Great leaders are made, not born. It’s not easy being a leader and there is always room for improvement. If you’d like to do more as a leader then there are some simple and effective ways that you can improve.
Leadership is so much more than just giving orders. It’s crucial to ensure that you’re not only heard but also understood. Listen, as well as speaking, and you’ll find it much easier to communicate with the people you’re managing.
Set clear boundaries
A leader who sets clear boundaries ensures that everyone working with them knows where they stand. If boundaries are ambiguous then you may find your limits constantly being tested and that can be stressful for leadership and for the team. Know your limits and make them very clear.
Set an example
Leading by example is the most powerful way to be effective for any leader. Whether that’s being punctual, ensuring that you always look smart and well presented or in terms of the way that you conduct meetings and deal with issues. You can set the tone with your behaviour so make sure that the example you set is what you want your employees to copy.
Don’t be unreachable
Some leaders elevate themselves to a status that means they are permanently separated from those they are leading. Unreachable leaders are driven by ego and don’t tend to inspire others. It’s far more effective to be humble, to be willing to listen and continue to learn from those around you, to share credit and be happy for others to do well too.
Make your meetings productive
If you’re going to request that others take the time to attend meetings then make sure those meetings are well structured and productive. Leaders and managers are often judged by the meetings they are responsible for – do they waste everyone’s time or do they achieve real results?
Nurture emotional intelligence
This often simply means ensuring you have an awareness of the positions of others and an empathy with where they are coming from. It’s this that enables strong relationships to be built.
Don’t be lonely at the top
Finding a mentor who can provide advice and guidance is a fast and effective way to improve the way you lead.
Learn as you go
In particular, focus on the skill sets of leaders that you admire – what made them great in your eyes and how could you apply their approach to your own situation?
Treat leadership as a journey
The best approach to leadership is to assume that it will be an ongoing journey that requires continual awareness and improvement.
Learn from the mistakes of others
Make yourself aware of the most common mistakes that leaders often make – and then avoid them.
Leadership is a skill that can be nurtured and developed – the best leaders are those who have put the time and effort into improving what they do, and how they do it.