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  • Writer's pictureRita Simmons

Developing New Leadership Skills and Strategies

In the most recent episode of our podcast, Redefining Leadership in our New Normal, we mention some tools leaders can use to build their skills. We include links to these tools below, but we also encourage you to create a plan and set it into action. Do an honest self-assessment, develop a plan, and work on those skills that are most valuable for you to motivate your team through the pandemic and into and through our New Normal.

We encourage you to start by assessing your leadership traits, strengths, and areas for improvement. Begin by researching which leadership inventories you may have access to through your employer.

Next, let’s take our critical leadership traits and layout methods, strategies, and tools you can use to work on some of the more common problem areas.

We will start with communication. You can have the best ideas in the industry, but without the ability to properly communicate those ideas, they will never come to fruition. Inspirational communication is what will bolster employees and keep them looking forward and productive during times of stress. Powerful communication will motivate and encourage your team members to believe in your plan and, in many cases, will even take responsibility to see it executed. Here are some resources that can help you work on communication:

  • From Presentation to Standing Ovation by Ron Tsang – This book is filled with actionable tips, tools, and templates. At the end of each chapter, there are practical workbook questions to help you apply the ideas.

  • Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo – This book is for the introverts or anyone who is insecure about their public speaking abilities. It includes tools to communicate your ideas and plans, the skill to win over hearts and minds, and the confidence to deliver a dynamic talk or presentation.

  • Radical Candor; Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott - If an area you need to work on is better message delivery, then this book may be for you. It’s specifically aimed at people in leadership positions and it teaches how to communicate clearly, and directly while showing care and compassion.

  • Communicate Like a Leader by Dianna Booher - This book is targeted at business leaders and focuses on the 6 communication skills most essential to success in business. It teaches how to connect strategically, and coach, inspire and get things done.

Next, we will move on to tools for growing your leadership skills and methods.

Another source of inspiration is historical biographies. There are several biographies on Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King that give excellent examples of motivation, inspiration, and dynamic communication. For female trailblazers and leaders, the biography on Sandra Day O’Connor provides a different view on leadership, breaking barriers, and how leadership style must sometimes change when you are a woman. These are all great role models for developing style.

  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris - This biography gives lots of lessons in communication, leadership, motivation, and inspiration.

  • Dose of Leadership - This podcast provides interviews with leaders and entrepreneurs from different fields and experiences. They share ideas on how to overcome challenges and the best strategies for success.

Maybe your weaknesses or interests are not in these areas, but at the company level. We have some examples of leadership for this area as well.

  • Business Wars - This podcast explores the stories behind rival companies and how the actions of leaders, investors, and executives shape their company’s future. Rival stories include Netflix vs. HBO, Dunkin Donuts vs. Starbucks, and Nike vs. Adidas.

  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins - This book investigates 28 companies and the factors that differentiate between the companies that were able to achieve and sustain success and those that weren’t.

Lastly, maybe you are someone who needs a more formal, structured training process. We have compiled a list of higher education and certificate programs and free virtual learning platforms.

Higher Education and Certificate Programs

  • Masters in Organizational Leadership - Learn organizational development and personnel and organizational issues that may be holding your company back.

  • MBA - Learn company development strategies and better market awareness.

  • Program Management Certificate - Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Program Management (CAPM) to formalize and perfect your program management strategies.

Free or Affordable Virtual Learning Platforms

  • LinkedIn Learning - Leadership and management training courses.

  • MIT - Offers over 2,500 free courses through OpenCourseWare, including leadership courses from the Sloan School of Management.

  • EdX - Free leadership courses from universities like Harvard, Babson, and Georgia Tech.

  • Coursera - Expansive range of courses, certificates, and degree programs.

  • Forbes eLearning - Certificate programs including Lean Six Sigma, Agile, PMP prep.

  • Internal Resources - Explore resources offered by your organization.

If, after reviewing all this information, you are still having difficulty assessing your skills or making changes, you can always reach out to us. Novelle offers professional leadership assessments and one-one or group training. We have certified consultants that can help you better understand your leadership traits and work with you to develop a plan to improve your skills.


Rita Simmons, Ph.D., is the founder and lead consultant of Novelle, where she provides business and research consulting to companies across a variety of industries. Dr. Simmons leverages her drive for innovation and excellence along with her extensive executive and military experience to help companies grow their business, drive revenue, and achieve strategic goals. When you’re ready to take your business to the next level, contact Dr. Simmons at or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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