A successful business is dependant on great leaders. Whether you’re a business owner looking to improve your leadership model, or a leader wanting to succeed in the role to the best of your ability, this is how to be a great leader at work.
Lead by example
As a leader, you’ll have a number of staff members relying on your leadership skills. You’ll need to demonstrate the qualities that you want your team members to replicate in order to get the very best out of them.
• Be punctual – showing up late suggests it’s ok not to be on time.
• Dress appropriately – if your job dictates certain attire such as safety clothing, then make sure you wear it. If a suit is more appropriate, then get that shirt and tie on every day.
• Use appropriate language.
• Be friendly yet professional at all times.
Continue to develop your skills
Just because you’re in a leadership role, it doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. You need to make sure you continue to develop your skills, whether it’s attending relevant training or staying up to date with advances in technology. Evaluate your performance regularly so that you know which areas to work on. A great starting point is the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® profile assessment and workshop.
Learn from others
Good leadership means spending time working on ways to improve, so make time to learn from others. Whether it’s a predecessor, a fellow professional or a written publication, you can learn a lot from other people. Find out what works for them, and also what doesn’t, and implement any changes that might have a positive impact on your business.
Stay one step ahead
Although you can’t be an expert in all areas, you do need to stay one step ahead of your team.
Make sure you’re aware of changes within your industry – subscribe to relevant newsletters and blogs, and take advantage of networking events so that you’re up to speed with the very latest events.
As a leader, you need to be capable of making big decisions. Often, these will need to be made quickly. This means you need to have a good understanding of the workings of your business, and the implications of your decisions. Whilst you need to be quick, don’t be rash. Always make sure your decisions are well-informed and don’t be afraid to seek information from members of your team where appropriate.
Take responsibility for yourself and your team
Leadership positions come with many responsibilities. When things go right, it’s you that hears about it first. Unfortunately, the same is true when things go wrong.
As a strong leader, you need to be prepared to take full responsibility for both your own actions and the actions of your team.
It’s vital that you have a good relationship with your team. You need to know their strengths and provide opportunities for them to work on their weaknesses. You need to have full confidence in their ability whilst maintaining supervision over their actions.
A good team leader takes the rough with the smooth and knows how and where to implement changes when things don’t go according to plan.
Maintain a positive attitude
Leadership roles often go hand in hand with high levels of stress. When you’re in a position of leadership, you will be held accountable for any failures. This pressure can be difficult to manage. A good leader knows how to bring out the best in people and convey the importance of their role without shouting and screaming.
A positive, yet firm attitude is conducive to getting the best out of people. A constructive environment is far more likely to lead to success than one where everybody feels as though they’re treading on egg shells. To help your team work better together, consider using the Everything DiSc Productive Conflict® Profile Assessment and workshop.
Keep the team informed and involved
Nobody likes to feel that they’re the last to know, and it’s important that your team feel included in the inner workings of the business.
There will be times when you can’t share information, but where you can, keep your team informed. This will enable them to work to the very best of their ability, completing tasks effectively, and feeling like valued members of the team.
Know your team
As a leader, you will inevitably have some degree of separation from your team. This is perfectly normal and healthy for the business. But you do need to know your team members. You need to know their strengths so that you can enable them to play to those, which will help the business to improve. You also need to know when they have anything going on in their lives that might mean they’re not 100% focused on their work.
Knowing your team both professionally and on a more personal level will enable you to get the best out of them.
You’re only one person, and it’s impossible for you to do everything yourself. Once you know your team, you can delegate some of the workload to them. Delegating successfully means allocating tasks to individuals who are able to fulfil them effectively.
Be aware that delegating doesn’t just mean signing the task straight over to one of your team. Make sure that you pass on any vital information such as deadlines or specific requirements and ensure that you’re available for consultation throughout the task.
As mentioned earlier, there will always be some level of separation between a leader and their team, but a good leader should always be approachable. The success of any business relies on a solid team working well together. A good leader should be happy to be approached by any team member who may see areas for improvement or have concerns about the capabilities of a colleague.
The role of any leader is primarily to lead a successful team and in turn help to build a successful business. Whether you’re keen to enter a leadership role, or you want to improve your current leadership skills, the methods above will help you to be a great leader.
For more information on using Everything DiSC® and Five Behaviors™, visit our website : www.corporategrowth.org