12 Ideas for Developing Leaders

Developing Leaders: 12 Ways to do it

Developing Leaders has a deep impact. As a leader your greatest role is to guide others through the storm and leadership skills are integral to this.  

At a time when everyone’s underlying stress levels are higher, brought on by a host of challenges from the cost-of-living to strikes, you need the right skills from resilience to adaptability to get the most out of your team. 

We’ve outlined 12 Skills leaders need this year and why these traits all add up to inspiring people and delivering results. 

Leading effectively through intense change creates a strong emotional burden on you too which is why soft skills as a leader are just as important; to protect and grow yourself as well as nurturing your team. 

1. Adaptability 

When the world changes fast, developing leaders to quickly means seeing the value in challenges instead of running away from conflict. You need to be versatile enough to change your plans and forecasts and step out of your comfort zone.  

As well as adapting to changing circumstances you need to adapt around your teams cognitive styles and the diversification of your team.  

2. Communication 

Effective communication with your team can have a powerful influence on employee retention as well as team performance. Without effective communication people can become demotivated and fail to align with the core goals of the business. These need to matter on an individual level to inspire people and deliver the results you want. 

What’s more with many different cognitive styles within a team and factors such as neurodiversity, different generations and Facet 5 profiles you need to be skilled at one to one communication as well as at a departmental and organisational level. 

Great communication can be drilled down into several skillsets from empathy to conflict management to getting the right messaging across, particularly in large complex businesses. 

Leadership Trends you need to watch in 2024

3. Creativity and innovation 

People who push boundaries in the right way are more likely to get outstanding results. Creative leadership draws on novel ideas and the best way to do this is to gather the right people around you and collect ideas from all ranks, from leaders to graduates. All of this creates a more collaborative culture and in turn makes teammates feel more valued and appreciated. As well as encouraging your teammates to step out of their comfort zone, one challenge at a time. 

4. Decision making: Developing Leaders To Make Effective Decisions

Recent events have shown that a quick decision isn’t always the best one. But not reacting quickly can have dire consequences. There are several different approaches to decision making ranging from impulsiveness to deflection and all of these have pros and cons. 

The trick is to balance ethics and to assess risks. These all need to be balanced for decisive leadership, especially in a crisis, and there are many different categories of crises which can appear without warning, demanding immediate attention.  

How to make decisions effectively as a leader

5. Conflict management 

From restructures to addressing team performance these can be uncomfortable times for leaders when difficult conversations are unavoidable. When leaders put off these conversations or address them in the wrong way this can lead to toxic culture. Having the confidence to address these conversations head on and to motivate teammates can create a positive cycle of change.  

6. Developing Leaders to Give Effective Feedback 

The ability to give effective feedback is the difference between adding personal growth to your team and getting the results you want versus demotivating your team and decreasing productivity. A powerful leader can bring out the full potential and skillsets of their teammates by growing them professionally in both their technical and soft skills. In turn this can encourage your team to try out mentorship skills and share knowledge creating a strong learning culture. 

How to manage difficult conversations

7. Empathy 

The act of deep listening and compassionate leadership are a very powerful combination. Our LinkedIn poll found that 47% of people believe that empathy is the most underrated leadership skill. 

It’s easy to write off empathy as a nice to have that isn’t linked to results. In reality not only can empathy increase team performance but when empathy extends to customers this can increase Net Promotor Score too. Empathy has tangible repercussions on customer loyalty and your selling power. People can sense authenticity making it the real differentiator, go beyond surface listening and practice deep listening. Always consider the ‘make me feel important’ value when speaking with employees, teammates and customers.   

The D4S blog ‘have we forgotten to listen?’ touches on the impact of deep listening rather than surface listening as one of the top leadership skills.  

Explore empathy in leadership

8. Growth Mindset 

Nurturing a work culture of continuous improvement and always growing personally and professionally is a skillset that lends itself to creativity and adaptability. To be adaptable at work you must have a growth mindset which views challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. 

Courses, attending workshops or participating in online learning opportunities is a great way to do this. 

L&D is your secret weapon in a cost-of-living crisis.

9. Inspiring Your People through leadership skills

That ability to create an infectious environment of positive change by developing leaders is key. A great leader will bring a passionate personality to the table that sweeps their people and advocates along with them, and reawakens their teams drive for their role. 

The ability to inspire spills over into customers too. Success within departments starts with the key people and leaders within each department and when they are on board you’re on to a winner.   

10. Relationship Building  

Customers buy from people they know and having the right personality to grow relationships inside and outside the business is crucial for attrition, attracting great people and then keeping and growing them. Just because you hire a superstar doesn’t mean they will perform if they don’t have the right environment to thrive.

Explore more leadership skills


11. Building Resilience & Mental Strength

Resilience is a huge one for 2023. To persevere in difficult times, you need coping strategies both for yourself and your team. Mental Health Foundation’s study found that almost 87% of people were using at least one coping strategy from the pandemic. 

12. Building Trust 

Building trust within your organisation is very difficult during a time of intense change or organisational flux and is high on the list as leadership skills go. 

Start Building Your Leadership Skills

Espresso sessions are monthly 20 minute free webinars run by our organisational development team.

Take a look at the upcoming topics for free learning.

Upcoming Monthly Espresso Sessions

Talk through your ideas 

Want a soundboard to chat through your strengths as a leader and areas to grow?  

Or want to explore tailored insight sessions to build your skillsets…  

Drop Us a Message