Leadership skills and self improvement go hand in hand because, at the end of the day, you attract, meaning the talents you desire on your team or have on your team are usually determined by who you are instead of what you want. And I know that you can talk about all the little quirks that certain individuals have on your team. Still, overall you will share more similarities and differences.
For instance, a startup usually hires people their age, so if it was started by people in their 20s and 30s, guess what? They're going to hire people in their 20s and 30s. So, where am I going with this? Well, let's say the tone that your team has is overall a negative and unmotivated vibe. Well, where do you think that comes from? It comes from you; it takes time to motivate and develop a team through one-on-one counseling; however, overall, the team's morale is directly correlated with yours. If you care, they care period.
Let's get realistic if your team is unmotivated and has a negative vibe. Well it really is your fault. However it takes a skill in order to dissect what is going on. If your organization is large enough to have a mediator and that is what is needed in order to resolve deep interpersonal conflicts; use them. However if there is only a bad apple in the group well maybe you should get to know that person and really seek to understand how to help them help themselves in the long run. But you must isolate the problem in order to better help the group as a whole. I am not trying to get into the weeds of conflict resolution right now because that is an entire course in and of itself. But I will leave you with this, you need to develop your conflict resolution skills as a leader and you definitely need to care about others more than you care about yourself and that takes time and patience. So look into topics such as leadership and mentoring, and coaching. I have a strong psychology background because I am a licensed mental health technician so this skill set comes more naturally to me. If you do not then start reading more books on reading body language and interpersonal communication.
When was the last time you saw a positive and negative person hanging out with one another for an extended period unless one was just in an enabler? When someone sees life full of opportunities and is excited about its challenges, they don't really want to talk about how bad things are. Attitude is very contagious, and people with the right attitude make people feel positive around them. People with negative attitudes are usually toxic. Honestly, if no matter what you do can reach them, then they are off your team. It's better to cut out the tumor and get rid of that problem than consume the whole team.
You can't control the background that you come from and that of your team members. Still, you can certainly adjust your attitude to see a significant increase in the link between your leadership skills and self-improvement. Just ask yourself, what do you value? Whatever character attributes and flaws you possess, you will likely find in the people that follow you. When you go for that extra certification in your field or go ahead and progress to graduate studies to further the field in your business, you are engaging in increasing your leadership skills as well as self-improvement.