Leadership: A Soft Skill New Managers Should Master

Discover the profound impact of leadership on team performance and success, and learn how up-to-date leadership training and professional advancement programs can ease the transition. A must-read for new managers and those on the path to leadership roles.

First-time managers encounter numerous challenges as they step into their new roles. While some might struggle with delegation in the absence of qualified personnel, others might shrink under the constant pressure that comes with added responsibilities.
Given this reality, it becomes critical to cultivate positive leadership as a soft skill due to its profound impact on team performance, organizational success, and the overall work environment.
An ideal approach involves undergoing up-to-date leadership training. Enrolling in professional advancement programs offers a solution that can aid new managers in addressing some of the prevalent challenges that arise when transitioning into a first-time leadership role.

Leadership Skills Every Manager Should Have

Due to continued changes in workplace dynamics, managers must be prepared to handle any issues that come their way. Effective management within an organization can cultivate productivity and assist in upholding a strong work ethic in the workplace.
In contrast, ineffective managerial capabilities can prove detrimental to output. According to Gallup, the global cost of poor management amounts to a staggering $7 billion annually, representing approximately 9-10% of the world's GDP.
The solution to this problem lies in recognizing the significance of strong management skills. Every leader should possess the following skills to ensure workplace success.
  • Effective communication: Strong communication skills facilitate the exchange of ideas, expectations, and feedback. Managers who excel in this area can articulate their vision clearly, provide guidance, and actively listen to their team members.
  • Conflict resolution: Successful leaders promote open communication, mediate disagreements, and foster a culture of trust and respect. They can build strong relationships with team members and promote collaboration within the work environment.
  • Interpersonal relationship building: This is the connection, interaction, and bond between two or more individuals. It involves the exchange of information and the formation of emotional connections with subordinates.
  • Good coaching capabilities: In the role of a coach, it is essential to embrace the task of stretching individuals and pushing them beyond their comfort zones. This is popularly known as servant leadership.
  • Adaptability and change management: Effective managers can adapt their strategies, anticipate challenges, and guide their teams through transitions.
Now, let us look at what it takes to cultivate leadership skills within the modern workplace.

Practical Strategies for Developing Leadership Skills

Leadership poses a bigger challenge when mastering it compared to other skills. This is because good leadership is characterized by ambiguity, making the path to mastery less straightforward.
The good news is that there is always room for improvement in leadership. Here are several pathways you can follow to become an exemplary commander of your workplace army.
  • Embark on a quest for knowledge and professional development: Embrace a proactive stance by taking leadership courses and engaging in workshops, seminars, and conferences that enhance your understanding of leadership theories, best practices, and emerging trends.
  • Pursue mentorship and guidance from experienced leaders: Talk to experienced leaders who have traversed the terrain you aim to conquer and establish meaningful mentorship relationships that provide valuable insights, perspectives, and advice.
  • Actively seek feedback and reflect on areas of improvement: Solicit input from colleagues, superiors, and subordinates, and engage in self-reflection to identify areas where improvement is possible.
  • Apply leadership skills in real-world scenarios: Seek out projects and initiatives where you can inspire, guide, and motivate others.
  • Build a support network and learn from peers: Lastly, together with your team members, engage in meaningful conversations, collaborate on shared goals, and leverage each other's experiences.

Best Leadership Courses New Managers Should Take

As we have already discussed, exploring avenues for continuous learning and actively engaging in professional development initiatives is a step in the right direction. 
Such moves enable you to stay ahead of the curve and measure up to a diverse range of workplace scenarios that can influence business operations. In this section, we explore the best leadership courses for new managers.
1. The 20 Hour CEO by Christine Carrillo on Maven
The 20 Hour CEO is an intensive two-week program tailored to CEOs or founders who want to optimize their business operations and increase profits while dedicating minimal time and energy. 
Key aspects of the curriculum include teaching entrepreneurs how to leverage both work and personal life with the help of a dedicated executive assistant (EA) and transitioning from "doing" to becoming a successful CEO through strategic action plans.
This comprehensive course seeks to enable professionals to understand that forming the right team is essential to building products, selling services, and ultimately scaling up one's organization. Testimonials from past attendees mirror this sentiment; many have reported learning valuable lessons that enabled them to develop systems that allowed their executive assistants and their organizations to thrive.
2. Influence Without Authority by Satish Mummareddy on Maven
The Influence Without Authority program, hosted by Satish Mummareddy, is your go-to choice for mastering the art of persuasion. This powerful course dives into human psychology, organizational dynamics, and political styles—arming you with strategies to influence others effectively.
Given the in-class personalized coaching and the feature of hands-on projects in the package, you might want to try this course. Learn more about Satish's influence model, accounting for organizational dynamics and power structures, leveraging human psychology to change minds, and much more. 
A testimonial from a Senior Product Manager at Amazon reads:
"Satish brings a ton of clarity on the topic of "Influence at work" by sharing the effective frameworks, knowledge, and real examples. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in advancing their careers and navigating organizational dynamics."
3. Facilitation Finesse by Julia Winston and Romy Alexandra on Maven
The course is designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful facilitators of both small and large groups. Through live classes, personalized coaching sessions, and hands-on projects, you can gain an understanding of group dynamics and communication strategies in order to create a strategic facilitation plan. 
Facilitation Finesse aims for attendees to strengthen their interpersonal abilities and learn critical principles regarding processes and frameworks needed for effective facilitation. 
The course is suited for facilitators who have practiced for 1 to 10 years. Shawnette Rochelle, President of Excellence Unbounded, terms the course a "great investment" due to its "right mix of the theoretical with the practical."
4. MGMT Accelerator
Dave Kline's management and leadership course is designed for new managers looking to level up their team leadership skills. MGMT Accelerator offers a management operations system (OS) to help you lead successful projects and get the most out of your team.
Dave also helps new managers learn how to build bonds and earn trust with teams in office and remote making it especially valuable to forward-thinking hybrid employees.
Kevin Lee, a former student shares:
After completing this Accelerator, I can confidently say that Dave's management content & frameworks have completely evolved the way I think about managing. I've put many of his frameworks into practice in my company and have seen transformative growth in many of my team members. 

How to Choose the Right Leadership Course

At Maven, we believe that leadership training programs are invaluable in developing the necessary competencies for effective leadership, encompassing the fundamental skills and the intricacies of persuasion and influence.
By undergoing leadership training, individuals gain the capacity to expand their cognitive capabilities, enabling them to approach challenges with innovative and creative thinking.
However, given the burgeoning number of leadership courses available online today, knowing what to look for is paramount. This allows you to focus on the best programs and save time and resources in the process.
As such, it is always prudent to assess how long it takes to complete a course, the cost, the prerequisites, potential benefits to your career, and whom the course is designed for. 
Choosing a program based on your individual goals and professional interests is also essential, whether it's about enhancing specific leadership skills, developing expertise in a particular industry, or exploring emerging leadership trends.

Improving Your Leadership Skills with Maven

At Maven, we firmly believe that community forms the foundation of online learning. We recognize that undergoing a course in the company of like-minded peers is the most effective approach to drive transformative growth and development.
Sign up with Maven and enroll in the leadership training course of your choice.


1. Are there free online leadership and management courses?
Yes, there are free online leadership and management courses available. However, paid programs tend to be more valuable in the long term.
2. What is the #1 skill you need as a manager?
Many skills can contribute to your success as a manager. However, effective communication can be considered the cornerstone of effective management.
3. What courses should a new manager take?
You can start with Managing your PM Career in 2023 & Beyond by Shreyas Doshi, The 20 Hour CEO by Christine Carrillo, Influence Without Authority by Satish Mummareddy, Facilitation Finesse by Julia Winston and Romy Alexandra, or Generative AI Masterclass by Jeremy Kirshbaum and Lev Gorelov all available on Maven.
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