Being a good leader has to do with a lot more than being a good manager. Managers direct people in how to go about doing their everyday duties, whereas leaders shape the future of an organization by having a vision of the future, and inspiring her team to share that same vision. For a long time, the universally held belief was that leaders were born and not made. Well, that old adage no longer rings true. Becoming a better leader is easy, it just takes a little work. if you are interested in becoming a better leader, these tips will help.
1. Know Who You Are
The most important thing a leader needs to know, is herself. When you know who you are, it is easy to imagine where you are going. To be a great leader, you must get people to follow you, and how can you do that, if you do not know where you are going? To be a truly successful leader, you must know who you are, and demonstrate that to your team.
2. Learn How to Listen
A great leader knows that listening is one of the most important skills they can have. When building relationships with your team, it is important to really listen to them. When you are having a conversation with someone and they are not truly listening to you, you can tell, and your team can tell when you are not listening to them as well. If your team feels like you don’t care about their input and ideas, they will stop sharing. Take the time to listen to your team and you will become a better leader.
3. Treat Others How They Want to be Treated
Everyone knows the old adage that you should “treat others as you would want to be treated”. In today’s world, in order to become a better leader, it is more important to treat others as they would want to be treated. Today’s work environment is a diverse mix of people and cultures, and it is more important than ever to get to know each person on your team as an individual. In order to become a better leader to your team, you need to find out who they are, what makes them happy, and what motivates them. That way you can tailor your leadership style in order to make the most of each person’s potential.
4. Don’t Remain Silent
In order to become a better leader, you have to learn to speak up. When you lead a team, whether formally, or informally, they are expecting you to protect them. I know it is sometimes tempting to sit by and say nothing about what is happening around us. But when you lead a team, that is not an option. Your team is expecting you to defend them; they are expecting you to keep them safe and secure. They need to know that, no matter what, you have their backs. This includes speaking up for them when necessary. Be vocal in organizational meetings, make sure everyone knows the value of your team, and never be afraid to question the circumstances when they affect your team.
There are many ways to become a better leader. If you are trying to improve your leadership skills, focusing on knowing yourself, learning to listen, treating others the way they want to be treated, and speaking up for your team, will help you get a great start.