Being a good leader isn’t a piece of cake. And being a great leader is even tougher. Any business leader wants to lead, motivate and support his tribe to the absolute fullest. Yet, at the end of the day most us suspect that we are coming up a little short.

The good news is – you can become a truly great leader! All you need is to put some extra effort and consider the following 7 tips when increasing your leadership abilities.

1.  Invest in yourself

Being a great leader means continuous learning: about the people you work with, your niche, business operation, the industry game set and yourself of course. Don’t be frugal when it comes to investing in your education. Allocate the time, money and resources. Be relentless when it comes to gaining new knowledge about everything and everyone within your business eco-system.

How?

  • Watch a relevant TED talk in the morning.
  • Listen to niche podcasts on your way to the office
  • Subscribe to industry news and top blogs via Feedly to stay updated on current trends
  • Enrol to new university courses, attend webinars and master classes hosted by industry experts.
  • Set up selected mail forwarding to receive your correspondence whenever you are when traveling.
  • Schedule informal meetings with your team (or part of it) to discuss ongoing matters, listen to new ideas and possible complains.

2. Be emotionally aware

While many people believe emotions are a handicap in the workplace, the truth is – they are critical to establish effective management. Relationships between people are the key to successful business. Whether those are between you and your employees, or you and your business partners – you have to be emotionally intelligent if you want them to last and be productive.

Great leaders are sensitive to understanding and considering different points of view. They are forthright, candid and fair when it comes to making key decisions. Treat all the people you encounter the way you want to be treated.  Trust, loyalty, and transparency should be your main projected qualities if you’d like to strengthen your business and grow your authority.

3.  Be Decisive

Highly admired leaders are decisive. They are ready to handle tough calls quickly and gracefully. They always take time to assess a complicated situation before taking any actions.

Great leaders make rational decisions. They gather the information, consider multiple options and when it’s time to make a move, they do it fearlessly.

  • What would have happen if Apple executives decided against bring back Steve Jobs, after firing him?
  • What would have happened if Henry Ford decided not to double the worker’s wages to attract better workforce?
  • What would have happened if Samsung decided not to introduce a sabbatical program that is now the company’s secret sauce to being a successful global brand?

Have the nerve to take difficult, out-of-the-box decisions if you’d like to achieve immense success!

4.  Facilitate and Communicate Sincerely

Great leaders know the difference between just giving information versus nurturing growth. They provide feedback, they illustrate the concept, they motivate – honestly and smartly. They ensure that the communication runs smoothly in two ways. Once you hear your team uses your language and messages to describe your vision and goals, it means you are truly making an impact!

Pass along the business lessons you’ve learned, so that your team can avoid those mistakes and outshine you. Nobody learns and reaches success in a vacuum. Be the action force and drive your people towards greater success.

5.  Know Your Limits

No matter how caring and open leader you are, you are still a human, and have some limits. Set respective boundaries. Inform everyone at your company that you will not tolerate certain behaviour. This approach will save everyone a lot of frustrations and misunderstanding.

6.  Inspire

When you are going through a tough stage, you should be everyone’s role model of a positive behavior.

Pure talking won’t do the trick here. Act. Speak directly to your team, help them overcome their doubts and concerns. Offer actionable suggestions and alternative options for those feeling anxious about their place within the company. Help your employees solve the problems and show how their day-to-day work contributes to the overall company’s health.

Great leaders take time to establish personal connections with their employees. Make your time together matter. Your title and the fact that you have spared some precious moments for them, won’t inspire them. It’s the genuine attention and care that does. Show that you value each one of them and you always have their best interests at heart.

7.  Project a Vision

Greatest leaders of all times – Henry Ford, John Rockefeller, Warren Buffett, Steve Wozniak to name a few – were also powerful visionaries. They have created mighty empires out of nothing.

If you want to succeed, you need to develop a clear vision of what’s your ideal business is all about. And never, I repeat never, lose faith in it. Even during the roughest days stay sure that you and your team will accomplish any point from your list.

Yes, you will face setbacks. But let them not deter you! Learn from your failure, make adjustments to your plans and move on with confidence!

Featured photo credit: Vinoth Chandar via flickr.com

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