If you’ve followed
our blog, one thing that you’ve noticed is our fascination with the subject of leadership. For today, let’s take a look at a how you can become a better leader. Sure, there are tons of books, classes, articles, blogs, etc. that are available for you to hone your leadership skills, but there is no mistaking the best teacher for you to become a better leader -> experience. When it comes to learning to lead, experience is what will teach us the most. In leadership experience is key. When you are inexperienced in any field, typically what happens is you will fail or get tripped up in the process of gaining experience and knowledge. So, really the purpose of this is to point out a few “ah-ha” moments along the road to learning about leadership to help you avoid some frustrating moments…if you find this helpful, pass this on to others to help them in their journey and let us know if there are other truths that you have discovered along your journey.
(1) Take care in the building and advancing of your team. Having a high performing team, whether in business, sports, etc., is all about having the right team assembled and then having each member of that team in the right role. Take time initially putting together and building your team. When it is time to add new team members, do it methodically and thoughtfully. Additionally, as there are new roles available on your team (captain, manager, etc.) make sure you are promoting quickly. If you make a bad choice, which you will, correct it as quickly as possible. (2) Not only should you listen to your team’s feedback, but you should do everything in your power to promote your team sharing feedback (constructively). You won’t use all the feedback you receive, however, this is valuable data on yourself to collect and reflect on. Leadership is not stagnant it is fluid and you must be willing to change or tweak your style should it become necessary. (3) Recognize and never forget that everyone on your team is watching, observing and judging you. Everyone has different qualities or character traits that they find important in their leader. One thing that everyone can align on is that they don’t want to follow someone who is not credible. If what you are doing does not match what you are asking of your team, you will lose credibility and your team. Your actions as a leader must always match up with your words. 24-7-365 you are being observed; there is no quicker way to lose your team than to lose credibility.
(4) As a leader oftentimes the impulse is to talk when in reality, you should be
listening. (5) Questions are far more powerful than command. A great leader can have a discussion with one of their team members and through conversation and questioning can lead that team member to the answer or command without directly commanding them to do so. It is an art, but work on helping your people come to the right conclusion themselves as opposed to always having to command them to do things. (6) Finally and most importantly, this job…being a leader…is about the people. At the end of the day, people are all that we have between success and failure. You must truly enjoy people and working with them to help them succeed and develop. Pay attention to your team, show interest in them personally and professionally and build them up. This will be a key step to your success as a leader. We hope the above help you in your never-ending quest to becoming a great leader. Ultimately no course, book or blog is going to be a substitute for experience. You will trip along the way, but you will be better for it! Written By: Eric Blumenthal