The Art of Becoming a Good to Great Leader
How would you describe an excellent leader?
Passionate? Action-oriented? Knowledgeable?
Honestly, the list is endless, and there is no better time than now to bring up your leadership A-game to the table. Plus, we believe that leadership is for everyone, no title necessary. That means you!
And, of course, we get it — you’re super busy and so are we. So, we made this simple guide to give you a hand. The fact that you’re here reading this guide means you do care, so you’re already on the right track.
Want to be a better leader? As the old saying goes adage, all you have to do is try! Leaders aren’t born overnight, but all great journeys begin with just one step.
Shut up and Listen
Want to become a better leader? The first rule in communication is to seek understanding before seeking to be understood.
When people talk, listen earnestly. Most of us never do listen. A good listener can see the world through the eyes of others and a great leader often listens to his/her team. Did you know that employees respect patient listeners because they know how difficult listening can be?
Communication is not a one-way street; listening helps us to understand different perspectives, open your mind to new ideas and, ultimately, see the big picture.
Know Thy Team
Wouldn't it be nice if people — your team — came with an instruction manual? Personalities clash and it’s inevitable.
It's not the grandest of plans to form a team made up entirely of similar personality types (Imagine having two Tony Starks in the same room together. Everyone will be so done.) Hence, to build a strong team, it's important to know your team inside out.
Fundamentally, each personality trait gives you an insight into how you can better communicate with them. Your team is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. When a singular piece fits, they'll be much more useful together.
Be a Mentor, Not a Preacher
Mentoring is a powerful component that plays a crucial role in growing anyone into leaders. One of the critical principles of leadership is the need to pass on the knowledge and experience to others.
We often mirror what we see. As a leader, your job is to mentor, guide and support them — not to boss them around.
Creating a strong pipeline of capable leaders is a strategic practice at any company. It is not just to ensure success today, but to set the company up for success in the future as well.
Accept and Give Feedback
You're bound to make mistakes from time to time and it takes a lot to own up and admit that you're wrong.
Sometimes people think admitting that you’re wrong is a sign of weakness, but just the opposite is true. When you learn to overcome your mistakes, you’ll welcome constructive feedback as an opportunity for growth.
On the other hand, there's a fine line between constructive criticism and criticism that's downright harsh. Keep in mind that everyone likes to be encouraged. Try not to assume your employees will always know when they are performing well — take the effort to show them your appreciation.
Giving and receiving constructive feedback is an integral part of communication. It is simply not possible to be a great leader without being a great communicator.