6 ways to be a better leader
hether you’re the CEO of a large corporation or in startup mode, the success of your company depends on your ability to lead. Leadership skills can be inherent, but they also can be learned and honed.
Although the ability to be a good leader is an innate skill many of us possess, it needs to be unpacked and refined with time and practice. It comes with diving in head-first to jobs that may scare you and leading your team to overcome challenges, while motivating them to work toward a common goal.
Productivity and morale are high when company heads not only are able to guide employees effectively and give direction, but when they are able to empower, instill passion and serve as a role model.
To be a boss is to have a title. To be a leader is to have impact. When setting out goals that will help you become a better leader in 2019, ask yourself the following two questions: What are my best qualities? Where can I improve? Below are six ways that will help you refine your skills and evolve.
Reflection is one of the most useful tools to becoming a better leader, because it allows you to determine spots of weakness and assess how to improve them. Once you know yourself and are able to be understand your leadership style, you will be able to refine your workplace environment.
It is helpful to reflect on how you come to make decisions, how much input you generally ask of others, your motivation techniques and whether or not you micromanage your employees. These are key indicators of your type of leadership, and recognizing that will help you determine whether you need to allow for more collaboration or take more control of tasks.
Perhaps you have the most seniority in your department or maybe you run the whole company. Regardless of your tenure, allow everyone on your team to collaborate and share their ideas.
After all, you did hire them presumably because they’re knowledgeable in their field. Chances are, they may offer you a totally different, insightful approach to a task or a solution to a problem you didn't think of.
Get your hands dirty
Don’t pass off every task to employees. Although it’s your job to delegate as a leader, doing work with them will afford you a new perspective.
You might discover ways of doing things are too time-consuming. You might realize you need more hands on deck for certain tasks. Whatever the circumstance may be, it allows you to lead by example and show others that no task is too insignificant for you to participate in. Your team also will appreciate the help.
Stay calm under pressure
A true measure of leadership is exemplified by how you react when faced with problems. No matter the circumstance, you need to respond to issues that arise with a calm demeanor and emphasize that it will be handled and similar mistakes will not happen again.
You may be screaming on the inside when something horrible happens, but don’t let it show. Retaining your confidence will ensure the entire team doesn’t become disheartened and go into panic mode when things get tough and stressful.
Hold yourself accountable
It’s easy to shift blame when things go wrong and it’s very difficult to admit when it’s your fault, especially when you’re the boss. However, you’re only human and we all make mistakes.
Shortcomings are an opportunity to receive feedback from your team about where things went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future.
If you have created an environment within your company where employees feel they are able to voice their opinions freely and without repercussions, you will be able to channel unfortunate circumstances into something positive.
Positive, passionate people attract the like. When you are excited about upcoming projects and hitting goals, the response you will receive from your team likely will be the same.
Celebrating achievements and recognizing accomplishments is one way to instill passion in employees to succeed, increase productivity and maintain high morale.
Mandy Gilbert is the founder and chief executive of Creative Niche and a co-founder of RED Academy.