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How to improve leadership skills in business

Effective leadership is just as vital to the success of a business as a great team is, if not more so!

In this article, we discuss the different types of leadership roles and show you how to become an effective leader.

Read more: How to get into Project Management

Types of leadership jobs

A leadership role requires an individual to manage people, items, and situations ethically and effectively. The purpose of having a leader within the business is to guide and shape the organisation and help them reach their organisational goals.

An effective leader can positively influence and inspire an individual or team through different management techniques.  Ultimately, their job is to get the absolute best out of each individual and help them progress and grow within the business.

We explore the four most common types of leadership roles below:

Manager – Often leaders of smaller teams, responsible for organising guiding, and motivating, team members to achieve both individual and organisational goals. Typically, a Manager will lead a team using evaluation, communication, and problem-solving skills. A Manager may also be required to help new team members acclimate to their company’s procedures, rules, and culture by providing training sessions and meetings during the early stages of their employment.

Mentor – An individual with a substantial amount of experience within their industry. A Mentor is an adviser to those with less experience, lending their knowledge and expertise to others.

Coach – Someone who offers up their time to teach certain skills and knowledge to help improve the skills and abilities of other individuals in need of assistance. Coaches focus on strengths, teamwork, and understanding to help individuals and organisations improve. Coaches benefit from additional transferable skills, such as communication, empathy, and positivity, and provide consistent and constructive feedback based on performance and observation.

Trainer – An individual who facilitates classes and training sessions to guide others through modelling ways to improve their abilities, knowledge, and skills. Trainers typically run training sessions, lead seminars and workshops, to help improve a specific capability or skill set. To be an effective trainer, you must have a great understanding of a certain skill or principle and have strong communication skills.

Read more: Explore our full range of training courses.      

How to improve leadership skills in business 

Where or not you’re in a direct leadership role, such as a Manager or Team Leader, it’s good to improve your leadership skills to help your team and organisation reach their goals more effectively.

Take initiative

As most Managers will assign work to those who can carry out that specific task, it’s important to put yourself forward for other types of work, where you can learn and grow in those areas. This helps you become well-rounded and more useful to the business. To get good at this, you will need to be on a continuous journey of learning and growth (more on this later).

Listen effectively

Communication skills are critical for anyone in a leadership role. Listening makes up a big part of communication, and as such, you will need to work on your listening skills to be an effective leader. Listening enables you to provide accurate and beneficial feedback to your team and internalise and action any feedback or updates from them.


Teddy Roosevelt once said, "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." Good managers don’t micromanage but let their team get on with the tasks at hand. When issues arrive, then you can get involved to resolve the situation. Delegating enables you to use your team and spread the workload between everyone. You will still need to oversee the project and assign tasks to those most suitable to complete them.

Motivate others

As a leader, you should constantly be trying to motivate those around you. When ambitions and passions are lost by employees and co-workers, a good leader can bring everyone back on track and refocus them.  

Learn consistently

JFK famously said, “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Businesses constantly have a changing landscape, so it’s important to always be learning and developing new skills to support those changes and to be the best leader you can be in times of change.

Conflict resolution

Undoubtably during your time as a leader, you will be required to manage conflict and resolve issues within your team. You will need to be honest and straightforward with members of your team, and speak to them when issues arise, in a way that will be received, and instructions adhered to.

Understand and observe the bottom line

Your goal as a leader is to think about how their actions and actions of those in their team impact the business and organisational goals. To achieve part of this, you will need to influence others in your team, so having a good vision and understanding of the organisational goals is a must, as is having the ability to persuade and influence your team.

Read more: Project and Lean Management training courses

Courses in career and leadership development

We offer a range of specific training courses and classes to help you improve in key areas, such as Finance, Project Management, and Marketing, however, you would also benefit from undertaking specific leadership and management training. We have included a list of good options below:

CMI Courses

  • CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management & Leadership
  • CMI Level 5 Diploma in Management & Leadership
  • CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management & Leadership
  • CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management & Leadership

ILM Courses

  • ILM Level 2 Award in Leadership & Team Skills
  • ILM Level 2 Certificate in Leadership & Team Skills
  • ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management
  • ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership & Management
  • ILM Level 5 Award in Leadership & Management
  • ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management

If you feel you could benefit from additional training to help you with your career goals and ambitions, call our dedicated team of Course Consultants on +44 (0)20 3198 7700, and they will be happy to talk you through our training options. Alternatively, fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch shortly.

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