IF YOU are at the frontline and want to increase your job satisfaction, decrease your stress levels and boost your chances of promotion, then you need to develop the skills that are essential for your success.

These are the skills that can take you from surviving to thriving in your role.

If you can master these skills, you will be well ahead of your peers and attract the attention of more senior leaders for all the right reasons.

If you have done any reading on the topic of leading, you will know that there is a lot of information out there which makes it appear like the list of skills required to be a leader are endless.

The truth is that most can be grouped under five key headings.

The good news is that developing these skills does not require years of study or extensive pre-existing knowledge. Any frontline leader who is eager to grow can learn them.

The five skill areas are:



Understanding your role

Leading a team is very different to managing a team. Most people who call themselves team leaders are actually team managers.

Managing is an important part of your role but it is not the only part of your role. The best leaders understand how to balance these two aspects of their role by knowing what they should and shouldn’t be doing each day.

The end result is they create a culture where everyone can thrive.



Having the mindset of an engaging leader

The best leaders have a mindset that creates a positive and engaging environment for their team members to operate in.

They believe that everyone is capable of growth and change, which means they seek out the best in people rather than always looking for evidence of the worst.

These are leaders who act as role models for the behaviour they want to see in their team members by having a clear philosophy that underpins the way they operate.



Choosing the right style

The most successful frontline leaders are the ones who have worked out what their natural style is and stick to it rather than following fads or trying to be someone they aren’t.

They know who they are and are consistent in their approach, which gives their team members certainty. These are the team leaders who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe.




Communicating as a leader

Clear and effective communication is the successful leader’s strength.

He is able to communicate with a variety of people in a range of situations because he has taken the time to get to know people and understand their needs.

This is the leader who has figured out the key factors that create successful communication and applies them every day in every interaction.




Growing as a leader

The motto of the most successful frontline leaders could be “you are either growing or you are dying”.

They are passionate about developing themselves, knowing that there is always something new to learn and are excited by the prospect of growth.

This means they take the time to understand the best ways for them to learn and design an ongoing plan for their development.

They also know that part of their role is to help the next crop of leaders to get ready for their opportunity to step up.


So how do you rate in each area? Did you find you have some strengths? Are there some areas where it is clear you need to develop?

The good news is you can capitalise on those natural strengths to help you improve the other areas.

With just a little bit of work, you could go from surviving to thriving. Just imagine the impact it would have on you and your team.


Article by Karen Schmidt, an award-winning speaker, workshop leader and facilitator with Training Edge International. She helps frontline managers grow into frontline leaders using her workplace gardening philosophy. For more information, e-mail karen.schmidt@trainingedgeasia.com or visit www.trainingedgeasia.com