It doesn’t matter how big your team is, being a leader can be hard. You must find the perfect balance between each leadership quality, ensuring that you achieve the best possible results from every member of your team.
And, if you think that you can’t be a strong leader, it’s time to change your thinking. The truth is that no one is a ‘born leader’. Good leadership is a skill that is developed through experience and awareness of others.
But how can you get that experience? Where can you develop qualities such as positivity, resilience and accountability? I’ve learnt a lot over the years so I’ve shared some of my top tips for developing and strengthening your leadership traits…
It goes without saying that good communication skills are vital for any leader. If you think it’s one of your weak points, ensure that you listen to what people are saying – not listening just to reply, but really taking in what your colleague is saying and why.
But don’t just stop at being present in conversations, make a conscious effort to pick up on non-verbal cues. Body language and expressions are a huge part of our daily communication, so open up your focus and listen to every signal shared by your team.
By working on your communication, you’ll see the personal connections between yourself and each staff member flourish, improving your approachability and respectability.
Building up your integrity is necessary for your staff members to have trust in you. Honesty has, and always will be, the best policy and if you base your actions upon honesty then integrity will come naturally.
Develop your core values and make them known by your wider team. Then, lead by example, using every value as you go about your day to day tasks. It’s also important that you don’t take credit for your team’s work. Ensure they get the recognition they deserve, and you’ll find yourself at the forefront of a happy, passionate team.
Whatever the outcome, whether it’s good or bad, you are accountable for your team and their actions. But what’s also important is that you ensure your team are accountable for their own actions too.
Giving praise as well as addressing issues are both equally as important, as is accepting any blame that you may be responsible for. Nothing’s worse than when a leader who thinks they can do no wrong.
While taking action, bear in mind that confidence is vital in being a good leader, but so is recognising that you don’t know everything. Showing this level of maturity and vulnerability will empower your team to take responsibility for their own work, creating a team that is more confident and collaborative as a whole.
Being the boss can come with a lot of recognition, but it’s easy to get lost in the authority of the role. You, therefore, need to develop your humility so you don’t focus on yourself and your own progress.
If you want to be a successful and strong leader, you need to be able to put your concern back on the team. Put time into focusing on team dynamics and how each individual can grow and develop.
Resilience is a trait an important trait to have if things start to go downhill, but it will also remain invaluable throughout all the good times too. Being able to maintain a positive attitude and a level head can be key for supporting your team in doing the same.
It is something that typically comes with experience, but you can still consciously develop it through any day to day struggles.
To be a good leader, you need to have an inspired vision. But to see that vision become a reality, you must be able to create a shared intention within your team. Once your staff are motivated and all aiming for the same goal, you will all be able to conquer any threats and obstacles that crop up on the way.
Leaders tend to be people who’ve worked very hard to get to where they are. This often means that they’re highly invested in the project or company, resulting in some leaders finding it difficult to make the transition from doing to leading.
Your job is now to motivate your team to help achieve your business vision, rather than doing everything yourself. I always follow the saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. You must supply your team with everything they need to be successful and then let them get on with it. As long as expectations are clearly set then you shouldn’t face any issues.
If you’re struggling with this, you must remember that your team’s successes are your successes. Without you, there would be no wins to celebrate so be sure to congratulate yourself for these. Don’t be threatened by your own strong team.
If you’re a great leader then you’ll do everything you can to help your team elevate themselves to success. If you can do this without putting too much thought into how it will directly benefit yourself, then you’ll be on the right path. And, if you’re willing to go above and beyond for your team, then they will have no issue doing the same for you.