Leadership is a process by which an executive can direct, guide and influence the behaviour and work of others towards accomplishment of specific goals in a given situation. Is the ability of manager to induce the subordinates to work with confidence and zeal. (Prachi Juneja)
According to Keith Davis, Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals. (Keith Davis)
Leadership and management are not synonymous, they are different. The manager administers; the leader innovates. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. The manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon. The manager accepts the status quo ; the leader challenges it. (Warren G. Bennis)
Leaders: Born or Made?
Historically, the vast majority of people have thought that leaders are born. They possess an innate talent which gives them a natural aptitude to influence and lead. However; leadership is an ability, meaning a leader has a capacity to do something through talent and skill. Talent is natural ability and skill is proficiency gained through training and experience. Talent certainly helps, but it is not required. 
Writing in Forbes magazine, Erika Andersen says, "like most things - leadership capability falls along a bell curve. So the fact is that most who start out with modicum of the leadership capability can actually become very good, even great leaders. This means that trough hard work, experience and persistence you can become a great leader. There are many examples of made leaders, who make their way to be a leader through their dedication, intelligence, qualities and skills. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King or Arianna Huffington are some of them.
A great leader must possess certain skills to be able to exercise his role in the most effective way. Many of them can be achieved or developed through their constant implementation. The main competencies are: 
- Social & Emotional Intelligence. Is basic for an effective leadership; understanding of social dynamics and handling emotions 
- Interpersonal skills. Often known as "soft skills", is the ability to relate with the environment and be capable of listening and communicate.
- Grow & Adapt. Continue to develop competences and learning from the experiences. Keeping up to date, being dynamic and knowing the new trends.
- Critical & Analytical Thinking. Maintain and objective view of situations; applying sound reasoning, questioning basic assumptions and understanding the complexity of an issue.
- Vision and foresight. Visualize situations and frame logical programs.
- Self-confidence. In order to earn the confidence of the subordinates. Be trustworthy.
- Sense of responsibility. Responsibility and accountability towards an individual´s work.
- Empathy. Understood as "Stepping into the shoes of others".
- Fearless agility.Be able to cope with constant changes, think fast and decide in difficult circumstances.
- Flexibility. Due to the great development of new cultures, ways of thinking like millennials and modifications in the work structure, it will be necessary to adapt to the new situations to keep fresh and effective.
- Negotiation. Competition is increasingly fierce and consumers are more demanding. It will be key to reaching agreements that are favourable to both parties.
- Leading through change. Harness the energy of change, creating creative and unstoppable teams in the face of the new scene.
- Versatility. Is related with the diversity and agility. It is all about being able to develop different functions, doing an efficient work and finding optimal solutions.
Ways to improve leadership skills
To be a competitive leader it is necessary to continuously improve, learn and reinvent. The only way to be a great leader in a constantly changing world, is to train hard and strive to develop our skills and capabilities in order to keep up with the times. The main ways to improve the leadership competencies are:
- Be passionate. Passion is never giving up,effort and exertion. Without it, you cease innovating and stagnate.
- Understand you strengths and use them. An understanding of your weaknesses provides you with areas you know you can improve.
- Admit when you fail and move on. Learning from failures sends a powerful message to those around you.
- Set concrete goals and execute them. Formulating the right plan and setting benchmarks along the way gives you a map to follow and to guide the business. This will be crucial in extreme and unknown situations, having clear priorities and goals to be achieved.
- Stogdill, R. M. (1950). Leadership, membership and organization. Psychological Bulletin, 47(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0053857
- Kotterman, James.The Journal for Quality and Participation; Cincinnati Tomo 29, N.º 2, (Summer 2006): 13-17.
- Palmer, B., Walls, M., Burgess, Z. and Stough, C. (2001), "Emotional intelligence and effective leadership", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 5-10.
- Robert Johansen(2012).Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World
- Stogdill, R. M. (1950). Leadership, membership and organization. Psychological Bulletin, 47(1), 1–14
- Kotterman, J. (2006), The Journal for Quality and Participation; Cincinnati Tomo 29, N.º 2, Summer: 13-17
- Palmer, B., Walls, M., Burgess, Z. and Stough, C. (2001), Emotional intelligence and effective leadership, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 5-10.
- Johansen R. (2012), Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World
Author: Víctor Rodríguez