadlines. If you’re naturally unorganised then you may start small – like waking up early, setting and following your daily routine and gradually warding off procrastination.
  3. Develop situational awareness and proactiveness because that will help you see the bigger picture, anticipate any problems before they occur, and allow you the time to come up with alternative plans.
  4. Keep trying to learn new things as it polishes your skills and enriches your mind.
  5. Be an astute listener and remain open to ideas, suggestions and feedback. Also understand that effective listening is not only about verbal communication, but also about picking up non-verbal cues like eye contact and body language.
  6. Take on more projects in school/college/university and try to lead them. By taking control of these projects, you can identify how to delegate, help associates stay on task, and resolve differences that may surface.
  7. Participate in volunteering activities like student-run fundraisers or annual events of your institution. This will help you expand your skill set.
  8. Being a leader also means you should be able to inspire and motivate others. When a team member needs reassurance or assistance, offer it. Sometimes, all that a person needs is for someone to hear them out and up their motivation level.
  9. Transform “me” to “we” by understanding and acknowledging the fact that a good leader happens only when there is a good team. Program yourself to keep your team’s best interest in mind rather than your own. Being part of team work and projects that require group participation will help you in this aspect.
  10. Be a people’s person. If you’re not already a people’s person then condition yourself to be approachable, open-minded and friendly. If the people you collaborate with don’t find you pleasant to communicate or work with, chances are they will choose not to follow you.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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