How are your communication skills? Could your current communication proficiency even be called a “skill”? Communication as a leader is vitally important because your team needs to know what you need from them. Articulating what needs to be done, and then motivating your team to do that is an important skill. Also, being able to communicate to your team what they’re doing well and what they need to improve on is key.
Do your words match up with your actions? Are you someone that practices what they say? If not, then your people won’t want to follow you. No one respects or wants to listen to a hypocrite. You have got to be willing to do those difficult jobs that most would avoid before you can expect your team to do them. A leader that leads by example consistently is one that people will want to follow.
No one enjoys being around a know-it-all. So don’t allow yourself to develop that mindset. Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean that you’ve “arrived,” so to speak. You’re still just as human and prone to error as the rest of your people. Be willing to admit your faults, and learn from your employees. This will help them develop respect for you. Leaders who charge ahead and turn a deaf ear to the ideas and thoughts of their people won’t get very far.
What does your company want to accomplish? What is your goal in making that happen? You’ve got to have this nailed down. What are your ideas? In what way can you implement them successfully? First, you need to understand your vision and how to make it happen. Second, you need to be able to communicate and share that with your people. Help them to catch the vision, and you’ll all go far.
Don’t set vague goals. You want your people to feel a sense of accomplishment by reaching a goal, and that’s impossible if they don’t know exactly where that goal is set. Make clear goals, communicate those to your people, then help them work towards meeting those. Both you and your employees will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you reach those. This will also help you to stay on target and not get distracted.
This one goes along with humility. Being willing to be accountable and setting that up is very important. You’re an employer, not a dictator. Let your employees know that they can bring up issues that they see to you. Establish that trust with them, so that they feel comfortable in approaching you respectfully with their concerns. It is very easy to become blind to things that are very close to you, so having those extra eyes on the lookout will greatly help in your success.
This is also tied in with humility, because your are always learning and growing. In this culture, there is always new data, new technology and new methods. If you’re unwilling to learn, grow and understand the new ways of doing things, you’ll quickly find yourself falling behind. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a prideful mindset that inhibits growth. Instead, purposefully look for ways to grow and set an example to your people.
There are plenty of leaders out there, but the exceptional, quality leaders are the ones who practice and grow these 7 areas in their lives. Be the best leader you can be and see what area(s) you need to work on.