To some extent, one’s capacity to be a good leader is innate. However, learning to lead more effectively is something anyone can do.
While leading a company, team, or merely one employee can be extremely exciting, during times of stress it’s easy to let negative emotions get to you. During these times, it’s important to take a breath, calm down, and remind yourself of the leader you aspire to be.
With this, we’ve come up with some key qualities every leader should hold close, as well as some important do’s and don’ts to remind yourself of while on the job.
1 – Take Risks
- Yes, every good leader takes calculated risks. Whether it’s trusting an employee with a project out of their comfort zone or taking a mental health day, trusting your gut and taking risks is important.
2 – Delegate
- It’s important to remember that while you’re the leader, you can’t do everything. Moreover, no one expects you to. Therefore, make sure to delegate tasks. Delegating tasks also helps you to avoid micromanaging, which is something most people detest.
3 – Motivate
- It’s extremely important to continuously motivate employees. Everyone loses sight of the bigger picture sometimes, and it’s important for you to keep them on track.
4 – Continue Self-Improvement
- In order for you to motivate employees, you must continue motivating yourself. Therefore, it’s important to continue self-improvement in various ways. Whether that’s taking a few days off for a leadership seminar or spending the weekend with a close friend or coworker who you can talk to about your work, continuing to improve yourself will allow you to continue improving your staff.
5 – Teach
- This one is fairly self-explanatory. If you see an employee struggling with something work-related, take the time to sit down with them and find out what it is they don’t understand. From there, teach them how to fix it!
6 – Take An Interest In Employees Lives
- When you’re a leader, it’s easy to get carried away in work-related matters. Yet, it’s important to remember that your employees have lives outside work too. Every so often, check in with them about how their spouses and children are doing. Ask them how everything is going in general!
7 – Get The Right Work-Life Balance
- Monitor your employees energy levels and make sure you’re not over or under working them. This goes for you as well.
1 – Putting Yourself On A Pedestal
- You and your employees should have mutual respect for each other. Many leaders get carried away in being “the big boss” and forget that their employees are just as important to the ultimate goal(s) as they are. Remember, employee retention is extremely important to any leader’s success.
2 – Gossip
- Gossiping is never a good idea, no matter what. Yet, it’s especially important to refrain from gossip in the workplace. Gossiping will only lead to unnecessary problems for you, and let’s face it, you already have enough on your plate.
3 – Avoid Taking Responsibility For Your Mistakes
- Whatever you do, don’t blame your mistakes on your employees. While you should be holding them accountable for their mistakes, it’s just as important to hold yourself accountable for yours.
4 – Have Favorites
- Yes, different people get along better or worse with others according to their likes, dislikes, hobbies, attitude, and so on. Therefore, it’s inevitable you’re relationship with certain employees will come easier than with others. Yet, it’s important to do your best not to let this show. When leaders outwardly favor certain employees, they gain enemies fast.
5 – Lose Your Temper
- Everyone has bad days. Yet, even on these days, it’s important to refrain from raising your voice or outwardly expressing anger toward employees. If you feel these negative emotions arise, take some time alone in your office before coming out and interacting with employees again.
6 – Create Barriers For Your Team
- Always check in with your employees and make sure they have all the resources needed to complete their current project(s). Not all employees will speak up for themselves, so don’t expect them to.
For more information on effective leadership, check out the following resources:
- Seven Qualities of a Good Leader
- What Makes a Good Leader?
- Developing an Employee Retention Strategy that Sticks