No one fully comprehends what it means to be a leader until they are in a top leadership position. Good leadership in business can be the difference between mediocre results, and a thriving department, branch, team, or business overall. Whether you are in charge of shift scheduling software, sales teams, operations, design team, or other below are some tips to implement, or refresh yourself with when looking for ways to improve your skills as a leader.
- Refresh: Never stop learning and exploring ground breaking leadership tips, tools and techniques. Psychology is always making leaps and bounds in understanding the human psyche and how teams can reach their potential.
- Listen: Listen to your team’s input. Your team could have great ideas to improve a process, product, or strategy. Without listening or encouraging your team to provide feedback and ideas you’ll miss out on brainstorming activities that can assist the company or your division.
- Communicate Effectively: Most people think they are getting their points across, but many studies have shown what we think we are communicating and what people perceive can vary wide and far. If you’ve never taken a communication class this might be the time to find a good class to sign up to take. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to a class, sign up for a webinar, purchase high rated books and read them on your time at your own pace. Your team will thank you.
- Set Goals: Set goals in your personal life, for your team, and encourage your team to set their own person goals so they have other motivating factors besides the bottom line. Create a fun game out of it, and reward those that reach their personal goals. Then encourage them to help their teammates reach their goals as well. Create a teambuilding and teamwork environment of inclusiveness so your team builds trust, wants everyone to perform well, and will work well together.
- Develop Thick Skin: Since you’re at the top, if your team fails you will be the one to take the blame. However, on the plus side all failures bring lessons learned. Take those lessons to heart, learn from them, and create processes in place to avoid those mistakes in the future. You’ll take the burden on your back, but don’t go pointing fingers at why the project failed. Instead, engage in meaningful conversation with your team to determine what went wrong, and how to avoid it going forward.
- Build Your Team’s Confidence: A team that doesn’t believe they can reach their goals most likely will not reach their goals. Confucius is to have said, “The man who says he can, and the man who says he cannot are both correct.” Build your team’s confidence, give them access to tools to help them, and most of all tell them you believe in them.
- Invest in Your Team and Yourself: Just as you as a leader need to recharge, stay up to date on current leadership tips and tools, your team also needs to be invested in to help them grow. Think of great leaders you had in your past (if you were lucky enough to have one!), and think about how they motivated you, invested time and resources into you, and pay it forward.
- Organization: A team must be organized to get their job done. Ensure your shift scheduling software is set up properly so your team knows when meetings are, and arrive on time to optimize your meetings’ efficiency. Have your most organize staff member keep notes and communicate them to the team. Keep track of goals, and overall strategies. Most importantly develop and organize your departments’ or company structure.
- Respect: Respect goes both ways. If you don’t respect your team, their thoughts, ambitions, and ideas they probably won’t think much of you as a boss or a leader. While not every idea is great and can be implemented you can thank your team member for their input in a way that doesn’t put them down. Command respect, but don’t be unkind.
- Recognize Your Team: Rewarding and recognizing your team is also important. While some of your employees might need more encouragement than others, it is always a good idea to recognize your team for their hard work. You can have a fun fake awards luncheon, let someone go home an hour early for reaching their sales goal, or come up with your own fun way to recognize your team’s hard work and dedication.
- Develop Trust Both Ways: Trust goes both ways. Sometimes stress and pressures of leadership can make you feel like you need to have more control over the goal, strategy, or project to make it perform better which can lead to micromanagement. Ultimately, this stifles your team and doesn’t allow them to do what they are capable of doing. You have to learn to trust your team to do what they were hired to do.
You can implement some of these tips and tactics no matter what your position is within your company. Everyone can have a positive impact on their goals, team, or project by stepping up. If you are the organization’s leader its always good to refresh to improve your results. If you are currently on a team, or in a lower-level position, acting like a leader and cultivating your skills will help get you noticed and can help you move up into a leadership position. Go lead, go learn, and create positivity in your team!