Take a minute and reflect on this question – how would you describe someone who is a strong leader? You would likely say they are powerful, dynamic, a great communicator and someone with excellent oratory skills. While these are all excellent leadership skills, they take time to develop. If you are looking to develop skills such as these, continue reading to learn more about all it takes to become the leader you want to be.
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.
When you’re a leader, you’ll need to be accountable. If you make a mistake, admit it and move on. It can be easy to push the blame onto other people, but this should really be avoided. If you’re accountable when you’ve made a mistake, the people around you will feel the need to be more accountable if they’ve made a mistake.
Remember your morals when you are leading. Be sure that the decisions that you’ve made are going to be within your standards. If a decision will upset you, don’t do it. Even if others would make the decision anyway, you have to do what feels right to you.
Be transparent with potential issues as often as possible. While covering up problems in business used to be typical, nowadays a leader will be open about them. What is the reason for that? It’s largely because information spreads like wildfire regardless. The situation will be exposed no matter how much you try to hide it. So, why not be the person controlling the message instead of reacting to it? This is the path of a great leader.
Business is changing constantly so be open to new ideas. Even though something has always worked well in the past, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way to get the job done. Be open to innovative ideas. You can try new methods on a small scale before implementing them company wide.
Learn to listen to your team. Giving orders is just a small part of being a leader. Learning to listen is a key to being an effective leader. Listen to your team members’ suggestions or concerns. Your team is more likely to feel respected and return the favor when you listen to what they have to say.
Those who report to you are likely to judge you based on your decisions. The team member you assign to certain projects, and other decisions you make regarding hiring and firing affects the way your team members think of you. If you show favoritism instead of rewarding individual merits, you can devalue productivity and lower employee morale.
Be prepared for conflict and try to deal with it before it gets out of hand. Ignoring conflict will make the problem worse and make you look too weak to handle it. Practicing good communication skills with your employees will help them feel more respected even if they don’t agree with specific decisions.
A great leader is developed through hard work and skills. This article has provided you with much of the information you need as far as the skills go, and now it is your turn to take the reigns and put in the hard work to develop those skills. With effort, you can become the leader you want to be and lead the team you want to have.