If leadership was an exact science, there would be a book where you could look up the solution any challenge you face as a leader. Now this is not the case, there is no book where you can flip to page 247 and find how to apply your leadership to a specific problem.
Therefore I dare say that leadership is more an art than a science. It requires you to develop a feeling and sense for that which has no form, that which can not be seen with the human eye.
Leadership is something you do with people
If management is something you do to things, then leadership is something you do with people. Management, or being a manager, is a position you are given from people higher than you on the organizational chart, i.e it is awarded to you from above. Leadership is a relationship that you are given from people lower than you on the organizational chart, i.e it is awarded to you from the people you are set to be the manager of.
Of course, sometimes you can be awarded the position as a manager, but not awarded the relationship of leadership. Then you have a challenge at hand. To be a leader means that other people allow you to influence them. Leadership is influence.
The skills of a leader
If you are a manager without the mandate to influence your team, you can be turned into something that looks pretty on the business card, but doesn't do much good in reality.
Skills of a good leader are all about relationship. These leadership skills include:
- Being a good listener,
- the ability to make people feel seen and heard,
- being able to communicate clearly,
- the ability to build trust and confidence,
- giving and receiving feedback,
- the courage to manage conflicts.
In conclusion about leadership
Leadership is clearly the ability to create the circumstances, through the use of the above skills, that allow the potential of you co-workers to be utilized in the best possible way for the the best possible solution of the task at hand.