Leadership is not what we once thought, says executive leadership consultant Larry Kokkelenberg. The “great man” theory has been disproven, he says.

“Leadership is a learned skill, not a natural talent,” says Kokkelenberg, a presenter at the 2015 World of Asphalt Show & Conference. “You can lead from wherever you sit or stand. Leadership is not a title or position, but a set of skills that encourages others to follow you.”

Here are three leadership skills Kokkelenberg says you can learn today:

1. Leadership Is a Social Experience

“The old adage ‘you lead people but you manage things’ is very true. Leadership is a social experience and by that I mean that leadership is about building positive interpersonal relationships. Ask yourself what kind of a relationship you have with each person that reports to you. What would your staff say that you need to improve?”

2. It Matters How You Produce Results

“Second, you must realize that leadership is not just about producing results; it matters how you produced those results. Yes, you are responsible to ‘get the job done and on time and within budget,’ but there are many ways you can do that.”

3. ‘Telling’ Approach Alienates Workers

“Third, the autocratic or ‘telling’ approach will alienate the younger workforce, and you are likely to have greater turnover and less productive employees. Build a crew or team that works well together and is at least somewhat self-directed, and you will have productive employees that will follow you.”

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