Leadership Skills for Making Things Happen



“A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Strong leaders are able to translate strategy and ideas into execution.

Leaders that make things happen and have a strong “ability to execute” attract and retain raving fans and helpful followers.

One category of leadership skills is Leading Implementation, and it includes the following leadership skills: Coaching and Mentoring, Customer Focus, Delegation, Effectiveness, Monitoring Performance, Planning and Organizing, and Thoroughness.

In the book, Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have, Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell share their insight on the art of execution and the hidden leadership skills required to make things happen.

Leading Implementation

Leading Implementation is a set of leadership skills that anyone can develop to improve their ability to execute.

When you can effectively lead implementation, you can set a strategy, inspire action in others, get the right people working on the right things, and deliver great results, the kind that can “wow” your customers.

It’s possible you already have hidden strengths in these leadership skills already.  You simply need to identify these latent leadership skills and focus on the ones that will help you the most.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“This category of leadership skills is all about how you get things done–the execution of the strategy.  One interesting thing we have noticed is that those with strong creativity, innovation, and vision skills tend to focus less on execution and implementation, and vice versa.  Strong leaders are able to excel at both categories of skills.”

Coaching and Mentoring as a Leadership Skill

Leaders that excel are good at growing greatness in others.  To do so requires strong coaching and mentoring skills.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“Coaching is the skill of helping other people to solve their own problems and learning through experiences so they can function autonomously.  Leaders who coach help to shift their team members’ mind-sets, change behaviors, improve performance, and take accountability for their own successes. 

They help people find their own answers.  In contrast, leaders who mentor provide others with insights from their own experience on how they can be more effective.  Mentors provide the knowledge, wisdom, and direct guidance to assist others in their short and long-term career goals.”

Customer Focus as a Leadership Skill

Leaders with a strong customer focus have empathy.  They work hard to know what their customer’s pains, needs, and desired outcomes are.

The job of any business is to create a customer.   With strong Customer Focus as a leadership skill, you have a competitive edge in any job you take on, or in any business you create.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“Customer Focus is about being proactive in ensuring that customers are well served.  Customer-focused leaders are clear on who their customers are, work hard to understand their needs and how best to serve them, and solve their problems.”

Delegation as a Leadership Skill

Leaders who develop their delegation skills empower people and empower themselves.

The advantage of working in teams is to bring out the best in each person by maximizing their strength quotient.  When people spend more time in their strengths, they achieve more, in less time, and they grow faster, than spending time in their weaknesses.

Leaders that delegate effectively help people rise and shine and achieve what they are capable of, while operating at a higher level.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“Delegation is the ability to assign responsibility for certain tasks to others to increase individual and team productivity. 

Leaders who practice Delegation empower others to ‘own’ their project and motivate them to excel at their job.  They give others the opportunity to shine.”

Effectiveness as a Leadership Skill

Effectiveness is a leadership skill that can set you apart from the pack.

If people know they can count on you to do what you say you will do, and to effectively communicate action and results, you will quickly build trust as someone to count on to make things happen.

People will look to you with hope and admiration in your ability to articulate plans that make sense in a way that people can relate to.  And they will admire your ability to bring people along on the journey, and to bring out the best in each person involved.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“Effective leaders get the job done and do it well.  They ensure the right people are involved to get the work completed and that key stakeholders are kept informed through proactive communication. 

They combine their abilities to execute on well-organized plans and create strong morale and spirit in their teams. 

They bring out the best in each team member in terms of performance responsibility.”

Monitoring Performance as a Leadership Skill

Leaders that know how to monitor performance are good at creating learning loops, as well as providing opportunities for feedback and course correction.

When things get chaotic, a skillful leader can create clarity from the chaos, and point to real progress, as well as identify true bottlenecks.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“Monitoring Performance is the ability to measure and track the performance of staff, projects, and overall objectives. 

It combines systematically tracking metrics, assessing progress toward identified milestones; holding others accountable; and providing feedback, guidance, and coaching.”

Planning and Organizing as a Leadership Skill

Leaders that can effectively plan and organize work, quickly earn respect from their peers because they can turn strategy into execution, and ideas into action.

The leadership skill of Planning and Organizing is not to be confused with planners that never act.

Too many people treat plans as a list of things that will never happen.

Effective leaders implement plans.

Leaders with strong leadership skills in Planning and Organizing are good at creating pragmatic plans that help everybody see what the outcomes are, what the roadmap is, and what the steps to get there are, along with how each person can help move the ball forward.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“Planning and organizing is a core management skill.  Leaders with strong Planning and Organizing skills can successfully conceive, develop, and implement plans to accomplish short- and long-term goals.  they ensure a thoughtful and systematic course of action in everything from strategic forecasting to allocating resources to everyday scheduling.”

Thoroughness as a Leadership Skill

Some leaders are good at knowing what they want to accomplish.  They know the end-in-mind.  But that’s where they stop, and that’s where plans fall short.

Effective leaders are able to decompose the end-in-mind into chunks of meaningful work that can be executed.  They don’t depend on hero models to make things happen.  They focus on understanding the work in a way that they can help remove roadblocks and set people up for success.

Via Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have:

“Thoroughness necessitates a focused attention to detail without losing sight of the big picture.  Thorough leaders prioritize both the end goal and the individual steps they need to take to achieve it.  They have an intimate understanding of how each step contributes to the next and the committed to seeing a project to the end.”

One of the most important insights when it comes to building your leadership skills and improving your ability to execute is that you first and foremost need to depend on yourself.

Don’t let yourself down.

When you know that you can count on yourself to execute, your confidence will go up in all areas of your life.

This confidence will shine from the inside out.

As you develop your leadership skills, always think from the inside out and first model the behavior for yourself before others depend on you.  Work on self-leadership.

Leadership is a sphere of influence that expands, but it always starts with you and your personal leadership skills.

You Might Also Like

Dreamers, Doers, and Incrementalists

Find Your Strengths Among Your Team

Focus on the Wildly Important

The Market Rewards Execution, Not Ideas

Transform Your Hidden Strengths Into Learned Strengths