3 Leadership Skills To Master

Research and cultivating our skill set is a must, to be effective in any leadership role. I created a list of some of my favorites as well as adding some research highlights.

1. LEARN TO TURN OFF YOUR MIND

“Operating at a senior level is highly stressful,” says Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, founder and Chairman of talent marketplace theBoardlist and Board Director at Urban Outfitters, TripAdvisor, and Ericsson. “Learning to turn off your mind is essential to preventing burnout and having the resilience required to achieve long-term success,” she explains.

2. CULTIVATE HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE

“In my career, maintaining perspective has been key,” says Kirstine Stewart, President and CRO at digital innovation agency TribalScale. “It’s the life-jacket preserving my line of sight and keeping my head above the waters when they get rough.” When you’re new to the workforce, the first few crises you’ll inevitably experience can feel overwhelming, but no matter how you respond, it’s worth thinking through your response afterward.

3. PRACTICE HARD CONVERSATIONS

The ability to sort out touchy, uncomfortable issues is a crucial leadership skill–and, again, one you can work on from your very first job onward. Fortunately, it relies on a trait you’re hopefully already leaning into while honing the above two skills: “It starts with empathy,” says Isenberg. “It’s about the ability to understand and speak to the feelings of others.

Laura Holmes, a Senior Product Manager at Google, points out that this takes a few tries to figure out–so be patient. “Once you get a few under your belt, it’s easier to have each subsequent conversation because you know it’ll be worth it,” she says.

So build these skills into your plan for advancing your career. They take a while to sharpen, so don’t wait until these traits are critical for your job to start working on them.