Why is it important to be a good leader?
It is important to be a good leader because it can have a significant impact on your employees and their work ethic, which can affect your company’s overall progress. Additionally, the way you lead your employees can change employee turnover rates and the general culture of the workplace, all of which can contribute to loss of revenue.
1. Motivates employees to improve
The first benefit of being a good leader is when you can drive your employees to challenge themselves to grow and excel in their daily work. In a leadership role, you can instill this motivation by providing your employees with their leadership roles, certification courses and performance improvement plans. All of these factors contribute to an uplifting work environment where employees know they have the support to expand their industry knowledge.
2. Increases unity between company goals and employees
The second benefit of being a good leader is when your leadership tactics contribute to an increase in integration between company goals and your employees. You can achieve this benefit by communicating with your team about company expectations, procedures and values.
Communicating the importance of their everyday responsibilities within the context of your larger organization can lead your employees to complete their tasks with company goals in mind.
3. Instills confidence in employees
The third benefit of being a good leader is an improvement in employee confidence. This means that you, as the leader, make a point of complimenting your employees for their hard work and reminding them why they are important to your organization. Leaders who do not express their gratitude might have the opposite effect on their employees.
4. Creates a positive workplace culture
The fourth benefit of being a good leader is when you can create a positive workplace culture that promotes healthy work relationships and productivity while making your company’s mission statement or fundamental values the central focus of your workplace.
21 Ways to Be a Better Leader
It doesn’t matter if you are running a business, managing a team, or teaching a class–leadership skills are important. Some people seem to be born knowing what to do to inspire and lead people, but for most of us it doesn’t come that naturally.
Luckily for us, leadership isn’t a magical gift but a set of skills that you can acquire and practice. It may come more easily to some than to others, but it’s within reach of all of us. You just have to want it, be willing to work and dare to take a risk.
1. Manage your emotions. Your emotions give you energy. If they’re low, your energy is low; if they’re running high, you feel positive and optimistic. To be at your best as a leader, manage your emotions–when you do, you manage your energy too.
2. Develop your skills. If you don’t have the skills to lead, no title or position will ever make you into the leader you want to be. There’s only one way to become a better leader, and that’s to work on your leadership skills, develop expertise in your field, and discover the heart of what leadership is about for you.
3. Become a great communicator. Discipline yourself to understand what’s happening around you by observing and listening. A great leader is always a skilled communicator–not only as speaker but as a listener, someone who stays focused and tuned in to the nuance of a conversation.
4. Admit when you are wrong. It takes a strong, confident person to say they are wrong. Sometimes people think that admitting you’re wrong is a sign of weakness, but in fact just the opposite is true–the more honest and open you are, the more people will respect you as a leader.
5. Learn how to spot talent. A huge element of great leadership is knowing how to connect with the right kind of people–those who can move your vision forward and develop successful strategies. But hiring great individuals is only half the game; it’s just as important to understand how people of diverse backgrounds and abilities can best work together.
6. Be part of the team. There’s an acronym that says “team” stands for Together Everyone Achieves More, and great leadership comes from those who see themselves as part of a team, who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do what it takes to support, help, guide and mentor.
7. Give credit where it’s due. It’s not uncommon to see someone in a leadership position take credit for the work of others, but true leaders are generous with credit. They know that any great accomplishment takes many people and talents.
8. Be a mentor, not a preacher. People are interested in growth and development; they want to know how they can do better and find their own path. As a leader your job is to mentor them, guide them and support them–not to boss them or preach to them.
9. Invest in people. To be a great leader, you need to start at the heart of what matters in your organization–and what matters is your people. If you want to see them happy, engaged, loyal and dedicated, make the time to invest in them, nurture them and provide them with a clear vision of what needs to be done.
10. Give freedom and be flexible. As long as people know how to get the job done right, stay out of their way. A leader who fosters freedom and flexibility gives people room to work in whatever way is best for them.
11. Be quick to praise. Praise people often and openly. Let others know when the work is well done, a job is completed with excellence and the results are great. But when it comes to feedback that’s focused on development and growth, do it privately. It’s likely to feel like a negative assessment, and no wants to feel they’re being berated in public.
12. Bond with your team. It’s easy for people to talk about wanting great teams, but that doesn’t happen by itself. It takes a leader who’s willing to get in the trenches and spend time working with their team to create the bond that great teams share.
13. Get out of your office. Come in early to get your work done while things are peaceful. Then, when everyone else arrives, get out of your office and connect with people. It’s an efficient way to balance the demands of a leadership role, and people feel good about their team when they can see a leader not only working hard but also being available and accessible. It’s a win-win.
14. Give the benefit of the doubt. Many of the bad things that happen in the course of a day or a week–a miscommunication, an uncomfortable moment, an act of disrespect–happen because someone is quick to judge and to give their opinion. The best leaders give the benefit of the doubt. They work on being fair and kind and on always giving people a second chance or the benefit of the doubt.
07 How to Lead a Team to Success
Success is measured and defined differently by all, which means that good information on how to lead your team to success or understanding what makes a successful team can be hard to find. Before you know how to lead, you need to know what a successful team looks like.
CliftonStrengths makes this easier. Having team members discover, develop and lead with their strengths can lead to higher employee engagement and performance, which are outcomes of a successful team. However, they aren’t the most important outcomes because giving your employees the opportunity to do what they do best is the greatest measure of a successful team.
Conventional wisdom says that to become a better leader, you should develop the areas where you are naturally weak. And to be a good leader, you encourage your team to do the same. But CliftonStrengths says you should invest in the places where you’re naturally strong.
Position individuals to do what they do best, better use each individual’s strengths, build more effective partnerships and teams, and then mobilize the team to increase individual and team effectiveness.
08 Leadership Development
If your attempts to develop in the past have fallen short, it may be because too few leadership development programs can clearly define the experiences that lead to excellence in leadership. They don’t individualize, they can’t match leader to experience at the time it’s most needed, and they don’t help leaders analyze their experiences so they can effectively apply them in the future.
1 We believe that knowing your strengths is a great foundation for creating a leadership development plan. When you take the CliftonStrengths assessment, you will get a report with personalized results. Our CliftonStrengths 34 report (featuring all 34 strengths in rank order) will help you discover what you do best and give you the confidence to live and work every day using those strengths.
The descriptions of your top strengths, and the order in which they appear, will be unique to you. Because just as we believe that no two leaders lead the same way, we also believe that no two people have the same strengths.
2 Learn to identify your own key experiences. Key experiences are some of the most critical components of leader success. Put simply, “Key experiences are events in a leader’s life that result in learning, growth and/or increased capacity to effectively lead.” Every role and every industry looks different, but key experiences are one of the foundational elements to leadership development anywhere.
Although those key experiences will look different for each person, you can notice a pattern or commonality between them all. Embracing new situations and being uncomfortable are important parts of developing as a leader. When things look tough, lean in. That’s where growth happens.
3 Take a look at the seven expectations for leaders. If you truly want to develop, those are where you should begin. Start with a self-assessment. At first glance, which one of these core leadership competencies do you do really well? How can you get even better? Then determine which one doesn’t come as naturally. How can you use your natural strengths to develop it?