Becoming a better leader will help you to run a better business with a happier team. A bad leader is somebody who bosses their team around, doesn’t care about them or their well being, and cares only for themselves. They often delegate to team members that are not equipped to deal with the given tasks and then end up blaming that person, when in reality, it was their own fault for poor delegation. But you can avoid these kinds of mistakes by taking stock of our 8 foolproof tips to becoming a great leader.
1. Become A People Person
A great leader is always a people person. You can’t expect to run a team of people who look up to you, respect you, and relate to you if you don’t consider yourself to be a people person. Know how to speak to people, improve on your listening and communication skills and you’ll accomplish this. Become genuinely interested in people!
2. Get To Know Your Team
Make sure you get to know your team as individuals. Learn their names and things about them. Remember the things they tell you. This will go a long way and make them feel like they matter. If all you do is talk about work, and don't really get to know people, then you are telegraphing that all you care about is what people can do for you. That will not lead to a successful, long-term relationship.
3. Consistently Work On Your Skills And Knowledge
Consistently working on your skills and knowledge is essential. You should never get comfortable or complacent with the stage you’re at, as there is always room for improvement. You can look at courses online like this USC site, or even go for workshops at your own company or courses like Creative Live. There are a plethora of ways to improve in this aspect, so explore them and see what suits you best. Plus, if you are creating a culture of learning and innovation, then your team will follow and always be prepared for the next business challenges they face.
4. Focus On The Positives
Make sure you get into the habit of focusing on the positives in your team. Any leader can focus on the negatives, but it’ll suck all of the morale out of your team and won't make for a great leadership tactic. Get into the habit of looking for the good stuff and pointing it out. This does not mean that you avoid the hard conversations that are necessary. But, you can make sure to applaud the good behavior and encourage improvement in areas that need work.
5. Don't Be Afraid To Get Your Hands Dirty
A great leader is not afraid to get their hands dirty. The team will appreciate this and they’ll see you as equal to them, which is beneficial for you. I remember one of the first times I saw the new president of my alma mater, he was in his business suit, walking between meetings, and he picked up trash along his walk to his meeting. This is something I saw repeated several times throughout his tenure. This kind of behavior made me really want to work with him and see him succeed.
6. Get Feedback And Use It
Ask for anonymous or one-one one feedback and then use it to improve. This can be scary, but it can also be an important tool to help you to become the best leader you can possibly be. Another great tool can be a personality test like Myers-Briggs. This can give you feedback about how you respond to stressful situations, how you communicate, and how you work with others. Understanding your own personality better can help you become a more effective leader.
7. Have An Open Door Policy
An open door policy gives your the team the confidence to come to you if they are experiencing problems, and you can sort things out sooner rather than later to avoid disruption to the business and to the team.
8. Go Above And Beyond For Your Team
Make sure you go out of your way for your team. If one of them is struggling, figure out what you can do to make work better for them. It doesn’t have to be all about work either. Use your imagination - reducing employee stress outside of the work place by helping them secure a new place to live, for instance, will make them more loyal to you.
What are your top tips to being a great leader?
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M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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