Let’s Talk Business for October 20, 2023

We all know people who possess seemingly innate leadership skills. They communicate well, are respected by their peers, and navigate challenges with ease. However, many people in leadership positions worked tirelessly to sharpen their talents.

In “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” author and leadership expert John C. Maxwell wrote, “If you want to be a leader, the good news is that you can do it. Everyone has the potential, but it isn’t accomplished overnight. It requires perseverance”

Indeed, self-training, experience, mentorship, and formal education can help you become a great leader. Explore five leadership competencies that anyone can learn.

The emotional quotient (EQ), more commonly known as emotional intelligence (EI), is a skill set that helps you be aware of your feelings and their impact on others. Leaders with high EI can read the room and the individuals in it and use their understanding to influence others. This talent is highly learnable through self-reflection and mindfulness.

Like emotional intelligence, communication is a critical leadership skill that anyone can learn, and it’s a talent you work on throughout your life. This ability helps you convey your ideas to people in many formats (verbal, written, visual, and body language). According to Mental Health America, “High EI overlaps with strong interpersonal skills, especially in the areas of conflict management and communication.”

“An ability to continuously learn is not just a key entrepreneurial skill but also a very valuable life skill,” according to Investopedia. When you’re in learning mode, you understand that every experience has value. With dedication and a commitment to learning, even introverts can be leaders.

Active learners continually build upon their existing skills by being open to and comfortable with receiving feedback; asking questions and then taking the initiative to expand your knowledge; exploring different leadership styles to fit the situation; and seeking lessons and experiences outside of your comfort zone.

Management skills are life skills, and anyone can learn how to manage their time, property, and emergencies. These talents help you make better decisions that can save money and protect investments. In addition, preparation and organization skills enable you to guide others, promote accountability, and delegate tasks.

Successful leaders empower others to accomplish tasks and projects. But you don’t have to be an entrepreneur or manager to learn the art of delegation. Indeed, you may need to organize a community event or get your kids to help around the house. In these cases, and many others, knowing which tasks to hand out helps you effectively use your time and accomplish more.

The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce offers many resources to help you start, run, and grow your business–including our annual Leadership Emporia Academy, monthly Group Lunches, Ribbon Cuttings, Business After Hours events, Legislative Dialogues, and more. Stop by the Trusler Business Center at 719 Commercial St., call 620-342-1600, or visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org to learn more.

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“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.