One Skill at a Time

Former Google CEO and tech titan Eric Schmidt has some advice for those who want to develop their ability to lead others: develop yourself one skill at a time. Dive deep into one functional area of leadership and master it. Then, branch out from a strength. 

Get great at giving feedback, or running meetings, or solving gnarly problems, or fostering team collaboration. Spend the time, read the books, attend the workshops, emulate others, create new strategies and learn from your attempts to get better in one specific skill. 

While attempting to do well on all leadership fronts, the leaders who make the most progress focus more energy on one area of leadership competence. They develop deep expertise. Once established in one area, it is now possible to expand your expertise to other skills. Instead of trying to get better across all leadership competencies, the idea, according to Schmidt, is to concentrate on one skill and become masterful at it so your leadership is distinctive. Developing your leadership in this way allows you to make more progress. Others will more likely notice your progress, as well.