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Qualities That Help You Win As A Leader

Qualities That Help You Win As A Leader

Since starting my journey at age 17 I’ve been lucky to gain a variety of valuable skills and knowledge. My time earning an engineering degree as well as my time leading StarInfranet has allowed me to grow as an entrepreneur as well as a person. My goal with these articles on LifeHack is to give people a solid base of knowledge on which to grow from. I’m very thankful for my accomplishments and share this information because I believe everyone can achieve the same.

Successful leaders are always looking for ways to improve. It’s important to open yourself up to new perspectives and experiences in the fast paced world we live in. As a leader your attitudes, your focus and values will be under close watch. The people you are leading will take action based on the qualities you show most often.

This article will cover some leadership qualities that will help you become a more effective leader. These qualities will improve how you communicate with your team as well as help you develop a clear focus that sets the tone for your team. Whether you are a business professional, entrepreneur or even a parent, you’ll find these leadership qualities useful to your growth as a leader.

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1. Be receptive to feedback

Feedback is a powerful communication tool. A lot of unsuccessful leaders despise feedback and despite cries for improvement, they just don’t want to hear about it. They just want to do things their way and have everyone follow them. Of course this approach doesn’t work if you want long-term success and a healthy work environment.

As a leader you should encourage feedback but only if you are truly going to use it. There’s no point in encouraging feedback just to appear to be a good leader and then doing nothing about it. Feedback needs to be absorbed, analyzed and transferred into tangible changes. When your employees can see that you make use of feedback then they’ll see that you truly listen to them and will be more willing to follow you.

2. Results focused

One of the less celebrated qualities of good leadership is being focused on results. Leaders that are laser focused on getting tangible things accomplished are more wiling to stretch themselves to achieve the desire results. Some poor managers do the opposite and sandbag a goal by adding tasks, switching deadlines and other delaying tactics so that they don’t run the risk of failure.

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When you’re focused on results as a leader, your focus spreads to the rest of your team. Having a collective of individuals on the same path should be one of your goals a leader. You can achieve this by showing your team your intense focus when it comes to getting concrete things done.

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    3. Know your team

    Structuring your team and allocating your resources properly is especially important in growing companies. Simple tasks such as meetings can get out of hand quickly without proper structure and organization. It’s important that everyone knows their role and how to prepare so that everything can run well.

    As a leader it’s important to know your team and put them in positions where they can make use of their natural strengths. You don’t want a highly analytical, introverted employee working in customer service for example. If your company is growing then you need to remember that nothing will stay the same for long, you will always need to be evolving in order to stay current. Get your team to embrace change by setting the tone that things will always be changing if there’s a chance for improvement.

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    4. Reward your team

    Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their work. A reward doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, sometimes a simple thank you will boost an employee’s confidence. When you reward your team they’re willing to work harder for you. Rewarding them shows your employees that you take their work seriously and that you appreciate quality results.

    Part of rewarding your team is listening to them and showing that you value their opinions. When people feel that their voices are being heard they are more receptive to feedback and more willing to work harder because they feel appreciated.

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      5. Flexibility

      Flexibility is a great leadership trait to have. It’s important not to be perceived as the type of leader where everything is set in stone. When you look at the reality of most situations, everything is not final and most things depend on context. Having a reputation as a flexible manager makes your employees more willing to share their thoughts with you, make suggestions and find new ways to do old tasks.

      6. Be decisive

      This may seem contradictory to being flexible but being decisive is an important quality for a leader. If you take in feedback and suggestions from your employees and then make a definitive decision, they’ll have strong confidence in your decision.

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        Being decisive helps to set the tone and give direction to your team. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind but when you do it all the time, your employees have a decreased sense of urgency when they hear about new decisions that you’ve made. Being decisive keeps everyone on point and they know your decision isn’t something that you came to easily.

        Communication is key while improving yourself as a leader. Sometimes the best step you can take is to just listen to your team and look for areas to improve on. A successful leader is confident, decisive, focused and still able to make people feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Remember, as a leader you want to bring the best out of people, so they can put forth their best in the job. Try and include the qualities discussed in this article in your leadership decision-making processes.

        Featured photo credit: Creative Teamwork via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on March 29, 2021

        5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

        5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

        When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

        What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

        The Dream Type Of Manager

        My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

        I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

        My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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        “Okay…”

        That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

        I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

        The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

        The Bully

        My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

        However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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        The Invisible Boss

        This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

        It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

        The Micro Manager

        The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

        Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

        The Over Promoted Boss

        The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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        You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

        The Credit Stealer

        The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

        Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

        3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

        Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

        1. Keep evidence

        Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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        Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

        Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

        2. Hold regular meetings

        Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

        3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

        Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

        However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

        Good luck!

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