Great Advice About Leadership That Anyone Can Easily Follow

Although conventional wisdom often says that great leaders are born, not made, history has proven otherwise. Many people in a position of leadership have benefited greatly from learning more about the characteristics and habits of effective leaders. This post contains some tips and suggestions for those who are interested in this topic.

 
Great Advice About Leadership That Anyone Can Easily Follow 1
 
When you're a leader, make sure that you team with people. You must remember that you are a part of a team. Individual voices can contribute to and better an entire project so try bringing others together to collaborate. Leaders are never alone. Do your best to invite as many perspectives into the discussion and decision-making processes as you can.
 
When working to improve in the area of leadership, it is vital that you develop competency. People need to trust that you know what you are doing in order to feel confident in your leadership ability. Instill confidence in those who follow you by finding a mentor to help you become truly proficient in what you do.
 

Great Leaders Embrace New Ideas and Seek Them Out

"Leaders often fall into the trap of thinking they have all the answers: “I’m the one with the vision and I know what my people need. I don’t need to hear their opinions.”
 
Yet the fastest way to lose employees’ confidence and trust is to make them feel their opinions don’t matter. We all need to resist our egos."
https://www.yourthoughtpartner.com/blog/great-leaders-embrace-new-ideas-and-seek-them-out

Spotting talent in other people is a sign of a good leader. By finding and developing hidden talents in others, you will make your team stronger. This also carries over to hiring contractors for individual jobs.
 
Do what's necessary to promote group unity. This means making sure that everyone knows what tasks they need to perform and what everyone else is doing. This prevents duplicate effort. Also, make sure each member of the team keeps the others up to date on progress. This makes budget and time overruns less likely.
 
Don't be overbearing when your subordinates are learning a new process. Instead, ask them how they learn best. You might be surprised to find out that some of your subordinates want direct instruction, while others want to take a more trial-and-error approach to learning. Unless there are specific reasons why accommodating them would be problematic, try to allow for both types of learning.

Developing Your Personal Brand

"When my niece was two, she pointed to the alarm bell button in her building’s elevator and yelled “Taco Bell!”  At a very young age, she could recognize the iconic symbol thanks to years—and millions of dollars— they’d spent developing their brand. As a business leader, it’s just as important … Continue reading →
The post Developing Your Personal Brand appeared first on Decker Communications."
https://decker.com/blog/developing-your-personal-brand/

Don't fear failing. Failing is something that many great leaders have done, and it has only spurred them on to greater victories. If you fear failure, you may be afraid to act boldly, which is the only way for a leader to act. If you fail at something, use it to help you change directions.
 
Surround yourself with smart people. The best leaders out there all know one thing: when you've got the best people, you'll elevate everything. Don't think you need to be the smartest person in the company. Far from it. You need to be a visionary who sees greatness. Use that and find the best colleagues to surround yourself with.
 
How you behave will directly effect how your employees conduct themselves in the office. A leader that is hostile and aggressive can expect a combative atmosphere and lack of trust in the workplace. By displaying confidence and remaining calm in tense situations you set an positive example for your employees to follow.
 
As a leader, it is necessary to maintain an optimistic attitude in the workplace. Displaying a lack of confidence and expressing doubts about your team's chances of success is not the way to motivate your team. You can't expect to receive their best effort if they feel they are doomed to fail.

Employee Engagement 101: Ask the Holy Question

"HAVE YOU EVER heard a front-line worker say, “I can’t wait to make more money for our shareholders today!” No? In all my years as a consultant, I haven’t either.
It doesn’t matter what your company peddles. Increasing shareholder value, company market share, or worker productivity just doesn’t jazz the average worker.

There is often a vast disconnect between what is important to a company’s executive body and what is important to front-line workers. What matters to the average worker includes career opportunity, meaningful work, a balanced life, a fair wage, and being treated with respect—not increasing output.
As a leader or manager, you have to attend to the goals of your board or bosses and to the career aspirations of your workers. Too many people in charge focus solely on the former, leaving workers’ aspirations in the dust.

A Solution in Four Words
Cueing into your workers takes far less time and energy than you’d think. In fact, it only takes four words. They are among the most important words in the English language, and, together, they constitute what I call the Holy Question: “What do you want?”
Answering those words, in my opinion, should be required of every job candidate, every worker, and every executive on up the line. The answer to those words should be reviewed during every performance appraisal, succession-planning session, and employee-ranking process. Why?
Because when you know what people want, you are in a far better position to match their ambitions and goals to the company’s goals. When company and worker goals are aligned, people pursue organizational goals with the same dedication and passion as they do when driven by self-interest.

Aligning Goals Increases Workers’ Courage
It’s easier to get people to perform courageous (and uncomfortable) tasks when those tasks tie into their personal aspirations. By knowing what people want to get out of work, you can give them stretch assignments that connect project tasks to their own goals.
So, if your boss’s goal is to “repurpose our existing product assets to create new revenue streams and optimize our market dominance on a go-forward basis,” you can tie your boss’s goal to your employee’s own career aspirations by saying, “Hey, John, you said that you want more opportunities to use your creativity. Create ten new business uses for this product by next week.”

Or perhaps you know that your employee Michelle would like to move from a data analyst to an advisory role. Your board has come to you needing an informed opinion on the latest sales metrics—and fast. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring Michelle into the fold, allowing her to provide a fresh perspective while simultaneously gaining experience for her dream role.
The point is this: Before getting workers to carry out tasks in pursuit of the company’s objectives, you have to understand what is important to them individually. How would you answer the question of “What do you want?” How would your boss answer it? Your customer? Each of your direct reports?

Getting each person to answer the Holy Question, with specificity, will help you to know when and how they’ll be willing to be courageous.
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Bill Treasurer is a workplace expert, courage pioneer, and author of Courage Goes to Work: How to Build Backbones, Boost Performance, and Get Results. Founder of Giant Leap Consulting, a consulting and training company specializing in courage-building, he advises organizations—including NASA, eBay, Lenovo, Saks Fifth Avenue, Spanx, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates—on teaching workers the kind of courage that strengthens businesses and careers. Learn more at Giant Leap Consulting.
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https://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2019/07/employee_engagement_101_ask_th.html

Dress the part. There's a perception to leadership. If you look the role, people will respond to your leadership much more positively and openly. If you dress poorly, it'll be a tougher road to climb instilling leadership. It's possible still, but make it easier on yourself and be the best dressed person in the office.
 
Become a great decision maker. You have to be able to make sound decisions quickly and decisively. Taking risks is vital. A good leader should be able to influence people to follow them by making good decisions based on intuition, your vision, and available information. Also, never second-guess your decisions. Sometimes the best decisions do not work out the way you assumed they would; however, you can still learn from these decisions.
 
Be aware that there is always more to learn. Just because you are leading a team does not mean you know everything there is to know. Be willing to learn from others, including the rest of your team. They will appreciate the chance to show their own skills, and you will learn new things.
 
Set a good example for your team. Expect the same level of professionalism and conduct from yourself that you expect from your team. Don't expect your team to be friendly and upbeat if you always have a solemn demeanor. If you expect error free work, make sure your own passes muster.
 
Be willing to accept feedback. Sometimes employees feel uncomfortable approaching a superior with problems or ideas unless prompted. Make the process more streamlined overall by seeking out opinions and suggestions from your employees. Try to keep an open door policy, and be willing to listen when your employees have something to say, even if you don't agree with the complaint.
 
Drive your point home with a balanced approach to communication. Avoid using deceptive or overly complicated language, but don't overlook the power of a carefully chosen metaphor or analogy. When using technical language, you are appealing to the team's intellect. Analogies and metaphors, on the other hand, appeal to the team's imagination and aspirations.
 
Effective leadership does not simply just happen. Effective leaders take the time to learn about traits that successful leaders have and habits that they practice. Good leaders can become great ones by studying these characteristics, and it is an education that should continue throughout the duration of one's tenure.