Although conventional wisdom often says that great leaders are born, not made, history has proven otherwise. Many people in a position of leadership have benefited greatly from learning more about the characteristics and habits of effective leaders. This article contains some tips and suggestions for those who are interested in this topic.
Use a mentor. Find someone whose leadership skills you trust, and model your behavior after theirs. Watch them for a while, and get an idea of how they lead and what makes them a good leader. You don’t want to mimic them completely, but find what works about their style and incorporate it into a style that works for you.
Make sure you hire people who will advance your business goals. Preferably, this means people who are smart, can solve problems, and most importantly, have some experience in your business field. Make sure you check references and do proper research so that you don’t get scammed by someone with a fake resume and a silver tongue.
Keep it simple, leader! Focus on the important things. Once you have done this, figure out what your priorities are. You have to make the work as simple as possible. Set aside time to think about how to undertake the projects, as well.
Make sure to engage people as a leader. You must learn how to motivate, involve, and excite others. Inspire them to engage their passions, strengths, skills, and creativity in the tasks at hand. Do what you can to acknowledge and appreciate each person’s contributions and efforts. You should make them all feel like they did something to move the project forward.
A good leader, or manager, will go out of his or her way to get to know employees better. Not just about work-related topics, but about their outside activities, family and interests. Employees appreciate it when their leaders acknowledge them in ways that don’t pertain to work. This makes the relationship a little more personal.
Good leaders must finish the job. You hear many leaders brag about their projects, but many haven’t actually finished them. Those that don’t genuinely finish can lose the confidence of their clients. You must set goals and see your tasks through to completion. Remember that nothing is entirely useful until it’s finished.
Learn good delegation skills to master or compensate for your personal weaknesses. No one is perfect, so you know you have them. Leadership isn’t about being the running back that scores every touchdown. Rather, it’s about being the quarterback, who always knows who is right in each play to carry the ball.
Anyone in a leadership role should be concerned about trust. You must be able to trust your team, or workforce, and they must also be able to trust you. Try having a meeting periodically with a small group, where trust issues are discussed, and solved. Look for good articles on the subject of trust in the workplace, and read them with your group, giving each other feedback and suggestions.
Be aware that there is always more to learn. Just because you are leading a team does not mean you know everything there is to know. Be willing to learn from others, including the rest of your team. They will appreciate the chance to show their own skills, and you will learn new things.
Effective leadership does not simply just happen. Effective leaders take the time to learn about traits that successful leaders have and habits that they practice. Good leaders can become great ones by studying these characteristics, and it is an education that should continue throughout the duration of one’s tenure.