On the surface, being a great leader seems simple enough. All a fantastic manager needs are the ability to understand their team members, empower their staff, and make their voice heard – but all of that is easier said than done. It takes a lot more than the handful of skills attendees can pick up from a leadership conference to become a fantastic boss. Like anything else in the business world, the path to great leadership is a journey of constant growth and development. Ambitious people willing to adapt their behavior and respond to the needs of their teams will be more likely to get great results. With the right mindset, and the following skills, anyone can become an amazing leader.
1. Focus on Active Listening:
People working at the head of a business receive messages every day, from shareholders, clients, and even supervisors. Committing to active listening is a good way for leaders to make sure that they connect with their peers on a deeper level. It ensures that managers don’t just respond to problems but begin to get an insight into how the business works, so that they can take proactive measures for success.
2. Engage in the Business:
While a promotion to manager level might seem like a good excuse to sit out of the way in an office for 10 hours a day, it’s important to remember that the best leaders submerse themselves into the operations of their business. Be the manager that’s not just a boss, but a leader, a mentor, and an equal to employees. This will help to create a culture where creativity and teamwork can begin to thrive. Managers just need to make sure that they don’t spend so much time trying to be friends with their employees, that they forget to offer the important feedback and criticism they need to perform better in their roles.
3. Don’t Focus on Mistakes:
Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s up to a leader to ensure that their people learn from those errors. However, there’s a difference between encouraging someone to respond positively to the things that have gone wrong with their performance and making them feel terrible about their mistake. Leaders should never make their employees feel like children in front of their peers. Discussions about mistakes should always take place in a private location, where managers and their employees can discuss what can mitigate the repercussions of a poor decision.
4. Always Be Professional:
Leaders need to maintain a professional air always. While this doesn’t mean that managers can’t take part in drinks after work with their coworkers or enjoy a little down time during informal meetings – it does mean that leaders have to constantly be aware of the message their sending. For instance, they need to be friendly, but they also need to make sure that they don’t lose the respect of their employees. One sure way for a manager to lose their professional appearance, is by participating in gossip. Leaders need the finesse and diplomacy of an expert when dealing with people – regardless of whether they like those individuals personally or not.