A leader is someone who influences others to follow. Without followers therefore, you cannot be a leader. On the contrary, if you have people following you it is important to provide them with competent and effective leadership. Here are five ways to improve your leadership skills as you seek to become more effective in leading your team and organization.

Have a clear vision

A Leader’s first line of duty is to have a clear vision of where he wants to go. Knowing where you want to go, why you want to go there and effectively communicating this to your team is critical for success. Furthermore, having a clear vision creates focus, improves performance and the productivity of your team and organization.

Be intentional about your growth

Great leaders are always learning. They always have a desire to learn and grow beyond where they are. So continue to grow and improve yourself. Read every day. Take a course, attend a seminar, be intentional about your personal growth and don’t leave it to chance.

Improve your communication skills

Effective leaders know how to communicate in order to get others to buy-in to their vision. While they are good at sharing the vision, they are also good at listening. Keep improving your verbal, non-verbal and listening skills. As you listen, listen for what is being said as well as what is not being said.

Know your strengths

Every member on your team has unique strengths and so do you. Being aware of your area of strength is a positive step towards greatness. Once you have discovered what you are good at, keep getting better at it. Nurture your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. This means delegating tasks that are not in your area of strength, to others who are more apt to do well in those areas.

Hire a coach

According to Bill Gates, “Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.” The benefits of coaching are far-reaching and can significantly improve your leadership skills and performance. As a leader, coaching can help you identify blind spots, hold you accountable to set goals, alter or shift mindset in order to help get through internal or external barriers, create growth, and achieve results faster.