Take a minute and reflect on this question – how would you describe someone who is a strong leader? You would likely say they are powerful, dynamic, a great communicator and someone with excellent oratory skills. While these are all excellent leadership skills, they take time to develop. If you are looking to develop skills such as these, continue reading to learn more about all it takes to become the leader you want to be.
Good leaders should be honest people. Do what you can. Remain authentic. When you tell the truth, do so kindly. Be open about any mistakes that have occurred. Mistakes will happen, so you need to accept them. It is those mistakes that you can use to find a new solution. They can provide you with nearly limitless opportunities.
When dealing with employees and customers, it is so important to be ethical. Ethics plays a huge role in any business. Customers respect a company which has strong values. Discipline employees who fail to follow the principles you have set up because one bad employee can ruin an entire company.
Don’t be overbearing when your subordinates are learning a new process. Instead, ask them how they learn best. You might be surprised to find out that some of your assistants want direct instruction, while others want to take a more trial-and-error approach to learn. Unless there are specific reasons why accommodating them would be problematic, try to allow for both types of learning.
Empower your employees. Leadership isn’t just about decision making. It’s also about knowing when to give up the power to your trusted colleagues. When you let them make decisions, you are helping to build their loyalty to the company. They’ll feel respected, and most importantly, wanted. That’s a big thing for the health of your business.
Even if you’re not a tremendous speaker, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a good leader. Communicating effectively can overcome lack of oratory skills. Let all your team members know what is expected of them and how they contribute to the organization. Communicate success stories and be precise when providing critical remarks.
Spend more time in the office than out of it. It may be exciting to travel everywhere that you can, but suitcase leadership doesn’t inspire the teams back at the main office. If you find yourself going more than half the time, then you can be sure your employees don’t see you as their leader. They need to see you there.
Leaders listen more than talk. The best listeners often make the best leaders. Hear your employees when they speak. Even the bad things. Listen to what they tell you about how the company is handling matters. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll take away from listening.
When you are the leader of the group, you are responsible for the atmosphere. If you come to work in a bad mood and are disrespectful to your team, the atmosphere will be a negative one. Always try to keep things positive at the office, work site and in your communications with your team.
Create an environment where everyone’s point of view can be heard. Dissenting opinions and debate can lead to more creative solutions. In a situation where people are afraid to disagree, the status quo will stand. Have weekly meetings where you stimulate debate about specific aspects of your business and listen to every opinion and suggestion.
A massive problem for business these days is the loss of one-on-one communication. This is primarily due to the electronic age we live in. If you want to be a good leader, try preceding the emails and text messages, and interact one-on-one with your team. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. Real relationships still work best.
Don’t be afraid to fail. If you have never failed in your life, you are not trying hard enough! One of the best ways to learn is through your failures. It is through trying new things that you gain valuable experience, even if the venture never reaches fruition. You will be able to improve on your ideas and be more effective in the future.
Sometimes a great leader needs to shut up and listen to others. Your employees have a voice, and you need to give them a chance to use it. Always understand that communication is not a one-way street and value the words and opinions of others. This helps to foster a feeling of a team that is essential for any business to grow.
Sometimes it is best to check your ego at the door. Show empathy toward your employees, and remain transparent when you communicate with them. If they see this kind of transparency, it will help them to understand you are genuine, and everyone has an easier time respecting an honest person.
Never be afraid to change your plan of action if necessary. Sometimes you develop a great strategy, only to find that it does not work when you present it to your group. Have a contingency plan, or listen to others to develop one, and never be afraid to use that contingency if necessary.
A great leader is developed through hard work and skills. This article has provided you with much of the information you need as far as the skills go, and now it is your turn to take the reigns and put in the hard work to develop those skills. With effort, you can become the leader you want to be and lead the team you want to have.