Well Tested Advice To Boost Your Leadership Skills
"A good leader takes the people where they want to go, but a great leader will take people where they do not necessarily want to go, but ought to be." Rosalynn Carter
To be a great leader, you need to both learn and apply that knowledge gleaned of being good leader. True leaders will almost always be happy to learn from their mistakes or learn from those that have been there before. If you are interested in some of the skills I have picked up over the years as a business leader and teaching mentor, keep reading in order to discover what should be done to become a highly effective leader.
Honesty and Integrity
"In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." Warren Buffet
Honesty and integrity is usually an ideal starting point for just about any decent leader. This means you should be honest and do what's right, even if you find yourself making decisions out from the sight of others. You should lead people the correct way and correct in most instances will be with honesty and integrity. Honesty will probably be appreciated by those within your charge most especially. You have to remain honest with them in particular for that can and will encourage a knock on effect whereby they will also stay honest with others, too. Furthermore, if you are dishonest with your reports, they will no longer trust you, even when you are being honest. Trust of others will certainly prove elusive should you get a reputation of being loose with the truth. A lack of respect will soon sink in, which is just shocking for work ethic and productivity.
Tenacity and Resilience
Tenacity is one of the most critical of leadership qualities. Whenever your business or the business you work for is in trouble or periods of strife, you are going to need to be the go-to person. Should people turn to you in these times of stife or crisis, your ability to bounce back will quickly instil confidence in your team and teach them not to make knee jerk reactions according to panic. In these circumstances, focus on accomplishing your goals even when the most difficult obstacles arise. Your persistence and ability to troubleshoot like a true leader can help inspire your team to keep the operations of the business moving.
When picking people to work for you, try to hire people with diverse ideas and backgrounds. It'll surely offer you a variety of perspectives, experience and ideas. Do not just hire people that are just like you. This is common, yet it is folly from my experience. Should you do this i.e hire folk like you, you will find that few new ideas are delivered to the table. Furthermore, it risks failure based upon compounding your own weaknesses.
“The greatest of leaders are not those who necessarily do the greatest of things. They are the ones that get their people to do the greatest of things.” Ronald Reagan
Be professional but well grounded - not a stuffy, stuck up boss
As one rises up through the ranks, my belief is - don't forget those you are leaving behind. Sure act professional but don't ever forget your roots and common touch with those that may work for you or conversely, may one day be your boss. One of the approaches I take is one of collaboration. I will seek the input and advice from all stakeholder colleagues and co-workers. Pay attention to their ideas with an open mind. They can often offer up suggestions on approaches to boost your own goals and ideas or mention issues unforeseen that they may serve as quite valuable insights into your and the business plans. Of course, they will feel great that they are considered worthy enough to help contribute to the plans.
Mistakes - take responsibility
Own as much of the mistakes as possible that your or your team which you lead are responsible for making. Good leaders often make poor choices sometimes too. So never be ashamed of mistakes - learn from them. Great leaders will in all likelihood step-up to the plate and assume the responsibility of their calling. It merely goes to show that you too are humanly fallible. This may often seem like folly, yet it is something great leaders do or ought to be doing. Sometimes being more human will get men and women to be a little more loyal to you.
Set goals which can be reached
It's OK to set very high standards aimed at meeting your goals, but one must always ensure that those goals are realistic and attainable. Setting impossible goals just frustrates your team. By never reaching your goals it sends a very strong signal to all and sundry that you can't produce the goods and that it's ok to never reach goals. You definitely don't want a team to be dissuaded from the outset - particularly with goals that can be achieved. By failing constantly or falling short you are letting people know what an ineffective leader you are.
Keep your team 'in touch'
"Whatever are the words we utter, they should be chosen wisely, with care ..for people will hear them and be influenced by them, for both good or ill." Buddha
Maintain communication with your team at all times. Your team needs to know exactly what comes next, especially if the workplace is one where an unexpected alteration of plans I common. Insufficient communication works runs counter to effective team goals. Bad communication also damages the business while contributing to you appearing as weak and foolish.
You are but a sum of the parts
Good leaders ought to see themselves as being servants to the business, not the all-conquering, all-important boss. A leader is there to offer their team guidance and direction, not to run the show as a dictator. You will earn respect because if you can be seen there for the prosperity of the business, not there to selfishly to line your own pockets. To lead as an egomaniac will see you separating yourself physically from your staff. Even as the main act, you are still part of a team. Don’t ever forget it. It's extremely hard to take on every task alone. Without your staff and their input, you are a head without the body to do so much of the lifting. I like to make sure that everyone feels like they are a vital piece of the puzzle. If they do they will try harder and happily work with you to achieve yours and the organisations goals.
Listen as well as talking
You must collaborate as mentioned above and this entails doing more listening than talking. Should you wish to be considered a great leader, it will always start off with good active listening skills. Pay attention to those working under you. You have to hear both their praises in addition to their concerns. Use what you really are told to discover your business. You may well be just a little taken aback by the things that can be taught to you from listening to those reporting to you.
“We are born with two ears and only one mouth, so therefore we should listen more than we say.” Zeno of Citium
Research and business intelligence
Monitor news and market conditions regarding your competitors and the industry you are in. Knowing the current trends, opportunities and threats can help you to stay competitive. Falling behind is never an alternative for the effective and viable business leader. Make new trends a focus for planning and evolving your present business design.
Lead your staff to stay competitively aware for their areas. See they are trained and professionally developed, networking with friends and colleagues in the business so they can be your ears and eyes on the ground. If they are not encouraged to act as your intelligence officers, they will never offer up important industry information from their perspective. See that they do this at team meetings and be thankful and appreciative for their knowledge and efforts.
Act on Instinct
Go along with your instincts. Becoming an effective leader is founded on having good instincts, so it is wise to pay attention to them. Often it is underestimated the value of instincts honed over many years in the trenches. Experience is seen as something concrete but instincts gained from that experience can be equally as valuable – particularly if such instinct have led to previous successes.
“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.” Agatha Christie
I am certainly no perfect leader, in fact I am the first to acknowledge how imperfect or quirky I am. For this reason I aspire to be acutely aware of the best times to criticize a worker and when to praise them. I am not great at it and still need work, but a good start for me was, and perhaps for you too is to acknowledge at the least five positive facets of their work for each negative part. This balance/ratio of negative and positive will raise the morale of the employees along with prevent communication from closing. If you stay true to the ratio, I have little doubt any leader can and will have positive impacts on the working partnership they may have with other people by using this rule.
Although it is sometimes difficult to be optimistic, you should do so to be seen as good leader. A positive attitude is nearly always contagious, and will also assist to boost morale and teach employees they are able to cope with anything. When a negative situation arises, demonstrating that it’s water of a ducks back to you, will most definitely rub off on those around you at work.
Go strong out of the starting blocks
Try to impress right off the bat. The leaders who get off to a lightning and impressionable first start are often the ones that remain at the fore of fellow work colleagues minds more often over the long term. If you make a good first impression, this often helps you in gaining the respect of others. But having said this never stuff up right off the bat, so only do things you are confident in of achieving result super quick. Don’t dabble in maybes to begin with.
Empower your teams
Leaders help their team reach all of their goals. Successful business often hinges on leaders that enable their team members by offering necessary solutions and tools to achieve their end goals. Great leaders are committed to helping their employees succeed. Listening to your team is important but a great leader will also act to empower the team and afford them a clearer road ahead.
Let’s have fun
Make others seem like they're having a great time when they're working. Hard work is always going to be required, but there should always be some room for levity. Make use of this time for you to incorporate little fun into your day. This will assist employees to worry less and discover team spirit in more than a business dimension. Have a party, a birthday morning tea, a trivia night, an extravagant Christmas lunch. It’s all about working and thinking as a team with other people. Caring about their well being and happiness are quite often what helps a businesses to succeed.
It really is time for you to discover ways to build and utilize your new found leadership skills. If you don’t have them, or have but a few, it’s never to late to learn and keep learning until your last breath. Now that readers here have some insight and understanding of some of the things that they can do, the next step is to resolve to do it . Despite me wanting to the contrary, many of the tips here in this piece might not be your thing, but they do propose a way forward - a way to a happier, healthier and more positive you and a happier, healthier and more positive workplace as a consequence. Anyone could be or become a better leader, so diarise it daily now, to try and move more and more in that direction. It can happen , even with a little bit of effort.