Everyone strives to make it to the top of their game, from teachers wanting to be principals of the school to interns hoping one day they will make it to CEO level. However, being a leader is difficult, and being a great leader is even more difficult. We look at just some of the ways you can help make sure you are the best leader you can be.
1) Learn how to communicate
Communication is a skill that can never be perfected. We are constantly learning how to speak with others in an effective way, especially when it comes to a leader speaking to his or her delegates. Make sure you are able to communicate in a productive and engaging way that empowers your team members to feel like they can speak up with any suggestion, problem, feedback or question at any time.
2) Learn how to listen
One common pitfall of leaders is their lack of listening skills. Everyone loves the sound of their own voice, but it’s vital you know when to stop talking and start listening. This is especially true when you are a leader, as you need to constantly be listening to the opinions and issues of others in order to improve your team and your work.
3) Empower your people
Whether it’s a simple ‘congratulations’ or an Employee of the Month award, empowering your team to be the best they can be is one of the best skills a leader can have. It is important your team members know they are doing a good job, and feel empowered to do even an even better job.
4) Lead by example
Being the leader means you have to lead by example in everything you do. For example, you cannot demand respect when you are seen as lazy or rude by your employees. Treat them as you wish to be treated and always think before you act.
5) Never micro-manage
Micro managing is one of the most frustrating traits a boss can have, especially when there are capable people wanting to feel empowered to do their own job. Never take on everything yourself and always trust that your team members know what they are doing and will do a good job. If you let them do their job and they fail, you will know their strengths and weaknesses, but if you never let them do their job, you will never find these out.
6) Be emotionally intelligent
Be emotionally aware of those around you and try to be as empathetic as possible. For example if a star employee is suddenly quiet and doing a bad job, they may have bigger problems going on and may need your help or guidance as their leader.
7) Learn from your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes; the important thing is we learn from them and try not to make them again. Even as a leader you will make mistakes, but understanding why you made the mistake and looking into how you could improve going forward is the sign of a great leader.
8) Be confident
Having a shy boss who doesn’t feel they can do the job will never empower or inspire employees. As a leader you should act confidently at all times and know you have been given this job because you deserve it. Believe in yourself and your employees will also believe in you.
9) Know when to delegate
Even the most intelligent or capable people in the world sometimes need a helping hand. Don’t feel that asking for help or delegating work is a failure; in fact it’s just another skill that is needed to be a great leader.
10) Be positive
Nobody likes to be around a pessimistic or unhappy boss, as this reflects in the workplace and makes everyone walk on eggshells. Even when you are having a bad day, try to stay positive, as this negative energy will bring your whole office down.