In the world of business, the perception of leadership has changed from its early days when it largely mirrored the military model of leadership from the top-down, with powerful individuals dominating large groups of less powerful people.
Nowadays, leadership in business is more knowledge-driven. Anyone with critical knowledge can show leadership. In other situations, leadership can be about taking a stand for what you believe in and trying to convince people to think and act differently.
In an organization, too many managers are trying to micro-manage their staff, all the while forgetting to lead them effectively. If you want to become a strong leader in business, you need to lead by example. Leading by example earns you respect from your staff and create lifelong devotees who would move mountains to please you. As we may all know, the success of any business is largely dependent on the cooperation of its employees. Therefore, it’s highly important that business owners or managers learn how to become a better leader in business.
Here are 10 tips that I have compiled for you:
Ask to be judged.
Finding out what your team or employees think of your leadership skills can really help you change for the better. Your team is the best source of feedback because they are on the receiving end of your “skills” every day. Encourage honesty among your team members, but remember that it may only be anonymous feedback that holds the truth if your team is conscious about you using it against them or becoming defensive about what they say.
Don’t abuse your power.
If your team is questioning why certain things are done, or the logic behind your decisions, never pull rank in response. Instead, empower your team by taking the time to explain the rationale for your decisions. Your team should always be on your side. They may not always agree with you on your decisions, but they should know why a situation is how it is.
Trust your team.
You must allow your team to take action and make decisions. Trust is vital when it comes to effective leadership. If you can’t trust your team to do the job, then you have the wrong people in the team, or you’re not managing your team properly.
A great leader is always a great listener. A great listener is someone who is genuinely interested, empathetic, and concerned to find out what’s going on. Unhappy team members only exist when their problems have not been aired. As a leader, create an environment where problems can be discussed so that solutions can be found.
Stop being an expert on everything.
As a leader, you may believe that you may be the best person to fix your business’ problems and thus, you will have an opinion on how to resolve the problems. Even though you believe it’s better to tell someone what to do or even to do it yourself, give your team the opportunity to develop their own solutions and exercise their creativity.
Your job as a leader is to empower and uplift your team members. A negative environment breeds more negativity. How you communicate has a profound effect on your team, as a whole and individually. You may have to make criticisms from time to time, but try to make them constructive, and more importantly, deliver them without emotional attachment.
Judge your success by your team’s overall performance.
A leader’s true success is measured by the success of the people who work for them. You cannot be a successful leader of a failing team. Therefore, your focus should always be on building your team’s skills and removing obstacles in their way.
Don’t be a narcissist.
Key leadership skill is integrity. Integrity is about doing the right thing and allowing praise when praise is due. Nothing is more annoying for the team members than a leader who makes his decisions based on how good it will make them appear to their customers or superiors.
Have a sense of humor.
People work better when they are enjoying themselves. The work itself may be dull, but the environment does not have to be. Stifling fun is stifling creativity, and you don’t want this to happen in your business. Join in with your team members and have fun together. Your team members will love it.
Don’t be too distant.
It is possible for leaders to show a more human side without revealing their innermost secrets. Being more human should not be seen as vulnerability, rather a sign that you are a sentient human being, just as your team members are. The true foundations of good leadership can only be properly established when your team gets to know the real you because showing your true self develops trust and respect with your team.
Remember, as a leader, your job is to uplift others, especially your team members. By uplifting others, you will be respected for your fairness, your skills, and your ability to lead people in a humane but necessary way to achieve greatness with your team.
Leading people can be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done if you do it right. Do it wrong, and leadership can quickly become a nightmare you hope to wake up from sooner than later.
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