10 Ways to Be a Better Leader

Leadership is no easy feat. From balancing budgets and encouraging creativity to building trust but maintaining authority, a leader’s work is seemingly never done.

Being a leader is challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. However, whether you’re a manager of a corporate team of the leader of an interest group, there are always ways that you can improve.

10 Ways to Be a Better Leader

If you want to hone your leadership skills and become a better leader, here are ten tips that will help you.

1. Set Clear Expectations

Not many things are as frustrating as working under someone who doesn’t give clear direction and doesn’t tell you what they want. If you want your employees to speak to ten people a day, for example, there’s no point just hinting at it or it won’t get done!

Instead, set your employees tangible goals and be clear about what you expect. This makes everyone’s lives easier, and ensures more productivity and output in the long run.

2. Read More

The world’s best bosses all have one thing in common: they read lots. Reading is fundamental to help you gain understanding of other people and types of management; it also educates you on how to handle difficult situations.

Confused about where to start? Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow are must-reads.

3. Give People Room to Grow

If you give a plant no sunlight and no air, how can you expect it to grow and flourish? The same goes for people. People need to be nourished and need to be able to excel at what they’re good at in order to truly shine.

Think of yourself as a conductor: someone who enables others to shine, even though you don’t make a sound. If your team looks good, you look good – so let your team do what they’re good at and reap the rewards!

4. Address Problems as Soon as They Come Up

One of the key pieces of advice people give to those in relationships is to never let things simmer. If you have a problem, deal with it then and there to avoid resentment building and more conflict in the future. The same goes for those you are leading: address little issues in a supportive way, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle down the line.

5. Don’t Expect to be Everyone’s Friend

When you were working under someone else, chances are you rarely hung out with your boss. In fact, when have you ever been friends with your boss?

When you’re in charge, things change – and unfortunately, you can’t always be a friend to everyone who’s registered in your payroll software (as Steve Carell aptly demonstrates in The Office). Be their colleague, their mentor, and once in a blue moon you may find someone who you click with, but you are a boss first and foremost. Don’t forget it!

6. Be Honest

Nobody likes to be lied to, so try to be honest in all your approaches. If someone is doing something incorrectly, tell them. If you are having trouble with the way in which someone conducts themselves, pull them aside and have a quick word. If you’re honest and tactful, you’ll earn respect – and ultimately, your team will thank you for it.

7. Listen to Others

We’ve all had that boss that refuses to listen to anyone else and always does things their way – don’t be that person! Establish a dialogue with your team and embrace the beauty of diversity. This way, your team will feel appreciated and you’ll gain some new insights and ideas that could help everyone down the line.

8. Lead by Example

Would you go to a personal trainer who looked like they didn’t train regularly? Would you trust a skinny baker? Remember that as a leader, you are an example for others to look up to. Do, and others will follow – so fill your day with positivity, practice good work and be a part of the team, and you’ll see that others do the same.

9. Be Humble

This one is pretty self-explanatory: congratulate others, appreciate hard work, and don’t talk about yourself too often. It’s easy to brag, but to be humble takes a different kind of strength. Find this strength inside you, and others will see it too.

10. Always Try to Better Yourself

Like everyone else, leaders should always be striving to improve. Always try to better yourself and progress in your skills and attitudes as a leader, and you’ll find your life more enriched as a result.

 

About the Author:

Kelly is a freelance writer who has dabbled in management. Her favourite book is Thinking, Fast and Slow.

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