One thing that nearly all successful businesses have in common is that they have a good leader at the helm. Without effective leadership, it can be incredibly challenging to get your business to where you want it to be. Happily, leadership is a skill that can be mastered like any other. We have 8 tactics to help you be the best leader possible in the post below.
1. Have a clear plan
Clarity is imperative for leaders, and we're not just talking among their communion skills here. In fact, clarity of vision is something that all successful leaders will need. After all, how can they lead from the front and encourage others, if they don't have a very definite idea of where they are going?
What this means is if you are in charge of a business its is absolutely worth your time and effort to nail down what your company goals are. In fact, it can really help to do this not only in a very detailed way with a breakdown of dates, and figures but also in a more general way as well. Then you will always have a 'why' to refer back to whenever you are asking a member of your staff to do something, and it will be much easier to keep everyone on track.
2. Have a clear approach
Next, a good leader also needs a transparent approach or attitude. What this means is you need to establish your leadership style, not only concerning what works best for your business, but also regarding what best fits your own personality as well.
After all, if you are excellent at communication but pretty bad at organization then you leadership style need to focus on the former and ensure that the latter is delegated to someone else who is proficient in this area.
In fact, by thoroughly knowing your own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the business world, you can actually be a much more effective leader. Not only because you can delegate the things you not so good at, but also because you can take the time to work on and develop your weaknesses as well. Something that will make you a more powerful leader across all the tasks you are presented with.
Whether it's your strongest skill or not, all leaders need to have a good grasp of communication to some extent. It is impossible to lead well without being able to communicate and feedback to the people you are leading. There are a lot of different styles of communication and so it is likely that it will be able to find one that best suits your strengths in this area. Not everyone will be OK with standing up in front of a company of 100 people and making an announcement, but they can instead send a clear and precise email to all concerned. Similarly, some business leaders are delighted to run staff onboarding and training sessions themselves. While others prefer to have a professional company come in and handle this side of things for them. Something that means they cannot only be guaranteed of the best results but will also free up the leaders time, enabling them to focus on other tasks to which they are better suited.
4. Admit your mistakes
Another thing that separates 'run of the mill' leaders from the outstanding ones is to be able to admit their mistakes. In a professional setting, this isn't always the easiest thing to do. You may feel as if you will lose face and your reputation in front of your peers and subordinates if faced with such a situation. However, being able to be flexible and try out new ideas without rigidly holding on to the need for them to succeed is a leadership quality that can really help to give your business the edge. And don't forget that mistakes or failed projects are things you can always learn from as well, something else that can help to improve your business over the long term.
5. Model the behavior you want to see
Leaders are often charged with managing change within a business, something that can be partially tricky as employees will often resist reforms, even without knowing exactly what they involved and the benefits they will bring. When managing change, it does provide an excellent opportunity for leaders to model the correct behavior and be the change they want to see in their business. This attitude of leading from the front can be incredibly useful because it puts you in a much stronger position when you are asking employees to change their behavior, something that can help to effect modifications that will ultimately benefit your business.
A good leader is one that is as productive as possible, and that means you not only have to be on top of supervising and managing everyone else, but also the tasks that are assigned to you as well. In particular, it is essential that you prioritize the tasks that are essential for your business to run, such as order resources, assigning work hours, and making sure payroll is on time and accurate. There are now lots of tech solutions such as scheduling apps you can use to make such tasks more efficient, productive, and much less time-consuming. Such tech being something every good business leader should embrace if they are to be as effective as possible.
7. Offer praise
Many people think that being a good leader is about ordering people around and disciplining them when they do something wrong. However, it's also about being able to motivate and praise employees for doing the best job possible as well. Most people prefer the carrot to the stick. If you are not a naturally encouraging person, there is no need to freak out here, as you won't have to have a personality transplant or run around your facility offering metaphorical 'pats on the head' to everyone that manages to do what they are asked for longer than 10 minutes. There are many other less cringy, and better received ways of offering praise and motivation in the workplace instead. For example, you may choose to implement a commission-based system, something that tends to take the task of motivating your team out of your hands and places the responsibility back with them. Alternatively, running things like benefits schemes, manager nominations, and employee of the month can all also work very well. Just don't underestimate the power of praise or reward, even over and above discipline and consequence, as they can be handy tools for leaders to use.
8. Chastise in private
Sometimes as an effective leader, you are going to need to tell someone off and ask them to alter what they are doing. The critical thing here is to do it in private wherever possible. What that means is if you think 'balling out' someone that has made a mistake in front of the whole office if a good idea, you absolutely need to change your approach. When it comes to formal discipline, ensuring that it's just yourself and another representative apart from the employee if usually enough. Unless you are dealing with a very difficult individual, many of the strategies above should not only help you to avoid even ever having to get to this stage but also ensure that you are the best leader possible for your business.
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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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