12 Things to Be a Better Leader

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“The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better.” – Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy has it right! 

Of course, if you’ve worked for a great leader – you know this already! 

And if you are working to become a great leader or have aspirations of moving into a leadership role, then there are many things you can do to help develop your skills. As you focus on improving your leadership skills, keep these things in mind.

  1. Lead by Example: If you’ve had a not-so-great leader, you know the type of leader you don’t want. Now’s your chance to lead by example. Decide on the qualities that you want to exemplify and be a role model for those around you.
  2. Know Your Leadership Style: Do you know your leadership style? Indeed.com shared “10 Common Leadership Styles (+ How to Find Your Own)” that you can read to see if you have a dominant leadership style. But it’s important to note that you don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into one specific style. Different situations may call for different forms of leadership.
  3. Be Able to Admit When You Are Wrong: If you think being a leader means you will never make mistakes, you are wrong. They will happen. But it’s important that you can admit you were wrong and learn from your mistakes. When you are able to do this, you will show your team that admitting when you are wrong is not a weakness but a necessity.
  4. Open the Lines of Communication: Good communication is essential as a leader. Your team needs to know that you are available to talk with them and that you are going to be open and transparent with what is going on with the business.
  5. Find a Mentor: Do you know a good leader? Do you like the way they lead and how their team responds to them? Then ask them if they would be willing to mentor you. A good mentor can help answer your questions, act as a sounding board, and challenge your thought process when needed.
  6. Constantly Be Learning: You’ve probably heard that learning is a lifelong skill – and it definitely is – even at work. When you become a leader, you want to make sure you are keeping up to date with the skills and needs of your business and employees. You can take classes, read books, and seek out experts to help you. And don’t forget to provide your team with chances to learn, too. 
  7. Set Boundaries: At one point in time, leaders claimed to always want to have “an open door.” But that may not be what’s needed. Having boundaries in place lets your employees know when you’re available for discussion, but allows you to also accomplish your own tasks, too.
  8. Make Decisions: At times, you will want to involve your employees in the decision-making process. But there will be times when, as the leader, you will need to make the decision. Don’t be afraid to do it. Not all of your decisions will be the right ones, but people will respect that you took action.
  9. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Everyone has strengths and weaknesses – and it’s essential you know what they are. When you are aware of them, you can excel by using your strengths and delegate to others who can assist with your weaknesses.
  10. Do Not Micromanage: Nobody wants to feel that their boss is looking over their shoulder all the time. Allow your team to take responsibility for the projects you give them as a means of showing trust.
  11. Show Compassion and Empathy: At one point, compassion and empathy were not words used in a business setting. But nowadays, it’s vital that people see that you are capable of compassion and empathy.
  12. Give and Receive Feedback: And, while you’ll often have to give feedback, be sure that you are receiving it, too. 

The good news is that leaders are made, not born – and when you take the time to study good leaders and incorporate the skills they have – you can be a good leader, too.

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