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Four Essential Leadership Skills

Leadership is not just what you do but who you are. How you show up, what you do, and how others experience you can affect your effectiveness as a leader. Being an effective leader of your team or organization requires many skills and holds many challenges. Here are four essential areas to evaluate and even get feedback as to others' experiences of you.


Understand how your behaviors impact you and your organization's outcomes. Being clear about how you feel, and can you identify how your emotions affect you? Being self-aware means

seeking feedback to identify patterns you might not see. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses and use that to leverage the strengths of those around you? A self-aware leader can look beyond their interests and see how other people are affected by their actions. Self-aware leadership is emotional-intelligent leadership.


Do you effectively communicate your and your organization's goals and inspire trust? As a leader, Communication means listening for the message, listening for any emotions behind what is said, and considering relevant questions about the message. It does not mean listing how you are right and they are wrong. Being a leader that communicates well means being clear and direct with our team. Do they understand? Are you holding back, maybe conflict-avoidant? Effective Communication means having positive verbal and non-verbal skills.


Are you comfortable persuading, relating, promoting, and delegating across your team and with those you have no authority over? This means bringing people to your way of thinking about a particular topic without force or coercion while acknowledging their points of view. Influence means building trust as a leader. Being a leader who can influence means understanding your team, organization, and structures. Are you able to navigate the organization with respect to influence?


Being a leader means being willing to lean into uncharted territory with openness. Know when to change course and help others to do so. As a leader, you set the tone for your team or organization. You are charged with growing your team, and learning is necessary. Growing and learning are required of you and your team. Are you an example of learning? Not needing to be perfect is as important as supporting your team to learn and take on new challenges for themselves.

I am Rob Balaam, and I am an executive leadership coach. I work with female Executive Directors in the non-profit sector. I support high-level leaders in developing an executive presence. My clients activate charisma, gravitas, and inner sage while minimizing their saboteurs. This work results in my clients' better relationships with their boards, a stronger connection with their empowered team, and a clear vision that drives a successful mission and goals.

If you are challenged by or curious about leadership aspects, contact me for an introductory 60-minute session. Get the support you need to be the leader you want to become. You can contact me at 415.212.8945 or



I'm Rob

I am the founder and principal of Balaam Coaching, LLC, a professional services firm specializing in executive leadership coaching.

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