By Abhi Golhar of AbhiGolhar.com
No matter where you are in your career, it's never too early or too late to start or continue to develop your leadership skills. Leadership is often described as a set of skills that can be enhanced and trained. Inspired by my work with helping business owners advance, here are eight tips for being an effective leader:
1. Learn to lead by example.
At some point in their careers, everyone has had a boss who has asked them to do something they don't usually do, such as come in early for a meeting, and then the boss was late for it. Having the "do as I say" attitude doesn't make you likable and doesn't earn you the respect of your team. A good leader is one who leads by example and does what they expect everyone else to do. If you expect your team to be hard workers, then you should be a hard worker too. By practicing what you preach, you earn the respect and loyalty of your team, and before long, you'll see that they're following your example.
2. Be goal-oriented.
Instead of focusing on the problem at hand, an effective leader instead directs attention toward the solution. Instead of worrying and complaining about the issues, they focus on the objectives and then turn their energies toward creating a plan and strategy to achieve those objectives. An effective leader prioritizes so they can get the most important and urgent things done first.
3. Take responsibility.
Instead of pointing fingers and playing the blame game when things go wrong, a good leader takes responsibility for the team's actions and their consequences. By being willing to take responsibility, you prove that you're worthy of trust and respect.
4. Share the glory.
We've probably all had a boss who took all the credit for the team's hard work and success, right? This is not an effective leader. An effective leader is one who is team-oriented and more than happy to share the glory and credit for a job well done with the team. They admit that the success and achievements are due to the team's joint efforts. A leader is only as good as the team behind them. By sharing the glory, an effective leader can earn the admiration and respect of the team. After all, no one wants to follow a selfish leader.
5. Know how to develop a team.
One of the primary traits of an effective leader is the ability to develop team members through training, teaching or coaching. The team will not be able to achieve the goals of the organization without this training.
An effective leader can build people up and create a stronger team, which benefits everyone involved. They can do this because they pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the team as a whole, as well as those of each team member. They have excellent communication skills, which they can use to build relationships with and among team members. By building good interteam relationships, they create a greater level of productivity.
6. Become a master of communication.
Excellent communication skills are necessary to become an effective leader. However, communication is not just about expressing what you want to happen -- it's also about being able to truly listen to others. An effective leader not only expresses their ideas and strategies persuasively and clearly but also truly listens to feedback with an open mind.
7. Be courageous and assertive.
In many cases, the leader of a team has to venture into new territory, which means they have to face the unknown and take risks or break rules. In order to do this, a leader must be able to speak up about the things that truly matter and be assertive about what they need and want from their team and for their team. An effective leader is willing and ready to face any challenges and obstacles so they can achieve their own goals and the goals of the organization.
8. Be confident.
Projecting confidence is probably the most difficult characteristic to develop. Some people are naturals when it comes to this, but you can develop a greater sense of self-assurance. Part of this confidence is having faith and feeling secure in yourself and not needing to be accepted and loved by others, as well as being able to prove that you have the competencies and the skills to be an effective leader and to lead the team to its common goal.
No matter where you are in your career, it's never too late to learn how to be an effective leader. These eight tips will help you develop your leadership skills and make you more desirable in the workplace.
Abhi Golhar, nationally syndicated radio host & entrepreneurial steam roller. Helping business owners advance & finish well. AbhiGolhar.com