8 Keys of Leadership
Leadership is a skill that must be mastered for success..
Leadership. If the saying is true and you are only as strong as your weakest link, then in business you’ll only be as profitable as your weakest team member allows. Building a strong team takes a lot of hard work. Knowing what to look for in your employees, how to recognize strengths, how to improve on weaknesses and how to motivate employees to want to excel is paramount in creating a great team. Here are the leadership skills you’ll need to master.
1. Lead by example: Never ask of your employees something that you aren’t willing to do yourself. If you want your team to be punctual and attentive to clients then you should start off by setting the example. The saying “do what I say not as I do” does not work in the business world. If you lead using that mentality you will not only lose the respect of your employees but they will also not go the extra mile for you or the company.
2. Appreciate: Recognize the efforts of your team members. If someone does a good job or makes an attempt to go above the call of duty then reward them with a show of gratitude. A simple thank you or a pat on the back is more than enough. Do something to show them that their efforts are not going unnoticed. People crave recognition for the things they do well. It not only fuels their desire to do more but it also breeds confidence in them to excel in other areas of their work.
3. Empower: Don’t always tell your employees what to do. Empower them to be creative and think up solutions. If you train them well and provide them with the support they need you’ll be surprised with the solutions they can come up with on their own. You should always be aware of what goes on in your company but avoid micromanaging. True leadership is understanding when it’s time to lead and when it’s time to back up and let your team take charge.
4. Understand: Understanding the characteristics of your different team members is a vital skill. Knowing what employees need in order to optimize their efficiency and productivity will go a long way in improving the level of service they offer. Being able to recognize each person’s strengths and weaknesses will allow you to structure a curriculum when training. Find ways to highlight your employees’ strengths while helping them improve on their weaknesses.
5. Learn: Leadership and team building is a continuous learning process. Every new team member will teach you something about the business, the team member, and about yourself that you did not know before. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and improve your leadership skills. You will soon come to realize that the best teachers are always the best students first.
6. Teach: Fish for a man and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. The same holds true in leadership and management roles. If you always tell your employees what to do they will never have the chance to think for themselves and be creative. However, if you take your time to teach them the ins and outs of the business and explain to them why certain things need to be done you will be surprised how well they will excel in their roles.
7. Goals: Setting realistic goals is always a great way to increase productivity. Giving a team something to work towards adds purpose to their day and a sense of accomplishment once those goals are met. You never want an employee doing the same monotonous act every single day with no beginning or end. Give them a target and empower them to reach it. You will see an increase in morale and productivity within the company.
8. Adapt: Being able to adapt to different situations is key. You should never compromise who you are but you should be able to know when certain situations call for different approaches. If you have a team member who works well under pressure and needs that extra push then by all means go for it. However, some team members are better off when they are given a structured support system and a chance to prove their worth. Both methods can be equally effective the key is in knowing which is necessary for each situation.
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