When you think of the most respected leaders, who comes to mind? Is it a business executive or perhaps someone in politics? Those who achieve success in positions of authority have mastered some essential leadership skills in order to motivate and bring people together.

Without these essential leadership skills, managers can fall flat, failing to inspire or achieve business goals. Here are four tips you can learn from people in power positions to help you hone your leadership skills at work:

1. Articulate the mission with passion

The most memorable leaders give eloquent and passionate speeches that motivate the masses. In fact, all of the best executives and politicians are good at communication. Be sure to keep your door wide open and make yourself accessible. Allocate time to speak to your workers every day, whether it’s at the water cooler, in the few moments before or after a meeting or when touring the office playing catch-up. When you have news to share, good or bad, tell everyone at once, rather than a select few — that's how rumors start. Also, never withhold vital information or play fast and loose with the truth.

2. Listen to your employees 

Communication is a two-way street. Just as you want to relay important information, you want to receive it, too. The best managers genuinely hear what people have to say. When you listen to your employees, they feel their opinions are valuable — even more so if you act on their suggestions or follow their recommendations. Giving staff a safe environment to air grievances is therapeutic and helps instill trust in your workforce.

3. Master the most important of leadership skills: inspire and motivate others

Successful leaders know how to face even the trickiest of situations with conviction and confidence. For example, you may have an office bully in your midst or the company is going through a restructuring. These types of situations are bound to affect office morale. If you don’t act, or if you hesitate too long, you can make a problem much worse or give an aggressor the upper hand. If your actions are decisive and swift, your workforce will have confidence in your ability to lead them through troubled times.

4. Lay out your vision 

Respected executives and politicians generate support for what they intend to do and they’re skilled at explaining those ideas to others. Whether you're planning to set the department in a bold new direction or simply change the way staff meetings are conducted, be sure to present the idea straightforwardly so your employees are able to understand and play a role in implementation. This is the best way to foster enthusiasm and instill confidence in your capabilities — two leadership skills that every manager needs on their side.

What leadership skills have you learned from respected authority figures? Please leave your responses in the comments section below.

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