How to develop leadership skills as a graduate leader

How to Develop Leadership Skills as a Graduate

Being a leader as a graduate may seem like an oxymoron. Most graduates believe that in order to be a leader, you must have years of experience, confidence and a specific skillset. However, that is not the case. Leadership applies to everyone, regardless of title or rank, as each individual’s actions impact their team or organisation.

What are Leadership Skills?

Leadership is the development of an initial vision and the ability to motivate others to pursue it, recognising and harnessing individuals’ motivations to achieve a common goal. Some common leadership skills include:

  1. Visionary: The ability to see the big picture, set clear goals, and inspire others to work towards them.
  2. Decision-Making: Making sound judgements, even in uncertain situations.
  3. Communication: Expressing ideas clearly, concisely, and persuasively, both verbally and in writing.
  4. Motivation: Enthusiastically inspiring and motivating others to achieve their full potential.
  5. Delegation: Assigning tasks effectively and trusting others to complete them.
  6. Problem-Solving: The ability to analyse situations, identify solutions, and overcome challenges.
  7. Teamwork: Working collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal.
  8. Empathy: Understanding and considering the feelings and perspectives of others.
  9. Integrity: Being honest, ethical, and trustworthy.
  10. Resilience: The ability to bounce back from setbacks and persevere in the face of challenges.


How to Develop Your Leadership Skills

You may be aware of the leadership skills you naturally possess, and specific areas you need to work on. You can develop these skills further by accepting new responsibilities within your role, getting involved in teambuilding exercises, pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and building connections with different members of your organisation. Not only will you develop your leadership skills by doing this, but you will also gain a better idea of the broader organisation and improve your knowledge overall.

Remember, leadership isn’t about a title, it’s about your mindset and actions. By taking initiative, demonstrating your skills, and fostering a positive work environment, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a leader in your graduate role. This early investment in leadership development will set you apart and pave the way for future career success.


Get in Touch

At For Purpose, we support our graduates to become leaders by providing a mentor to support their ambitions, organising monthly learning seminars and creating a network of like-minded graduates with access to ongoing resources.

If you’re interested in becoming a For Purpose graduate, see our Current Vacancies here, or visit our webpage for more information on our programme.

For specific enquiries, contact our Recruitment Consultant, Aoife Duff at