One thing that all leaders know is that they are never finished developing their leadership skills. They are continually looking for ways to grow both professionally and personally. Evolving in one’s leadership skill set is vital to the success of their organization, team, and themselves.
Are you that leader who thinks that your subordinates suck? Guess what, if this is you, it might be you who sucks. A good leader believes there are no “bad teams.’ only ‘bad managers’ and they look within to find solutions before pointing the finger to others.
If you are currently in a leadership role, you know this is true. If you’re not, but aspire to be, you can cultivate skills you already have to become one. Leadership does not have to be a professional title. You can be a leader in a marriage, your family, and even social acquaintances. To be a leader, you only need to be someone who modals ideal behaviors and inspires others to follow.
Characteristics of the best leaders are the ability to infuse passion, make strong-connections, infectious energy, and commitment to the mission of the organization. Business mogul Richard Branson says the ability to inspire is one of the most crucial skills every leader should have. The greatest leaders encourage you to learn more, become better, dream bigger, and accomplish what seemed almost impossible.
Lead by example
Expect from your team what you expect from yourself
Never ask your team members to do something that you would never do yourself. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You’ll be resented and viewed as a hypocrite. You can’t have such high expectations of others if you do not have them for yourself too. If you’re ok with mediocrity from them, be mediocre. If you demand excellence, make sure you deliver excellence.
The only person you can change is yourself. Be the person you want others to be, and ideally, you will inspire them to change themselves for the better.
When things go amok, stay calm and carry on
Remember, life is unpredictable. Thus, it is possible to run into challenges at any given moment.
It is vital to stay calm and set aside some of your time to think things through when they come up. It’s not wise to rush and make decisions during the most challenging situations. You want to keep your team calm, too, as mass hysteria will not solve anything. Don’t dwell on the problem but focus on the solution. Communicate clearly with everyone involved and encourage input. Most issues arise when there is isolation, and the (proverbial) right-hand doesn’t know what the left-hand is doing. Stay openminded to new ideas and collaboratively come up with a solid strategy to remedy the situation.
Everyone screws up sometimes. If it’s you, own it!
Don’t be afraid to let your team see the fallible and human side of you. When you admit you made a mistake and take responsibility for it, they will respect you and be able to come to you for guidance when they are in need. Celebrate failure as a learning opportunity and move on. You will create an atmosphere that is comfortable to work in. You want your team to be challenged by the tasks that they do, not the environment they do them in.
Be clear about boundaries
A good leader is the one who has clearly conveyed what is expected and what is not tolerated. Their primary objective is to gain the respect and devotion of their team but not to be buddies. As a manager, you need to ensure that all the team members take you seriously. Make sure you follow your own rules too. This models strong communication skills to your team and shows them that you are fair and consistent.
Sometimes it’s better to talk less and listen more. Let yourself be approachable and available for your team to come and speak freely. When you allow others to share their ideas, you empower them, and incorporating some of them will keep them motivated.
When you are doing the talking, make sure that you offer praise and gratitude to your team. It’s easy to say, “good job!” and your sincere appreciation will make them feel incredible.
Frontrunners know they have something great to offer this world. They are talented at teaching others to access their own greatness to support that mission. They do so with heartfelt support and guidance and provide the resources necessary for success. They do not take advantage of their position and dole out rules and demands.
It starts with you!
A leader is not a person who is born overnight. Leadership is a journey that starts with a single step.
These tips offer general guidance to be a progressive leader. Put them into practice and continue to take a personal inventory to hone your unique leadership skills.
If you’re ready to up your game with a professional leadership coach, you can speak with up to 3 risk-free at Life Coach Library when you register and complete a simple survey. If not you, who? If not now, when?