Do you aspire to be a good leader?
Maybe you're a bit nervous by the thought. You might be overwhelmed or think leaders are born not made. But you can learn to be a good leader by learning some simple strategies.
Think of the leaders you know who you respect and admire. Chances are, they all have the following qualities in common. Here are four straightforward strategies you can use right now to be a better leader for your team.
1. Earn respect
Good leaders earn the respect of their team and others. They are not afraid of getting their hands dirty or too important to dig in and work with their team when the going gets tough.
A true leader doesn’t sit in an office on another floor and hand down ultimatums. How can you know your team unless you’re out there with them? A good leader will, at the very least, schedule regular team meetings and knowledge-sharing sessions. They will listen and work with their team to hit their targets and get the outcomes they want.
2. Keep Learning from your Team
Good leaders don’t think they know it all. They listen. They ask questions and learn from their team members. The final responsibility for making decisions lies with the leader, of course, but they know the value of their team's skills and experience. True strategic decision-making relies on everyone.
Working alongside your team, really listening and observing what’s going on, will give you more significant insights into how your team works and how to get the best out of each team member.
3. Share Your Knowledge
In return, a good leader shares their knowledge. As well as learning from their team, leaders are committed to keeping the communication channels open.
They value their team and believe in the importance of knowledge transfer. A leader can bring a different perspective to a situation, whether that knowledge comes from greater experience or knowing the context.
4. Make Good Decisions
A leader will make better decisions when comfortable in their skin, and they know their limitations. They know the skills sets and strengths of their team and how to cover and improve the gaps.
Good decision-making relies on knowing the details of the project and the context, the way the team and the organization works, and how to get the best out of everyone.