Being a leader – whether we are talking about in your company, community, or any other group setting – requires a very specific skillet. But leadership skills are not genetic. Like anything else, they have to be learned.
On microsoft.com, I came across some great advice for being a leader. Here was a point that really hit home:
Know that leadership skills come from learning, too. Far too may business executives believe leadership skills stem from some sort of wondrous epiphany or other such flash of insight. Sure, great ideas can come to any of us, but being a bona fide leader also means study. Read books on effective leadership, attend seminars, and pick the brains of colleagues to see what works for them. It can be a long education, but one with rewards that multiply with the more knowledge you have under your belt.
I don’t think it could be said any clearer: leadership is a learned and acquired skill. Leaders are made, not born.
So get your hands on any books that can help you become a better leader. Attend seminars. Talk to leaders you respect and learn what you can from them. Talk to the people under you and ask them what they would like to see in a leader.
Then, you will have the skillset you need to keep a team motivated and productive. You will benefit from the hard work they do, of course, but they will benefit also from all your preparation.