10 Ways to Become a Better Leader
- Learning to be a good leader can greatly influence the success of your team, your organization and yourself.
- To be an effective leader, you need to understand your own motivations, strengths and weaknesses.
- Great leaders connect to their team by facilitating open communication, encouraging employee growth and development, and giving and receiving feedback.
Anyone can sit in a corner of the office and delegate tasks, but there is more than effective leadership than that. Effective leaders have major impacts not only on the team members they manage, but also on their business as a whole. Employees who work under great leaders tend to be happier, more productive, and more connected to their organization – and this has a ripple effect that achieves your business results.
“I think a great leader is one who improves those around him,” Dana Brownlee, founder of Professionalism Matters. “There are many litmus tests for a great leader, but I really look at those around him: do they grow up, do they themselves become better leaders, motivated, etc.?”
If you look around and find that your team members have become disengaged or stagnant in their work, it may be time to reassess and reform your strategies. According to Brownlee, the following behaviors are signs that you may have a poor leadership strategy:
- No member of your team has criticized any of your ideas in the past month.
- You spend more time planning your own career progression than that of your team members.
- You haven’t had at least three unrelated work conversations with a team member each week.
- Different team members would provide different answers if asked your top three priorities for the year.
- Team members are afraid of failing.
A recent study from the Center for Creative Leadership has shown that about 38% to more than half of new leaders fail in their first 18 months. Leaders can avoid being part of this staggering statistic by incorporating good leadership strategies that motivate their team members to achieve their goals.
1. Engage in honest and open communication.
One of the most important elements of effective leadership is to create an open line of communication with your team members. Sanjay Patoliya, the founder and director of Teclogiq, said that your honesty and transparency should serve as an example to your team members.
“When you are in charge of a team of people, it is important to be simple,” he said. “Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow.”
Brownlee added that great leaders are able to personalize their interactions and communication styles according to each situation and each member of the team, according to individual preferences. “It means they take the time to determine which method of communication is preferred by each member of the team. Other people.”
Demonstrating active communication skills and transparency can build trust within your team and improve overall morale. Ruslan Fazlyev, CEO and founder of e-commerce solution provider Ecwid, said that in all of your communications, it is important to be authentic above all else. “There are many styles of leadership; there is no right and there is no right,” he said. “But there is right and wrong. There is no follow-up for false leadership.” [What kind of leader are you? Take a look at these different traits, skills and styles.].
2. Connect with your team members.
Leading a group of people requires a mutual sense of trust and understanding between the leader and the members of his team. To achieve this, leaders must learn to connect.
Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, a writer and leadership consultant, said that being a “more human” leader requires positivity, purpose, empathy, compassion, humility and love. These key features will set you on the path to real relationships with your team members.
“It is essential to establish a real personal connection with your teammates to develop the shared confidence necessary to build a solid culture of responsibility and exceptional performance,” said St. Marie. “With this culture in place, the team can achieve a successful business, a happy team and an accomplished leader.”
To connect with each member of your team, focus on knowing their personality, interests, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies and preferences. This can give you an overview of their goals and motivations.
Patoliya said that successful leaders allow their teams to develop their autonomy and add value based on their own personal strengths. “Being able to recognize the strengths of individuals within their team and allow them to be responsible and responsible, not only increases employee confidence in themselves and their leader, but also increases their performance.
3. Encourage personal and professional growth.
Acting as a cheerleader on your team is an important part of being an effective leader. You must be invested in their success and growth.
Keri Ohlrich, CEO of the HR consulting firm Abbracci Group, said that leaders should set aside a budget, even a small one, to spend on growing their employees.
“With options as varied as on-demand, virtual
in-person options, there are many opportunities to continue learning new skills or to develop existing ones,” she said. “Empower your employees to take the time to learn and integrate this into their work.”
In addition to investing financially in the growth of your employees, you need to invest emotionally. John Rampton, founder and CEO of Calendar, said that great leaders allow their employees to grow by providing them with exciting opportunities and guiding them when needed.
“To motivate and inspire employees, the leadership strategy is to empower others to do their best and take on new challenges,” he said. “Employees love challenges and feel the satisfaction of overcoming them. Whether it’s a difficult customer, a difficult sale, a difficult situation or whatever, it’s always good to let them take on these challenges.”
When leaders believe in their people and give them the opportunity to learn and grow, they may be surprised at what they can accomplish. Do not be afraid to delegate tasks and encourage freedom and creativity.
4. Keep a positive attitude
As much as leaders want their team’s daily operations to run smoothly all the time, they are bound to encounter the occasional obstacle. Whether it is miscommunication or a major error, the way you handle a negative situation speaks volumes about your leadership skills.
Robert Mann, author of The Measure of a Leader (iUniverse, 2013), recommended focusing on good in all circumstances. “Examine three positive aspects of a problem before identifying what makes it unsatisfactory. The more you examine the positive aspects of a problem, the more people react positively to each other.”
In his research, Mann discovered that after people pointed out things they were satisfied with in a problematic situation, they did not feel the problem so much and were better able to think clearly and solve it. The same is true when a leader needs to improve his strategy. If you or a team member notices a particular course of action that you have taken that simply does not work, determine some things that you have done in the past that have worked.
Patoliya added that focusing on solutions rather than problems can help your team maintain positive engagement. “A positive environment is more likely to create a more engaged and productive workforce. By demonstrating enthusiasm and confidence, a good leader will see the impact it can have on their work environment.”
5. Teach employees instead of giving orders.
An effective leader knows how to show others what is needed, rather than just telling them. Luke Iorio, president and CEO of the Institute for Professional Coaching Excellence (iPEC), said leaders should coach their team members towards a more collaborative and engaged work environment – without coaxing them.
“If you control people to do certain things in a certain way, you will not get the level of commitment you are looking for,” he said. “Coaching is about helping the people you lead recognize the choices they have before them. People will then take a lot of responsibility in running the project.”
Instead of just barking orders to team members, Rampton said good leaders should encourage growth by teaching. “People would not grow if the leaders taught them nothing. The leaders must teach so that they can train new leaders to take their place.”
6. Set clear goals and expectations for employees.
Setting clear goals and employee expectations for your team is the key to employee success. When setting these goals, encourage employee questions and comments. Including them in the process can increase engagement.
Amish Shah, President of ALTR Created Diamonds, said that good leaders will also explain the company’s vision and how team members’ goals fit into this equation.
“For a leader to motivate and inspire, he must keep his team informed of his vision,” he said. “It helps employees understand the end result they are working towards as a unit. When goals are clearly defined, everyone can track progress and identify achievements in tangible ways.”
Ohlrich also stressed the importance of explaining how these goals affect the organization as a whole. She said that, regardless of seniority, every employee should be able to articulate how the work they do contributes to the success of the business.
Don’t let team members’ goals become static. Periodically review the objectives to modify or reorganize them if necessary. This will let your team members know that you are there and aware of what they are working on.
7. Give direct feedback on performance.
Taso Du Val, CEO and founder of the independent talent network Toptal, said that direct and honest feedback – even if it’s criticism – is the best way to steer your team in the right direction. You also need to know exactly where your business is going so that you can give them the right advice.
“If you are not direct, people will not know what you really think about them and their work, and they can never get better,” said Du Val. “If you don’t know where your business is going, whatever level of communication you have communicated to your employees and your management team regarding their individual performance, they will flounder when it comes to making decisions and take action. principles are in place, deadlines, regular product plans, performance reviews, structure and processes can be easily put in place. “
In addition to providing constructive feedback and performance reviews, highlight employee achievements. If a team member does something right, let them know. Celebrate their victories and thank them for their hard work.
“Positive recognition will create an environment of productivity,” said Shah. “Acknowledging success by describing how it has an impact on the business, rather than vague patting on the back, is not only encouraging but also helps a person to work better in the long run.”
8. Ask for feedback on your leadership.
Your team members aren’t the only ones who can benefit from honest feedback. A true self-assessment of your leadership can be difficult, so mentors, professional colleagues and even your own staff are invaluable in assessing your effectiveness. According to St. Marie, talking to friends and peers can give you the necessary perspective on your leadership style and approach.
Leadership coaching can also help you discover the areas where you need improvement. A professional who helps you develop a plan to reach your leadership goals can be more motivating than books and seminars alone.
“Coaching allows leaders to connect and apply in a real environment,” said Iorio. “You need time to integrate, process and reflect, and unless you go through these steps, you will not have lasting change.”
Fazlyev agreed, noting that your team can give you a critical overview of what works, such as a wowessays.com work model, what doesn’t work, and the obstacles you must overcome to succeed.
9. Be open to new ideas.
Good leaders have the emotional intelligence to understand and accept that change is inevitable. Instead of trying to maintain the status quo just for the sake of consistency, embrace change and innovation. Be open to new ideas and alternative ways of thinking. Everyone brings a unique perspective to the table, and it is something to be enjoyed, not discouraged.
“When you are ready to hear the thoughts of the talents around you, it is when you truly accept all possibilities and all potentials,” said Shah. “See it through to the end. Understand that there will be errors along the way, but if something doesn’t work, try to figure out why and how before you delete it.”
When solving a problem, encourage team members to provide their ideas. When employees feel they can openly bring new ideas to the table, real innovation, commitment and success can prevail.
10. Understand your own motivation.
If someone in a managerial position sees their role as “just a job”, it will show. To be an effective leader, you need the right motivation. Is it the money or the prestige that you care about, or do you sincerely want to inspire people to do their best?
Sainte Marie advised the leaders to really ask themselves why they want to lead. “I see leadership as an honor and a vocation. If in your heart you feel that leadership is your destiny and how you are going to make a difference in this world, then you are definitely leaving for the right place.”
In addition to what motivates you, Ohlrich said it’s important to know what decreases your energy. “Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps you diversify your team and get a full portfolio of skills. It helps you not hire carbon copies of yourself and surround yourself with other people who are not like you. “
Your leadership style plays a role in how you interact with employees and should also be assessed. There are six different leadership styles, and the best leaders are able to tailor each style to their circumstances and to their employees. If you are currently in a leadership role and do not know where you are on some of these qualities, you can take a quick leadership self-assessment questionnaire from the Leading With Courage Academy to assess your leadership abilities.
Remember that being a good leader takes time. While some individuals are naturally inclined to have good leadership skills, it is something that anyone can learn and improve on. Through hard work, dedication and strategic planning, you can lead your team to success.