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Jun 24 / Blog / Sherry Muczyk

5 Critical Leadership Skills – and They’re Not What You Think!

Do you have what it takes to lead in a post Covid-19 world?  Do you have what it takes to lead in a world full of frustrations, division, and bias?  It is time to place these five critical skills at the top of you and your leader’s development plans.  Failure to do so will results in failure of even the most brilliant business minds and strategies. So, what are they?

  1. Emotional intelligence
  2. Asking questions
  3. Listening
  4. Inclusion
  5. Agility

As you read the list, how many of you thought, “oh that’s all that soft stuff”?  Be honest.  Next question…who implements the brilliant strategies that you and your executive team create?  Your people! 

Let’s take a quick look at each of these and why they are even more important now than ever.

Emotional intelligence

People are human.  They are not robots.  The grief, fear and uncertainty brought about by Covid-19 is impacting everyone.  The George Floyd tragedy and subsequent social unrest has caused many of us to look inside ourselves.  What are we all seeing?  How do we handle these elements in the workplace?  Are you ignoring them?  Are you sending people to “HR” to discuss?  Set an example and lead with emotional intelligence.   Emotional intelligence is the ability the to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Asking questions

Are you constantly telling others what they should do, or do you examine what your team member bring to the table?  The members of your team have valuable insights and perspectives to offer.   The only way to get the best from your people is to ask them their thoughts.  Learn from them.  Ask a question then…listen.  Our next skill.


Listening.  It sounds so simple.  But how many of us really do it well?  It is hard to just ask a question then to be silent.  But it is so powerful!  Silence provides the opportunity to hear the views of others.  By Asking questions and focusing on listening, it will lead to more innovation, better relationships, and overall improved business results.


We hear a lot about diversity, but not so much about inclusion.  What is inclusion?  Its more than just hiring a diverse group of individuals and more about listening (yes, the last skill) to their thoughts.   Including them, asking questions, listening.  Inclusion and diversity are more than just race and ethnicity.  It can be simply of mindset.  One of our country’s biggest problems right now is that people are not able to ask questions and listen to understand mindsets that are different from their own.


The world and business are changing at a rapid pace.  What we once knew as solid and true six months ago is no longer true.  We must be willing to adapt and to plan out multiple strategies of what the future may be and respond quickly, allowing ourselves permission to fail, get back up and try again.

This blog post just touched on the surface of these 5 critical skills.  I will examine each of the five in greater detail in upcoming blog posts.  Stay tuned!

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