Whether you’re running a business, managing employees, or serving as the team leader on a company project, leadership skills are crucial. There are some who seem to be naturals at leading and inspiring others, while others seemingly have to work at it. Though there is a wide notion that great leaders are born, the truth is that effective leaders possess a diverse set of skills that help them to manage.
As the captain, being able to run a smooth ship means learning these skills and using them to their advantage. Becoming a leader like Shailesh Dash or Tim Cook doesn’t happen overnight, however, with determination and practice, you can achieve greatness. Below, are just a few tips to work on to become a more effective leader:
Keep the Vibe Positive
There is no denying that being in charge has its fair share of ups and downs. Though these things may evoke emotions of all types, it is imperative to try and keep your emotions in check. As the head, your team looks to you and essentially draws from your mood. To keep morale positive, it is very important that you try to remain calm at all times (and take a break when you’re in a negative space).
Work on Your Skills
Feel like you’re lacking in something as a leader? Working on your weaknesses is the best course of action for getting stronger. As you become more of an expert in your field, you’ll start to feel more comfortable with the lead position. Take classes, attend trainings, and even do some studying of your own to continue to develop your skills as a professional.
To manage a group of diverse individuals, one must learn how to communicate with each of them in a manner they can comprehend. To be an effective communicator, ideally, you must be a listener more than a speaker. You need to be in tune with what’s going on in your business, with your staff, or your team. It is through listening and communication that you’re able to get a group of individuals to work together collectively for a common cause.
Some might make the assumption that to be a great leader, you can’t show any error or weakness to those following you. However, quite the opposite is true. Everyone is fully aware that you’re human and bound to make mistakes. Hiding them, only lessens the amount of trust and respect they have for you. If you’re wrong admitting it, learning from it, and moving on take confidence and, in return, show true leadership.
Recruiting and Team Building
Part of being an effective leader means knowing how to find and hire people that are skilled and capable of helping you to bring your vision to fruition. More than that, you must have a good sense of how to select recruits or teams that will work best together.
Be a Team Player
Some of the best leaders in the world that pride themselves on being a part of the team. They are not only skilled in managing these teams and getting them to work together cohesively, but they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty. When your staff feels like you’re one of them as opposed to feeling inferior to you, it goes a long way. Leaders who are willing to pitch in, reach out, mentor, or support their staff can drastically improve morale and workplace productivity.
Serve as a Mentor
Most employees want to evolve as professionals. They look to leaders such as yourself to help them get there. Just as you once looked to others to help guide you to where you are today, the same will be required. When your employees come to you interested in growing, don’t hesitate to take them under your wing and give them whatever tools, advice, and resources you can provide to help them on their professional career path.
When you have a goal in mind or an agenda at hand, it can be difficult to not feel in control of every working part. Trying to oversee every aspect of a project is not only belittling to your staff, but it is time-consuming for you. A true commander in chief is fully confident in the team they hired and will provide clear instruction, but also the freedom to showcase their skills. This builds trust within the workplace and encourages staff to be creatively expressive which can improve productivity and produce results.
Balance Work and Play
The first few years of running a business or becoming a supervisor will be time-consuming. Your job will demand a great deal of your time and energy. However, it is still important to remember you have a life outside of your job. Try to find balance in your personal and professional life. This improves your mood which transcends throughout the office for positive vibes all-around. Schedule time off, take your spouse on business meetings or find time to schedule a night out with friends after work.
Don’t be So Uptight
No one wants to work with a sergeant. Yes, there’s a time for being serious and getting work done, but not all the time. Show your staff you have a “human side” by lightening up a little. Walk around and laugh or joke with your employees, host fun-filled events, spend time with them in the cafeteria. The more you open up and relax, the more relaxed your employees will feel creating a more harmonious working environment.
Running a successful business is the goal. However, without the hard work of your employees, none of this would be possible. It is important to understand that outside of the office, your employees have a life, and life has its ups and downs. Being compassionate of who they are as human beings makes a world of difference. Try to be caring and sympathetic when you recognize someone who needs it.
There’s a lot that goes into being an effective leader. It is something that takes work. Even for those who have succeeded in their industries like Shailesh Dash, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk, remaining great requires the continued development and evolving of their skills and personality. Be encouraged that you too can become an effective leader. As you begin working on these tips and more to improve professionally you’ll notice how the changes trickle throughout your entire company.