The Essential Soft Skills of Leadership

If your actions inspire others to dream more learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader … John Quincy Adams.

Brian Brogen, the host of the Build Your Success Podcast, interviewed his guest Richard Mobley on the essential soft skills of leadership. This insightful topic kept the conversation going and had the gentlemen touching on some very important topics.

Richard Mobley is a leadership expert. He is the executive director of the John Maxwell team who specializes in executive and key leader coaching. As a young leader, he thought he had all the answers, but as he continued, he soon learned that this was not the case.

All leaders fall short. You cannot be an effective leader for others unless you can lead yourself. This is where soft skills or as Richard Mobley coins it, essential skills come in. These skills are the ones that are not tangible. Skills such as communication, attitude, teamwork, and engagement are among the top essential skills any leader must possess. Essential skills, according to Mobley, are actually very hard to define and measure but without them, your hard skills do not matter. Hard skills are those skills that are tangible such as those learned. These may include computer skills, technical skills, marketing skills and management skills.

So, you might be a good technician but the thing that draws your customers back are the essential skills that you should possess. How they were treated and how you made them feel for the duration of the service you were offering. This is where leaders would also come in. Leaders are needed to bring out the best in their employees. If these leaders do not know how to bring out the best in themselves, they will have a very difficult time bringing it out in other people.

One of these skills is engagement. An effective leader should encourage the sharing of knowledge. The leader should be the first to set this example. Often, leaders may be sitting on knowledge and not sharing or passing it along because they think it may threaten the position that they hold. This scarcity thinking is a dangerous thing for a team and organization. Leaders are encouraged instead to have an abundance mindset.

Teamwork is an essential skill for leaders. This includes a leader knowing who is on their team and delegating appropriate tasks. This will free up time for them to focus on more important things as well and reinforce the sharing of knowledge.

As Brian continued with the interview, Richard dropped a few more gems. One was that “100 people didn’t work for him, instead he worked for them”.

In closing, he encouraged leaders not to do anything out of selfish ambition but to always be looking out for the interest of others.

If you are a leader and you found this interesting, tune into the Build Your Success podcast with Brian Brogen to learn more on this and other topics.

Listen to Episode 64 – The Essential (Soft) Skills of Leadership with Richard Mobley

If you are interested in taking a deep dive into one of the greatest soft skills: LISTENING then check out our workshop Hear and Be Heard:

Hear and Be Heard Workshop