Leadership is tough. A few (a very few) are born leaders. The rest of us may find leadership doesn’t come naturally and the dedication to mentor and lead a team to be a talent we just don’t have.
Whether you were born with the talent or not, there are ways in which you can hone your leadership skills. Here are five common habits of successful leaders that will help all leaders, born or self-made.
Execute on Objectives
Have a vision for the outcomes you want and the things you need for your team, both long and short term. As you execute, problems and challenges will arise to be overcome – share with your team why decisions are being made to help develop their critical thinking skills. As a leader, you are driving everyone towards a common goal that of course includes individual goals as well. As you move along, celebrate the small victories and achievements to instill confidence.
It is critical that you establish an environment not only where you communicate you your team, but that your team feels “safe” communicating with you. In a work environment where trust and open communication exists, you will find less mistakes and misunderstandings, faster execution and innovation. Top leaders communicate their overarching plan and goals so the team can stay on track and perform.
Keep in mind there is a line between communication and micromanagement, which is proven to reduce trust and effectiveness. And effective communications doesn’t just mean work-related items. Take some time to understand each staff member – you might discover these employees possess skills unrelated to their job description your company should use.
Spend Your Time Wisely
However many hours you work a week, your time is not infinite – it is limited. Prioritize your time in areas where there is the greatest upside. It is a honed skill, but start with having a clear understanding on which business segments will provide the greatest ROI.
As you do this also be aware of how your activities impact others and their prioritization. It goes along with strong communication, but it wastes others’ time if you disregard things they need to get their job done.
Don’t Be a Scaredy Cat
Failure happens. If your business does not have its share of failures, you probably are not taking the risks you should be – risks that are accompanied with big rewards. Good leaders promote ideas, innovations, and calculated risk taking. Failure is simply one step closer to success, not a dead end. It may be a cliché, but make sure you learn from each mistake. It does no good to keep repeating them.
Stay On Track
If you cannot stay on task, with activities that are focused on defined corporate objectives, how can your employees do the same? Employ discipline and unrelenting drive to not only improve yourself, but your team.
Being a great leader isn’t about genetics and organizational charts, but about how you work with your team to achieve greatness. Becoming a great leaders is about learning these skills and applying them appropriately.