The best leaders live out what they believe. They practice the art of leadership in an effort to perfect their craft. These leadership tips can help. The leadership experts below, part of a series that started last December, share their best tip to lead others in business.
1. Be ready to listen
"Be approachable. Business leaders are busy people in important positions. If you give the appearance of being 'too busy' or 'too important' to make time for your staff, then you will miss out on vital knowledge about your business. Make sure--in your words and in your actions--that your staff knows you want to hear from them. And when they come to you, listen."
2. Manage your fears
"Courage in leadership is not an absence of fear, but learning to manage our fears so we can do what needs to be done. In today's fast-paced, interconnected global economy, uncertainty has become par for the course, which understandably has led many organizations to focus on short term goals, often at the expense of the longer view. However, if we are to succeed as leaders, we have to learn to manage the fear we might have over what awaits us around the corner; to reframe these moments as opportunities to learn and better understand what's really going on and what needs to be done next. In so doing, we can overcome these feelings of apprehension and wariness in order to help our organization to do more than just survive, but to thrive in the years ahead."
Tanveer Naseer, leadership expert and author of Leadership Vertigo
3. Be authentic
"Don't be afraid to be a little different from the pack. As an authentic leader, you can connect with people on a more genuine level. You can build more trusting relationships because you are simply being you, and not trying to portray someone you think other people want to see. Being authentic, though, means admitting mistakes, admitting that you might not have all the answers, and being open and willing to learn from others. Having the courage to show your authentic self endears you to others and allows them to care even more about the work you are asking them to do."
Matt Heller, the founder of Performance Optimist Consulting
4. Set the pace
"Work harder than everybody else. You set the pace for your employees, so what example do you want them to follow? If you work hard, everybody follows."
Rich Kahn, the CEO and founder of eZanga
5. Replace managers with leaders
"Eliminate all managers and replace them with leaders. One leader for every 10 managers replaced is plenty."
Chuck Blakeman, author of the book Why Employees are ALWAYS a Bad Idea (WEAAABI)
6. Explain the why
"My leadership philosophy is this: whether you are leading yourself or leading others, a little bit of 'why' goes a long way! This means good leaders are clear on the vision, mission, purpose, values for themselves and their business. They are able to inspire others with this why and compel them to join forces with them and be passionate about going on this road together to accomplish that why. It also means the leader is able to connect the why in any situation to any person or employee, when providing corrective feedback they are able to share the impact of why that situation is important and why a different outcome is important in the future. From the janitor to the CFO, the leader can provide a compelling why for how their role fits into the larger picture and contribute in an important way to the overall mission."
Anna Olson, the CEO of AMO Consulting
7. Praise in public, blame in private
"Based on my experience as a consultant, trainer, professor, and author, the best workplace leadership behavior I have witnessed is to praise loudly and publicly and blame privately whenever possible."
Zach Schaefer, PhD, the founder and president of Spark The Discussion
8. Leadership is a teaching role
"True leadership is not assigned nor appointed. Rather, true leadership evolves over time from a mindset based on genuinely caring for the interests in other people. Leaders possess a natural tendency for wanting to share information and teach new methods. Leaders generally have a deep desire for teaching people to take ownership of their own situation in working towards a desired outcome."
Hans Hanson from the Total College Advisory
9. Understand what humility really means
"One of the problems is that the meaning of humility is greatly misunderstood. Humility is a word that stems from the Latin humilis, which is 'low or lowly,' which stems from humus, which means the 'ground.' So while humility is a trait that we may appreciate or even respect, we don't believe it can lead to success. The problem is that we have the quality all wrong. Humility doesn't mean meek. It's not the negation of self. It's actually the elevation of self. A humble person is not self-conscious. He is just not self-focused. He thinks of others before himself. He doesn't shirk responsibility or assume that he cannot make the difference. He just has an innate realization that the purpose of his actions is not for entirely selfish motives. They are for the betterment of others. Humility is one of the most essential ingredients of great leadership."
Charlie Harary, the CEO of H3 & Co.
10. Build people up
"We all know our people can achieve more than they believe they can achieve. Show them the vision you have for what they can become and what they can accomplish: a vision you may have helped to instill but one you've worked out with them so it encompasses their hopes and dreams. If they think you have a high opinion of them, it's amazing what they will do to maintain that opinion. And the more they respect you they harder they will work to hang on to your regard."
Barry Maher, speaker and author