How to Improve Leadership Skills

While technical skills are important, soft skills are truly critical to your success as a leader. 

Here we have put together a guide that can help you determine what a good leader looks like and how to improve your leadership skills to become the best leader you can be. 

How to Improve Leadership Skills

Developing your leadership skills can be a tough task with today’s educational system. The current believed path to success is narrow and focuses greatly on technical skills such as math, science, grammar, programming, etc, while focusing very little on soft skills like leadership, critical thinking, communication, and resilience. While technical skills are important, soft skills are truly critical to your success as a leader. Here we have put together a guide that can help you determine what a good leader looks like and how to improve your leadership skills to become the best leader you can be. 

What is a Leader?

To put it simply, a leader is someone who inspires others to make positive changes. Many believe that to be a leader, one must own a company, coach a sport, be elected into a public office, etc. The truth is, being a leader is much more than having a title, money, or power. Being a leader means being someone who is willing to put their best foot forward, to help others, to engage with their community, to act with integrity, and to show perseverance in the face of adversity. 

Attributes of a Good Leader

Some of the key attributes of the best leaders are:

  • Good communication skills:

    In order to be a leader, you have to be an effective communicator. Whether you are leading a team, a coalition, or a volunteer group, being able to clearly communicate goals, needs, and boundaries is critical to ensuring the success of your cause. 

  • Positive attitude:

    Your attitude is contagious whether good or bad. The best leaders keep a positive attitude and persevere through challenges. Think about it, if you were to join an organization with a leader that had a negative attitude and gave up after their first try, you probably wouldn’t want to be associated with that organization.

  • Dedication:

    A leader should always be dedicated to their cause and their own development. This does not mean that you have to eat, sleep, and breathe your cause. However, it does mean that you need to make sure you truly believe in and find purpose in your cause as well as learn from your mistakes.

  • Empowering:

    The best leaders do not only work on their personal development, but they empower and provide resources for others to advance their own personal development as well. Being a good leader means caring about the success of others just as much as you care about your own success. After all, a team is only as strong as its weakest link.

  • Integrity:

    Having integrity is a critical part of being a trusted leader. Leaders who lead with integrity make sure their actions are aligned with their values. If you lead with integrity others will find you to be trustworthy, genuine, and easy to work with.


You can also find more information about important leadership skills here.

Why is Being a Good Leader Important?

The world needs good leaders now more than ever! We are currently facing a lot of unprecedented challenges within the United States and around the world: racial injustice, polarization, a planet on the brink of environmental catastrophe, etc.  

These challenges demand a new kind of leadership. Young people are up to the task, but today’s educational paradigm is outdated and failing to prepare them to become the leaders our world needs. Too often, young people are shuttled along a narrowly defined path to success. 

Looking to build your leadership skills?

See how Take Action Lab could align with your goals.

How to Develop Leadership Skills

If the next generation is going to build a future that’s better than the present, they need a new playbook, here is a list of action items to help you improve your leadership skills:


  • Take initiative:

    If you find a problem that needs solving don’t just wait for someone else to come and fix it. No one expects you to solve the world’s problems all on your own, but you can take initiative by doing research, finding resources, and creating a collaborative culture within your community or organization where you can work alongside others to make a difference.

  • Take risks and practice curiosity: 

    Sometimes the solutions to the problems in the world or in your community are not black and white and require creative thinking. Practice curiosity by exploring creative solutions and taking risks! Most importantly, do not be afraid to fail. There is no such thing as success without failure. In fact, failure is critical to the learning process because it allows you to evaluate the positive as well as the negative and provides you with more experience and information for your future endeavors.

  • Get involved in leadership programs:

    One of the best ways to develop leadership skills is to surround yourself with other leaders. Take it a step further by finding yourself a mentor to support your journey, share their expertise, and guide your reflections. Then, once you’re a seasoned leader you can pay it forward by becoming a mentor to someone else. 

  • Never stop learning:

    Developing leadership skills is an ongoing process. You should always be looking for new opportunities to learn from the leaders that you look up to, your community, and your environment. Never stop reading, watching, or listening to thought provoking material. After all, knowledge is power.


Tilting Futures Can Help You Become a Leader


Tilting Futures is a nonprofit launching a generation of leaders with the perspectives, skills and networks to solve humanity’s most urgent challenges. Each year we recruit a diverse corps of talented young people from across the globe. Using the formative transition into adulthood, we help them shape their values, identity, and purpose in ways that classroom learning alone cannot. Tilting Futures is on a mission to unleash a critical mass of leaders to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.


Tilting Futures empowers young leaders to get involved in their local communities as well as communities around the world, make meaningful connections with their peers and environment, practice curiosity, and take initiative to tackle the biggest political, economic, and social challenges of our time.


If you are interested in improving your leadership skills, working with a diverse team of like-minded peers, and having the experience of a lifetime learn more about our immersive learning program: Take Action Lab!



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Global Citizen Year is moving forward as part of our new, larger brand: Tilting Futures. New name, same mission, expanded programs and impact.