There are four areas/domains of leadership skills: Product, Technical, Functional and Project.
Product leadership skills
- Customer: Know/Understand the customer’s needs; focused on customer
- Road-map: Know/Define what to deliver when
- Marketing: Know the business market/sales models and trends
Technical Leadership skills
- Architecture/Development oversight
- Technical Road-map: what fits where and how to best build it.
Functional Leadership skills
- On-board/Distribute Knowledge: Bring on new hires, knowledge sharing
- Grow People/Push to potential: Drive engagement, innovation
- Resolve Conflicts/Define culture: unblock, collaborate, act on feedback.
Project Leadership skills
- Track progress
- Schedule work/resources
There are other leadership skills that can be added to the list above and there are skills that may be shared by leaders (such as process optimization, motivation, domain knowledge, etc.) that I did not explicitly define; I limited to the top 2-3 that came to mind.
I recently asked myself, “what makes someone a great leader, and how does this differ from team to team?”; I have come to realize that some are leaders in one function (Project), others may be a mix in two (Functional and Technical); In my opinion (and conclusion), one must continue to grow their leadership by improving skills in other areas/domains that are not on-par with the rest.
People (followers) expect their (great) leaders to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, so great leadership is well rounded and should be able to tackle any problem.