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Why Soft Skills of Leadership Are So Hard to Develop

Posted on the 23 March 2012 by Combi31 @combi31

Why Soft Skills of Leadership Are So Hard to Develop

Leadership is the ability to motivate and influence a group toward the achievement of goals.

As a manager, what is your role in motivating and retaining employees?

How are you measured?

What do you do?


What are the results?

How will your employees remember you?

Think about it, managers are ultimately remembered for two things:

  1. How well did the manager LEAD others to produce intended results?
  2. How well did the manager INSPIRE and sustain an environment that brought out the best in everyone?

The leadership qualities typically emphasized and mentioned earlier in this document, although incomplete, are indicative of the kind of “skills” training desperately needed among managers in today’s corporate community.

Yet why are “soft” skills so difficult to develop; so difficult to measure?

First, I believe most people already have many of the basic skills necessary to be effective in management positions.

However, they don’t always USE those skills effectively.

Having the knowledge and skills is not the problem; having the right attitudes and habits to put those skills to work is the problem.

It is what I call the “Knowing-Doing Gap”.

Recognizing the “gap” provides the foundation for a self-customizing process that helps participants, with input from their own managers, to identify and develop a unique set of goals, attitudes and habits they need to be successful, as well as key skills necessary for success as leaders.

Second, developing a management culture that produces desired organizational results through people involves three intersecting elements that, together, define effective leadership:

Managerial talent“the behavior exhibited by a manager which daily increases the amount of productive, constructive, and profitable behavior on the part of others in the organization.” (Resource Associates Corporation)

Personal Leadership – “authentic self-expression that adds value through relationships.” (Mark Sturgell)

Organizational genius“the exceptional outcomes and/or breakthroughs in thinking, operating, and relating [that]occur when human potential is recognized and unleashed across the board.” (Leadership Coaching: Pathway to Peak Performance)

“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves, their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.” – Peter Drucker

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes….” - Peter Drucker

Author: Mark Sturgell

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