Right now, the world needs influential leaders more than ever. If you aspire to be a stronger leader, there are several character traits that you can cultivate to turn your leadership style from okay to exceptional.
Analysis of transformational leaders has shown that they share certain qualities that make them inspiring and empowering. How can you hone your leadership skills to become the more influential, dynamic leader you aspire to be? Start by following these strategies to develop your leadership skills.
1. Leader, Know Thyself
The first step in supercharging your leadership potential is to understand your leadership style. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses, the things you enjoy about leading, and what you find challenging.
There are quizzes available on the internet to help you discern your leadership profile and what gaps you need to address. Once you know your style, you can begin to work out how to improve.
2. Focus on Your Communication Skills.
Effective leaders have excellent communication skills. That doesn't just mean they know how to work a room or deliver a presentation or negotiate a killer deal. It means they know how to talk with and listen to their staff. They know how to communicate their vision and inspire commitment and loyalty.
Make it a habit to sit down with your team members to talk about both work and non-work related. Listen to what they have to say. Know what’s going on for them, their hope and fears. Make a real connection with your people.
3. Build A Collaborative Team
Great leaders know that they have all the answers. They value their team’s range of skills and experience and encourage team approaches to problem-solving. A more democratic leadership style yields positive results, with more innovative ideas, greater commitment, and better productivity than traditional management models.
4. Celebrate Success
Celebrating success is essential in keeping your team’s motivation high and will go a long way to making your leadership stand out as exceptional.
Your people will feel appreciated if their hard work is acknowledged and marked in some way. Whenever the team hits a project milestone, have a celebration. You can even set up a rewards and recognition scheme, like public thanks or movie tickets, to acknowledge the exceptional effort.
You can make it a habit to mark every team achievement, big and small, by having a morning tea or after-work drinks or a team dinner to celebrate finishing a project or closing a deal.