Whether you have worked your way up the corporate ladder or started your own business……the path to successful leadership isn’t an easy one. There will be good times, stressful times, and challenging times, however a great leader is always able to lead a team to success, regardless of the situation. Simply holding a position of leadership doesn’t make someone a good leader. A truly great leader understands the many factors involved and strives to help their team reach their goals. Effective leaders are always developing themselves, and act as the visionary for their organization.
Do you have what it takes to be a great leader?
The foundation of any relationship, both personal and professional, is based on honesty. People want to work for a leader they can trust−one who exhibits morals, values, and integrity. They want to work for a company that offers great products or services they believe in, and that have an honorable reputation. Your employees want to feel good about their jobs−it is important to establish core values for both the business and yourself, and then to lead by example.
Without clear, open and honest communication, your employees won’t understand your mission, goals, and vision. Employees want to work toward something they believe in, so it is important for them to understand the common goals for which we are all aiming. Communication should be consistent in establishing work expectations, giving constructive feedback, and in training new employees. With effective communication, your employees will be able to understand their roles and responsibilities and thus be able to achieve high performance and meet expectations.
When things go wrong, employees look to you for the answers and will judge the situation based upon your reaction. Even if the company is experiencing a major downturn, it is important to be confident and calm, as an example for your team. Your role is to maintain a happy work environment and to continue leading the team positively.
Whether you are starting a new business, or are leading a team at a already been established business; it is important to encourage employees to become invested in the vision of the company. The leader must set the example….good leaders are so inspiring that people will follow them anywhere just to see what they will do.
Stay positive in any situation as this attitude is essential to productivity, employee happiness, and the work environment. When mistakes are made, even if they are serious, it is important to look at the bright side of things, and as necessary offer constructive criticism. You set the tone for the work day, and your attitude directly affects those under your leadership. Bringing snacks, giving compliments, and showing an interest in an employee’s personal life can have a significant impact on work attitude and productivity.
When we have a highly-important project, it can be difficult to trust employees without micromanaging. Trusting them to do their best work will encourage them to live up to your expectations. When delegating, decide what strengths each employee possesses, and assign them tasks that best fit those strengths. The ability to delegate successfully will lead to higher performance.
Nothing demonstrates commitment and humility better than getting your hands dirty with the rest of the workers. Showing your commitment sets an example for others to follow, and leads to greater loyalty and respect for you as a leader. Set a tone of commitment and others will follow suit.
Although it is not a requirement, a sense of humor goes a long way in helping to create a positive work environment and enhances the feeling of camaraderie. Your unique personality and sense of humor shows your employees that you are human, too, which encourages them to feel comfortable around you.
Some decisions have to be made quickly, and can surprise us. It is up to the leader to think outside the box to find a solution. Your team will be looking to you for guidance, so a quick decision must also be a good decision. You might want to brainstorm with your team in order to build upon some of your ideas. When your employees collaborate on a decision, they often feel more invested, respected, and important.
Sometimes we are presented with situations that aren’t in a textbook and for which you might not be prepared to solve. The first decision isn’t always the best one, so take your time to come up with a unique solution that will be in the best interest of your workers and organization. Sometimes, leaders have to draw upon their instincts, past experiences, and mentors for help in these complicated situations.