Be a Good Leader in the Making
Edited by Maria Sharon Ubando, Eng, Olivia, Lynn and 1 other
Good leaders are positive, empowering and inspiring. They use their knowledge and experience to motivate and encourage people to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. Having excellent leadership skills results in better team performance, boosts morale and promotes an atmosphere of trust in any company or organization. Becoming a good leader isn't something that happens overnight - it requires true dedication and perseverance to develop the strength and character required for such a task.
Lead with Encouragement
Having the ability to motivate your employees or a group is one of the key characteristics of a good leader. If you want to boost morale and encourage teamwork, there are several things you can do.
- 1Stay positive. It's important for a leader to maintain a positive attitude. Being optimistic about challenges inspires people to get things done. Positive feedback is one of the best ways to boost the morale of your followers and keep energy levels up. Keep an eye on your attitude and avoid coming across as pessimistic, negative, lazy or rude. None of these are useful or beneficial traits of a leader, and they certainly don't encourage people to get things done.Advertisement
- 2Show your humanity. Even the busiest and most important leaders have time to show that they're still human and have a sense of humor. You don't have to get too personal, but it's alright to let your employees know a little about your life outside of work without sacrificing productivity. There's no reason you can't inject a little fun and personality into a mundane work day by having occasional chats with employees about things other than work or bringing snacks and coffee for everyone.Advertisement
- 3Recognize and reward. Pay attention to your followers' or employees' accomplishments and reward them when they do a great job, come up with creative ideas or finish tasks early. Monetary rewards aren't the only way to encourage better work, either. Offering genuine thanks, praise, help when needed and recognition is all a good way to make people feel important and appreciated.
Never Stop Learning
Good leaders are continuously on the lookout for new concepts, ideas and ways to get things done. They're always trying new things and looking for new skills to perfect, so keep your eyes open for possibilities.
- 1Learn from the past. Every time you try something new, think about past successes and failures. Consider what you've done right, what you've done wrong, and how it affected you and your team. Don't make the same mistakes twice. Every time you take a step forward, you're learning a new lesson, so consider every success or failure a learning experience.Advertisement
- 2Learn from your followers or employees. They usually have a lot to offer, so you should be open to their input. Let the know that you want to hear their ideas, or they might be reluctant to offer up their opinions. Be open to new information, whether it's a new way to solve a problem, a process that makes workflow more efficient or ideas for a creative new project. Being able to freely share thoughts and ideas also makes people feel valuable and involved, so they're more willing to participate.
Work on Your Communication Skills
You can't be an effective leader without excellent communication skills. Everyone has their own personal communication style, but improving upon any weak areas will help you get your point across and truly influence others.
- 1Develop your listening skills. Always be there for your employees or followers. People like to feel heard and understood, so find the time to listen. Provide one-on-one meetings so people feel like you genuinely care about their issues.
Share Your Knowledge
Good leaders have a wealth of knowledge, but the best ones strive to share it for the betterment of a company, organization and the people involved. This results in more success all around, invites new conversation and helps establish your reputation as a credible leader.
- 1Offer people new, creative challenges. One of the best ways to keep people interested and inspired is to offer creative but attainable challenges. This helps prevent boredom and encourages creative thinking and ultimately allows people to reach their full potential.
- 2Become a mentor. New or young professionals might have the ambition to succeed, but they might need a little extra help to reach their full potential. Providing insight and valuable lessons that you've learned can help the other person succeed. Plus, you might learn some new things, too.
Respect isn't something that's given lightly. You have to earn people's trust, and that takes time. By living with responsibility, accountability and integrity, you'll be well on your way to earning the title of a respected leader.
- 1Do what you say you'll do. If you're consistently making promises you don't keep or sending mixed messages, that's not the best way to earn respect. Be consistently credible- don't make promises you can't keep, and don't ask for input then turn around and complain when you get it.
- 2Lead, but don't hover. Directing, guiding and teaching are all a part of being a leader, but you have to know when to let go. People need to make occasional mistakes and learn how to build their own creative ideas and thinking. Give a little trust, then stand back and allow people a little freedom to figure things out on their own.
- 3Have a strong work ethic. If you don't have a strong work ethic as a leader, then chances are, you aren't setting a good example for your followers. Show up on time, don't procrastinate, give everything you do 110 percent and finish what you start. You need to continuously prove that you're worthy of leadership, otherwise people won't respect you.
- 4Don't be afraid to admit when you're wrong. Many leaders try to hide any sign of weakness, but there's nothing respectful about that. You should own up to it when you've made a mistake and forgive others when they've made mistakes, as well. Nobody expects you to be perfect all the time.
- 5Give credit where it's due. Too many leaders expect to get all the credit, but that's not the best way to earn respect. Show recognition and appreciation for all the hard work that other people put in to achieving goals.
- 6Show passion and enthusiasm for your company or organization. A good leader has drive, passion and a determination to do everything it takes to achieve goals and become successful. People like to follow those who have these qualities, and it encourages them to have the same drive to succeed.
- 7Resolve problems quickly. Taking care of issues as they arise will prevent bigger problems down the road. If you have issues with another person, have a calm but constructive discussion and come to a solution that works for all parties involved.
- 8Show confidence. Some leaders suffer from a lack of self-confidence, but that's something that can be improved upon. Boosting self-confidence will help you earn people's respect, and one way to do that is to do all your research and gather as many facts as possible before making decisions. Accept that you don't have to be right or perfect all the time in order to display confidence in your decisions. Commit to your choices, use the input of others to your advantage, don't second-guess yourself and show courage even if you're when you're worried.
Exercise Your Authority
A good leader will strike a balance between authoritative and personable. Some people don't like to exercise their authority because they don't want to alienate their team members, but this doesn't have to be the case. You can direct a team and command respect without ruining relationships.
- 1Make yourself clear. You have to clearly express what you want so that everyone's on the same page. Take the time to answer any questions and clarify exactly what you're looking for. Establish open communication throughout the process and you're likely to get the results you're looking for.
- 2Learn how to say no. Even good leaders have difficulty saying "no" sometimes. While you need to be flexible, helpful and understanding, you need to recognize when you're sacrificing your own productivity. If you find yourself tackling more problems than you can handle, filling up your schedule to the point that you're exhausted or losing valuable time being everything to everyone, it's time to start saying no and get your priorities under control.
- 3Set boundaries and limits. If there are certain things you won't tolerate, make it clear from day one. People need to know your boundaries and limits, otherwise, you're setting yourself up for a lot of frustration.
Valuable Leadership Qualities
Some of the best leaders in the world share certain qualities that lead to success and a harmonious team atmosphere. While everyone possesses different leadership styles, some traits can really help you become the best leader you can be. Check out the list below to find out what they are.
- 1Integrity. Honesty and transparency are some of the best qualities a leader can have. You'll earn more respect and trust, gain new partnerships and open new doors to success. Plus, being honest yourself sets a good example for your team and they'll likely follow suit.
- 2Ability to delegate. Assigning tasks is one of the most important jobs a leader has. Knowing how to properly split up important tasks or projects and assigning them to the most suitable person or team is imperative if you want to get results. Knowing where each strength lies within your team is one of the building blocks of success.
- 3Sense of humor. You have to have a sense of humor and let the small things go. No matter how carefully you plan, even with a backup, things can and will go wrong. It's not about what happens, it's about your reaction. Having a breakdown never solved anything. You need to learn when to laugh and let things go, otherwise you'll burn yourself out and make a lot of enemies.
- 4Dedication. If you're not dedicated to your organization or company, how can you expect your teammates to be? Be a fair leader, show that you work hard and give off a positive, enthusiastic vibe, and your teammates will follow.
- 5Fearlessness. Good leaders are willing to take risks. There are times when you'll be forced to make decisions quickly with little to no input from others, and you have to be ready to make big choices. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and take big risks for big rewards.
- 6Empowering. A good leader will empower their followers and provide them the knowledge and guidance needed to succeed.
- 7Self-aware. A good leader possesses self-awareness. If you're blind to your weaknesses and think you're perfect, you might only surround yourself with people who are like you. This doesn't help you learn, grow or flourish, which may eventually lead to failure.
- 8Compassion. Being compassionate draws people in and makes them feel appreciated. While it's important to keep focused on business and goals, remember the people you're working with and show that you truly care about them through both words and actions.
- 9Charisma. While this isn't an easy trait to master, it is extremely beneficial for a leader. You can become more likeable, trustworthy and influential if you're willing to adjust your image through your speech, actions, social cues and expressions. Developing a sense of confidence, being truly present when other people speak, being aware of your expressions and gestures can go a long way in building up your charisma.
A Glimpse of the World's Greatest Leaders
- 1Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. One of the most influential leaders in the world, Mahatma Gandhi changed the world. After studying law in London, he went to Africa and became a part of the anti-apartheid movement. His stay in Africa made him realize something - that he could do something to stop the struggles his countrymen were experiencing; that it should be stopped. Unlike some leaders who made use of hostile upheavals, Gandhi preferred the non-violent way. Boycotts were held against British-run institutions in India. India got its freedom from Britain in 1947.
- 2Nelson Mandela. He was already an active leader when he was in his 20's. There was a rampant racial in South Africa and fought so hard to stop it. He was imprisoned for 18 years but remained very influential, even when he was behind bars. Known as the strongest black leader in South Africa, Mandela became the president in 1994.
- 4Martin Luther King Jr. A Nobel Prize recipient, Martin Luther King was a clergy, leader and an activist all rolled in one. He was an active leader of the Civil Rights Movement in US during the 60's. Through his efforts, discrimination against African-Americans was stopped. Mahatma Gandhi was his major inspiration for this noble deed.
- 8Winston Churchill. Known as a great orator and speaker, he LED the United Kingdom into freedom against Germany's Nazis. He successfully LED the battle despite the very low esteem of the public.
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