The number one skill every leader should possess and why it’s NOT “vulnerability”

August 10, 2023 | Mirta Fagundes dos Santos

a crowd of people following a leader in front

It seems to be that lately we have decoupled leadership from management to a point that leadership is more and more a ‘being’ role, rather than a ‘doing’ role.

A simple internet search will tell you that in order to be a great leader you need to be able to motivate people, you need to be vulnerable, have empathy, and be a good listener…

Sure, none of those sound awful, but do they encompass the core of what leadership truly is?

The purpose of a leader

Leaders are not just emotional anchors of an organisation.

The fundamental role of leaders is to forge a path forward – a path that is often not obvious but leads to great rewards.

In order to do that leaders need a specific set of skills that is outside of the realm of (just) emotional intelligence. Skills that give the rest of us confidence and trust we need to follow them – because without followers, is leader even a leader?

I am not tryin to take away the importance of being a good listener, but when the ship is going under, whose hands will you put your life into? A captain who can efficiently direct a team using their well-thought-out rescue plan? Or a captain whose primary concern is showcasing vulnerability and ensuring every voice is heard amidst the chaos?

The core leadership skill is… (drumroll please)

Yes, there are many skills that are necessary for a great leader, but the most important of them all is the think skill. Thinking underpins a leaders ability to:

– articulate where they want to end up (vision),

– plan the best, most efficient way to get there (strategy), and

– execute on getting there safely, with people in tow (tactics).

Are you ready to be a leader?

If you’re keen on honing this core leadership skill, don’t miss our Thinking Foundations course. This course will allow you to upskill your ability to think, and pave your way to great leadership!